How to Let Go: A Review of The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul—now a #1 New York Times bestseller—offers simple yet profound answers to these questions. This book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.


This book has opened me up to so many new ways of thinking and so many new techniques to add to my meditation and mindfulness practices. I took so many notes while reading this book because I didn’t want to forget any of it. I won’t put them all in here, but instead, I urge you to buy this book and read it now. Don’t wait. The information is it is too valuable. It has already helped me much more than any other book I have read in a long while.

Here’s what I learned from The Untethered Soul:

(This is just a small selection of my notes. There is so much more. Seriously – read it yourself ASAP):

  • There is a voice in your head that chatters incessantly. The only way to stop it is to step back and view it objectively.
  • This voice is just a vocalizing mechanism makes it seem like someone is in there talking to you.
  • It is not you. If you’re hearing it talk, it’s obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking.
  • Much of what the voice says is meaningless, a waste of time and energy.
  • Eventually, you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems.
  • This narration from the voice helps to make you feel more comfortable with the world around you.
  • True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection. This is done by constantly remembering that you are the one inside that notices the voice talking. That is the way out.
  • You live in the seat of consciousness. You are behind everything, just watching. That is your true home. Take everything else away and you’re still there, aware that everything is gone. But take the center of awareness away and there is nothing. That center is the seat of self. The great mystery begins once you take that seat deep within.
  • Contemplating the source of consciousness, this is true meditation. For the deepest meditation, you must not only have the ability to focus your consciousness completely on one object, you must also have the ability to make awareness itself be that object. In the highest state, the focus of consciousness is turned back to the Self.
  • Opening your heart allows energy in and closing blocks it out. If you want to stay open, pay attention when you feel love and enthusiasm. Then ask yourself why you can’t feel this all the time. The more you stay open, the more energy flow can build. At some point, so much energy comes into you that it starts flowing out of you. You feel it as waves pouring off of you.
  • You can affect other people and your own body with the flow of your energy.
  • Through meditation, through awareness, and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your centers open.
  • Everything that did not make it through you (a cycle of stored past energy patterns), from the time you were a baby all the way to this moment, is still inside you. That encrustation builds up and restricts the energy flow.
  • You are either trying to push energies away because they bother you, or you are trying to keep energies close because you like them. In both cases, you are not letting them pass, and you are wasting precious energy by blocking the flow through resisting and clinging.
  • The alternative is to enjoy life instead of clinging to it or pushing it away. If you can live like that, each moment will change you.
  • Unending inspiration, unending love, and unending openness, is the natural state of a healthy heart.
  • To achieve this state, simply allow the experiences of life to come in and pass through your being. If old energies come back up because you were unable to process them before, let go of them now.
  • Just open, relax your heart, forgive, laugh or do anything you want. Just don’t push it back down. It was stored with pain, it’s going to release with pain. It only hurts for a minute and then it’s over.
  • Learn to be centered enough to just watch this stuff come up. Once you sit deeply enough inside to stop fighting the stored energy patterns they’ll come up constantly and pass right through you. Your heart will become accustomed to the process of releasing and cleansing.
  • Your reward is a permanently open heart.
  • You will get there.
  • Just keep letting go.
  • If you aren’t centered, your consciousness is just following whatever catches its attention. Your energy (and life) is very scattered.
  • If you want to be free, then every time you feel any change in the energy flow, relax behind it.
  • If you can learn to remain centered with the smaller things, you will see that you can also remain centered with bigger things.
  • There’s a place deep inside of you where the consciousness touches the energy, and the energy touches the consciousness. That’s where your work is. From that place, you let go.
  • You can do one of two things with fear: you can recognize that you have it and work to release it, or you can keep it and try to hide from it.
  • Decide not to fight with life.
  • Fear is the cause of all problems.
  • Unfortunately … we’re not really trying to be free of our stuff, we’re trying to justify keeping it.
  • You free yourself by finding yourself. You are the one who notices things. The one who notices is already free.
  • You are either trying to stop suffering, controlling your environment to avoid suffering or worrying about suffering in the future. This state of affairs is so prevalent that you don’t see it.
  • That constant, anxious inner talk is a form of suffering.
  • The advice your mind is trying to give you is psychologically damaged advice.
  • That is what all the noise is inside your mind, an attempt to avoid the stored pain.
  • To go beyond, you must keep going past the limits that you put on things. This requires changes at the core of your being.
  • You are constantly trying to stay inside your comfort zone. The moment somebody starts behaving in a way that is outside your expectations, your mind starts talking. Telling you to fix it.
  • You are consciousness, and you can free yourself from all of this by relaxing behind it.
  • You just decide, once and for all, to take the journey by constantly letting go.
  • The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences.
  • You were born and you are going to die. During the time in between, you get to choose whether or not you want to enjoy the experience.
  • No matter what happens, just don’t close your heart.
  • Meditation strengthens your center of consciousness so that you are always aware enough to not allow your heart to close.

