‘The things you believe in are the baggage you carry with you in your life. The true sage believes in nothing, other than the sacredness of all things. He lives in spontaneity of energy. He defends nothing nor judges anything. His world is eternal and infinite, he sees beauty in all things and he accepts the ways of man, including restriction and strife.’ Stuart Wilde

I’m often asked in the library to request The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The book outlines the secrets of manifestation. In learning these ‘so-called’ secrets one learns how to get what one wants out of life. The documentary of the same name, which followed the book, features a number of individuals who have used these ‘secrets’ to create successful lives of affluence. Without a doubt these secrets—these specific guidelines—work. But one could argue that when we use these guidelines to get what we want out of life, the ego is at work.

There is another way. It could be called the path of surrender. The result is also ‘success’. But the difference is that instead of getting what we want out of life, we allow ‘Life’ to get what she wants out of us. Invariably this will include a path of service.

The-Surrender-ExperimentThis is precisely what is described by Michael A. Singer in his new book, The Surrender Experiment.

How do we know when an action is ego-driven? Such actions come from a place of wanting, of desire, and a subconscious belief that we are lacking something that is intrinsic to our happiness. Underlying ego-driven desires are deep-seated fears.

We’ll know our actions are ego-centric when we treat the cleaner differently than we treat the CEO.

We’ll know our actions are ego-centric when our perceived needs supersede those of others.

We’ll know our actions are life-driven when we treat others as we would have others treat us.  If this sounds like the ‘Golden Rule’ it is because that is precisely what it is.

You’ve heard the expression: That which we resist persists. What Mickey Singer discovered and what he describes eloquently in The Surrender Experiment was: that which the voice inside his head resisted was precisely what life wanted him to do. And when he did that which life asked of him, magic happened. The cogs in the universal wheel lined up and took him in directions he could not have foreseen.

Sound familiar? It has happened to all of us. When the will fails to get that which we seek, and we finally surrender, suddenly everything falls into place. We still have to work for it, but it’s as if an unseen force is assisting us and the work flows easily and naturally.

Mickey Singer learned how to follow the invisible into the unknown. As he describes in The Surrender Experiment: ‘. . . I could see that the practice of surrender was actually done in two, very distinct steps: first, you let go of the personal reactions of like and dislike that form inside your mind and heart; and, second, with the resultant sense of clarity, you simply look to see what is being asked of you by the situation unfolding in front of you.’ In simpler terms, one could say that to surrender is to let go and let God.

The Surrender Experiment is a truly inspiring read.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com  In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101


A man once walked with his son in the snow. He saw a large tree in the distance, and said to the boy, ‘I will race you to the tree, but instead of seeing who gets there first, let’s see who can make the straightest track through the snow.’

 The son liked the idea, because if it were a test of speed, his father could win easily. He decided to be very careful to walk in a straight line. Looking continuously at his feet, he slowly placed one foot in front of the other.

 When the boy reached the tree, he was not surprised that his father was already there. But he also found something unexpected. The father had made the straighter path. He used a method that his son was unaware of. He realized that the most effective way to walk in a straight line is not looking at your feet, but keeping your eyes on the goal you are headed to. By always looking at the tree, he had walked in a straight line without even thinking about his feet. So it is in life. There are times when you need to watch your step, but mostly you are better off knowing where you are headed. Now and then you might look down, but you should mainly look ahead.

 From Make your own Rainbow by Leonard Ryzman

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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.



Our world of distinctions is built on paradigms, on the collective agreement of human-created models. Frankly, many of these models have outworn their welcome; many of them have stayed on the shelf long past their due dates.


There are numerous teachers today of something called ‘The Secret’, something called ‘The Law of Attraction’. These people, in many cases have tapped into the Stillness and have gained the realization there are no limitations. But to bring that awareness back to this world and to teach that we can all have everything that we want is to forget that wanting is the source of suffering.


This craving for more is based on a limited understanding of the Absolute. When there is action without true understanding, it is action without heart. This has been the course of humanity, at least in the so-called civilized world, for long enough. Some would say for too long. Yes, we can each own and enjoy the luxury of things—the latest gadget, the biggest TV, the newest and greatest cell phone—yet we must not forget that someone else in this world may be suffering because of our greed, because of our lack of understanding.


When we are looking for economic solutions from within a model that is fatally flawed, we will not find lasting, sustainable solutions. We need to look outside the box.


It is a delusion to think that if enough is enough, then more is better. When we’re in touch with who we really are, what is here right now is perfect. Then our needs, our true needs, are fulfilled and there is an immense sense of gratitude, an immense feeling of peace and spaciousness.


One of the messages of my first book, In Search of Simplicity, and other writings is that we need to take a close look at what our real needs are. We need to re-evaluate our lives. If we have enough money—and  lets face it, most people reading this have enough since we have clean, comfortable shelter and enough to eat—do we have enough time? Do we have enough quality time? In today’s world some are money rich and time poor.


The art of living is learning to be content with where you are now, with what is. An example would be with relationships. Isn’t it interesting that when we are in a relationship, we may think it would be better to be on our own. And when we are on our own we wish we had a partner.


Don’t look for a partner when you are not content with yourself. Be happy with one and two will find you. When Lucia and I met in India, we were each content on our own and we became good friends. Our relationship grew out of this friendship, and it was possible because of the personal contentment we had each found at the time. We weren’t consciously looking for each other. What we need finds us when we are looking the other way.


Yes, we can apply our will and certain techniques to get anything we want. Yes, we can use the law of attraction for this. The risk is that we become manipulative, that we are playing God. We are assuming we know what we need.


When we live each moment in a state of presence, when we look at the world with our ‘child’ eyes, when we stop to smell the roses, when we are happy, truly happy, what we need automatically comes. We don’t need to ask for it.


It has been said that when the student is ready the teacher comes. In this world, everyone and every experience can be our teacher. Be happy and allow what you need to come to you. Believe in magic and magic is. Love what you are doing in the moment and the moment will reward you in wondrous ways you least expect.


This is the art of living.


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives.

In Search of Simplicity is a startlingly poignant real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life. John Haines hosts a popular weekly interview program, Voices from the North, from his place in paradise in New Zealand’s subtropical far north, and leads what he calls ‘playshops’ in voice, sound and communication.