Living Untethered- Book Summary

Over the past week, I re-read The Untethered Soul and read its follow-up, Living Untethered for the first time.

This blog summarizes and reflects the key takeaways that stood out for me.

I have divided my takeaways into an order that made the most sense to me.

I highly recommend reading both books but I hope the following takeaways ignite something within you.

1. What do we experience

There are only three things we experience – the outside world, our thoughts generated in the mind, and our emotions or feelings

We experience the outer world that is made up of 92 natural elements. All of these elements were forged in the dying stars. The world, including us, is made up of stardust.

“This process has gone on for over thirteen billion years, and everything you interact with each day is composed of this “star dust,” including your body. This is the truth, and we should remember and contemplate it regularly.”

Our mind is an energy field where thoughts exist. The thoughts are of two types- automatic thoughts and willful thoughts.

A huge majority of our thoughts are automatic thoughts. These thoughts just pop into our minds out of nowhere. On the other hand, willful thoughts are those which you can create. These are the thoughts that allow us to think, imagine, and solve problems.

Emotions are sensations where you experience a change in energy. They are something you feel.

Thoughts and emotions together make up your psyche or the personal self.

2. Discovering the watcher within

Notice in the first point that we experience the outside world, thoughts, and emotions.

Who is the one who experiences it? Who is the one aware of thoughts popping in your mind? Who is the one who feels?

This is the witness consciousness.

Consciousness is awareness. You are aware of these things going on. You know you are in there experiencing all of these things. That means you are separate from them.

But, who are you? Who is the one who watches?

“Be conscious about being conscious- that is what spirituality is about.”

The essence of spirituality is getting into this witness consciousness and discovering the watcher within.

This is what it means to meditate in the truest sense.

But, why is it important to do this?

Keep reading! You will get to know in the point 6! 🙂

3. Mind as a television

Just like a television renders the details of an event captured by the cameras, the mind renders the reality of the outside world through the senses.

It allows you to experience the world.

If this process was perfect, as the outside world changed, the mind would render a different image and we would perceive a different reality.

This is just like the modern television. When we change a TV channel, there is no impression of any images from the channel that was playing earlier.

However, what usually happens in our minds is that we cling to positive experiences and resist negative experiences.

This is the birth of the personal mind. When this happens, the images from past experiences continue to play inside the mind even when the outside reality has changed.

This distorts the experience of our reality.

The experiences that did not pass through you become the lens of your world resulting in your preferences of likes and dislikes.

All your preferences exist because you store experiences from the past inside your personal mind.

These experiences that did not pass through you become unfinished patterns.

4. Unfinished patterns and stored blockages

The unfinished patterns or the stored blockages are called Samskaras in the yogic science.

These samskaras are stored in your heart as packets of energy. They contain specific details of the events or experiences that did not pass through you fully. These are the experiences where you cling or resist.

Think of them as a computer program in the operating system of your mind. The mind itself is an empty energy field.

Your psyche is like a computer program running in your mind based on your samskaras.

They distort your experience of the present reality. As the reality comes in, it hits these blockages and tries to release the energy stored in them.

*That blocked energy is always trying to come up, every single millisecond. Just like in a dammed-up river, the blockage is trying to release its pent-up energy.*

How does it try to release the pent-up energy? It does it by activating the thoughts and emotions associated with that experience.

Every personal thing that voice says is because of the samskaras you have stored inside. Your mind is trying to release those blockages during the day while you’re still awake.

Even the dreams we see at night are the attempts of our mind to release this pent-up energy.

5. Discovering the flow of inner Shakti

Remember the first point about the three kinds of experiences you have: the outer world, thoughts, and emotions.

There is a fourth thing. This is called Shakti or Chi or the Prana.

It is the natural flow of energy we feel whenever we feel love, joy, or enthusiasm.

When this energy is flowing freely through the body, we experience peace, love, and joy. This is the same as when we are excited about something that fills us with an inner energy that does not come from food.

However, it rarely flows freely.

The stored patterns and blockages, aka, samskaras block the flow of this core energy.

When they block it, emotions are released.

Emotions are generated when your core energy flow hits a blockage….Emotions are a release of blocked energy.

The core energy can still partially flow through some of these blockages. The extent of its flow determines our ability to feel unconditional love, joy, and inspiration despite some blockages.

So, how do we restore the flow?

Simple, (not easy though!), you remove those blockages consciously!

6. Letting go and restoring the flow of the Shakti or the core energy

This brings us to the core of the spirituality again.

Why is it important to be in the witness consciousness? Why do we need to be conscious about being conscious?

Because this is how we let go of our blockages and past stored patterns.

You begin to accept that things are going to happen, they’re going to hit your heart, and your mind is going to create thoughts to release the built-up energies. You commit to being okay with this process. This attitude of acceptance is very different from suppressing the emotions and thoughts or letting yourself get lost in them

This is how we restore the flow of energy and feel more love, joy, and enthusiasm in life.

Being the watcher in the witness consciousness is the only thing you do.

When you become aware of the thoughts and experiences without judging, engaging, or suppressing them, you allow the Shakti or the core energy to push the blockages away.

*You inwardly ask, “What’s happening inside of me? What blockage got hit that caused this shift in energy to take place?” Then, to use the situation for growth, you relax and allow the energy to push the blockage up. You don’t have to do anything except not interfere with the process. Shakti will do her job of pushing up—you have to do your job of letting go.

This is the inner work of spirituality.

Letting go of our stored patterns so we can experience the now without any distortions.

When you commit to spiritual growth, you work on letting go of the stored blockages from the past and not storing any more from the present

7. Beyond the Shakti

This is the area of spirituality which is mostly the zone of learned masters or the yogis.

A point comes in your spiritual evolution when the Shakti is flowing freely through your consciousness. You have released your stored blockages and do not create any more samskaras.

The important thing to keep in mind is not to cling to this situation too. It is critical to continue doing the work, i.e, being in the witness consciousness.

However, once you learn to do that, you begin the search for the source of the Shakti. This is the journey of returning to the Source.

This is when the consciousness becomes one with the flow. It is the real surrender.

To get closer to becoming one with flow, you must surrender your entire sense of separation. It’s not enough to experience the energy, you must release yourself into it. As you let go, the flow will pull you in. That’s where the great masters went.

When they say enlightenment, this is what they usually mean.

If you have read this far, congratulations! This is one of the longest editions.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, great. See if you can witness the overwhelm! Ask yourself, who is feeling the overwhelm?

If you feel something shifted within, great. See if you can witness the shift! Ask yourself, who felt the shift?

If you are feeling confused, great. Now, you know the drill! 😀

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