“It’s safe to say that the only thing most people know for sure about enlightenment is that they are not there.”


The key action that I have taken from all this is how to let go. Most of what I have read before tells you that you should let go, of the past, of your stress and worries, of your pains. But they either didn’t explain how to do it, or I just didn’t get it at the time. This book has shown me how to deal with pain, emotions, and thoughts as they come up. The bonus for me is that I am now putting it into action. Once I recognize the issue I can take a step back and feel it, usually, it is a physical sensation in the heart or gut. Once I can feel it, I can observe it, acknowledge it, and let it go. I can also now physically feel the release, and the calm once it is gone. I can feel my heart opening.

This knowledge is great, but without being able to step back and recognize these moments you can’t put it into practice. This is where meditation and mindfulness have helped me become more aware of my thoughts and feelings as they are happening. It is not always perfect, and it doesn’t always work, but I keep practicing because I see and feel the results.

Read this book. You won’t regret it.

Buy it now:

Watch Michael talk on “Living Life Mindfully” here:


More Book Reviews:

Tame the Voice in Your Head: A Review of 10% Happier by Dan Harris

Change Your Life with The Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hansen


How to Live a Long, Healthy and Happy Life

how to live a happy life

“There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.” – Mark Twain.


A TED talk by Robert Waldinger on a 75-year-long study of adult life teaches us the secret to a long, healthy and happy life.


The Harvard Study of Adult Development followed 724 men for 75 years. There were two groups of men. The first group were sophomores from Harvard College, most of whom went off to fight in the war. The second group were boys from Boston’s poorest neighbourhoods, most were troubled and disadvantaged. Every two years they were asked questions about their work, home lives and health.


Here are some of the lessons learned:


  • Most of the men started out thinking that in order to have a good life you had to become rich and famous. Later in life, it was learned that happiness was not about wealth, fame or working harder.
  • It was found that good relationships keep us happier and healthier.
  • Social connections are really good for us, and loneliness kills. Those people who had good relationships with their family, friends and community are happier, physically healthier and live longer than people who are less connected.
  • It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you are in a committed relationship, but it is the quality of your close relationships that matters. Living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health.
  • The people who were most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. Good, close relationships seem to buffer us from the slings and arrows of getting old.
  • Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. The people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people’s memories stayed sharper longer.
  • The people who fared the best in life were the people who leaned into relationships with family, with friends, and with community.


This is old wisdom that deep down we already know, but sometimes we can find it difficult to prioritise. Relationships are messy and hard work, and we seem to want a quick fix for our health and happiness.


Robert suggests these first steps towards your happy life:


  • Replace screen time with people time.
  • Liven up a stale relationship by doing something new together, like long walks or date night.
  • Reaching out to that family member who you haven’t spoken to in a while.


“The good life is built with good relationships”.


Don’t wait. Start now. This is important for your health and happiness. 


For more about Robert Waldinger:

For further reading on the Harvard Study:

Watch the TED Talk here:


Further Reading:

How to Meditate

What is Mindfulness?

Improve Your Health With Heart Rate Variability


Change Your Life with The Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hansen

The Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius.

If you change your brain, you can change your life. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of mindfulness practice, you too can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom. This book presents an unprecedented intersection of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice, and is filled with practical tools and skills that you can use every day to tap the unused potential of your brain and rewire it over time for greater well-being and peace of mind.


This book further supports for me, the overwhelmingly strong indication that regular meditation and mindfulness are essential if you want more joy and happiness in your life. Along with some great insights on equanimity, empathy and compassion, it gave me some practical actions to take to develop my daily practice.


It is often easy to let the mind talk me into quitting my daily practice because, “what’s it really doing anyway”. Great books like this not only help to reaffirm my intention to meditate and practice mindfulness daily, but also give me more tools to keep me learning and growing.


Here’s what I learned from Buddha’s Brain:


  • The mind is what the brain does.
  • Our suffering, which is the result of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction, is entirely made up by the brain.
  • If the brain causes our suffering, we can also use the brain to cure it.
  • Nurturing your own development is a great gift to the people around you.
  • Small positive actions every day will add up to large changes over time. You can gradually build new neural pathways with these small steps.
  • “Wholesome changes in the brains of many people could help tip the world in a better direction”.
  • Equanimity means “even mind”. What passes through your mind is held with spaciousness so you stay even-keeled and aren’t thrown off balance. Equanimity is neither apathy nor indifference, you are warmly engaged with the world but not troubled by it. The spaciousness of equanimity is a great support for compassion, kindness and joy at the happiness of others.
  • ACTION: Set aside some time in your day – even just a minute long – to consciously release preferences for or against anything. Then extend this practice to more and more of your day. You will find yourself being guided increasingly by your values and virtues, instead of simply reacting to positive or negative feeling tones.
  • Empathy is the foundation of any meaningful relationship. Inadequate empathy erodes trust and makes it harder to solve interpersonal problems.
  • ACTION: Bring conscious intention to being empathic. Take a few seconds to remind yourself to be empathic and that it feels good to be empathic. Next, relax your body and mind and open to the other person as much as feels right to you. Notice the other person’s movements, stance, gestures and actions. What would it feel like, in your own body, to do them? Watch the other person’s face and eyes closely for facial micro expressions. Actively imaging what the other person could be thinking and wanting.
  • Cultivate compassion deliberately
  • ACTION: Kindness is expressed mainly in small, every-day ways. Throughout the day, deliberately and actively bring kindness into your actions, your speech, and most of all, your thoughts.
  • ACTION: Look for things to be happy about, and take in the good whenever possible. Positive feelings calm the body, quiet the mind, create a buffer against stress, and foster supportive relationships, all of which reduce ill will. See the video below for a practical way to hardwire happiness.
  • Meditation strengthens intention.
  • When your attention is steady, so is your mind. Attention is like a spotlight, and what it illuminates streams into your mind and shapes your brain. Consequently, developing a better control over your attention is perhaps the single most powerful way to reshape your brain and thus your mind.
  • ACTION: Set your intentions. Establish a deliberate intention at the beginning of any activity that requires focus. “May my mind be steady”. Keep reestablishing your intentions. Make the intention to be attentive the default setting of your life by developing the habit of everyday mindfulnessUse routine events – phone ringing, going to the bathroom, drinking water – as ‘temple bells’ to return you to a sense of centeredness.
  • When you relax the sense of self and flow with life, you feel happy and satisfied.

“All joy in this world comes from wanting others to be happy, and all suffering in this world comes from wanting only oneself to be happy” – Shantideva

Buy it now:

Watch Rick’s TED Talk on Hardwiring Happiness:


More Book Reviews:

Tame the Voice in Your Head: A Review of 10% Happier by Dan Harris

How to Let Go: A Review of The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer


Tame the Voice in Your Head: A Review of 10% Happier by Dan Harris

10% Happier by Dan Harris is part memoir part practical guide to mindfulness and meditation. Dan, a TV news anchor, talks about his on air meltdown and drug abuse and how meditation helped him. It is a great primer for understanding mindfulness and meditation and how to use them in your daily life.


What I learned from this book:

  • We all have a voice in our head. Some of us don’t even realise it.
  • This voice is fixated on the past and the future. If we give in to it, it prevents us from living in the present moment.
  • We can all learn a skill that helps us to quiet this voice – meditation.
  • You can meditate anywhere. Anyone can do it. It is free.
  • With practice, we can better at it.
  • Meditation practice creates a space or gap in the voice which allows us to see our negative emotional response to situations, like annoyance, fear and anger, and allows us to choose how we respond to them, instead of simply reacting.
  • Science shows us that meditation actually rewires the brain.
  • The Buddhists analogy: “Picture the mind like a waterfall, they said: the water is the torrent of thoughts and emotions; mindfulness is the space behind the waterfall”.
  • Continuous stress is living each moment as if it is never quite good enough, that it will be better in the next one (some later moment in time). To be somewhere else, to have something else, to be someone else, to never have enough, to never be good enough. This all creates stress and worry and prevents us from being happy.
  • Meditation won’t solve all your problems, but it will help you handle them better, which will lead to less stress.
  • Happiness is a skill.
  • Practice non-attachment, if you are not attached to results or outcomes you won’t fall apart when things don’t turn out.
  • Practice self-compassion to improve resilience.
  • Everyone’s mind is out of control. You can never entirely ‘clear your mind’.
  • You can’t control what comes up, only how you respond to it.
  • We can all be 10% happier with a little effort.


I enjoyed reading about Dan’s journey and his discoveries when speaking to the self-help “gurus”. If you are skeptical in nature, like I am, then he will resonate with you.


Buy the book here:



More Book Reviews:

Change Your Life with The Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hansen

How to Let Go: A Review of The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer