The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection

The Surrender Experiment

Summary of The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael A. Singer: a biographical exploration of what it means to “trust life,” by one of the most talented and original entrepreneurs of the early Internet.

Michael A. Singer, 2015, 253 pages.

Review and Summary of The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael A. Singer

Michael A. Singer

As we’re about to discover, Michael A. Singer has created a thriving business in the field of personal development and meditation. In fact, he has created an entire community.

He is also the author of another New York Times #1 bestseller: The Untethered Soul – The Journey Beyond Yourself.

To learn more about the book I’m about to review, you can visit his website: You’ll find a series of free courses in video format.

Section 1: Waking Up

The Premise

We are immersed in a world beyond ourselves. Our existence is very short and limited, compared to the 13 billion years of the universe and the natural forces that manifest themselves beyond our control.

Yet we often think that reality must conform to our expectations. But reality often doesn’t give us what we think we’re entitled to. As a result, we feel as though we’re constantly fighting against life.

Of course, we have a power of action we call “will.” It helps us to transform the external order according to our needs and desires. But it keeps us in a state of “war.” We only feel good when we’re winning and feel in control of our lives.

But is this a necessary attitude? The author poses the following, more precise question:

If the natural unfolding of the life process can create and care for the entire universe, is it really reasonable for us to believe that nothing good will happen to us unless we force it to happen?] (The Surrender Experiment, Section I)

There must be another, less warlike, more participatory way. To improve our quality of life, perhaps we should trust the orderly flow of life more and go with it.

Fight or surrender: that’s the alternative. This is also the experiment that Michael Singer, who has been on the path of surrender for 40 years now, would like to propose to us. It’s not a path of abandonment but one of liberation from fears and desires.

Of course, individual will is not absent from the story that follows, but it is no longer opposed to the world, but aligned with the [natural forces unfolding around us.]

1. Not with a shout – but with a whisper

Certain events can change the course of a life. They have a brute force that transforms us radically and brutally. And there are others, more subtle, that bring about quiet changes.

At the time this “subtle” change occurred to the author, he was 22 years old. At the time, he was a brilliant economics student at university, married to a young woman named Shelly.

While talking with his wife’s brother, an ambitious young Chicago lawyer, or rather, while looking for something to talk about, he realizes what he’s doing.

Nothing serious or surprising at first glance. Yet this experiment of being truly “outside” himself, calmly observing himself as he anxiously searches for a topic of conversation, deeply disturbs him.

Watching one’s thoughts and emotions, i.e. “becoming aware,” seems to be a matter of course once you’ve managed to do it the first time.  In the end, it’s something we do almost all the time, but without really noticing it, because we’re more caught up in the emotions and thoughts themselves.

From that first seemingly innocuous moment, Michal A. Singer begins to be constantly aware of what he’s doing, as if he’s constantly observing himself doing it. He is his own spectator! This new disposition also creates profound changes in his life. He begins to appreciate more and more the silence and calm around him. He likes to be alone in the forest to soothe that voice that keeps commenting on his actions. And this is just the beginning of the great adventure of his life!

2. Getting to know me

After a while, this constant self-observation and self-commentary becomes annoying, to say the least. But the author is also fascinated by what’s happening to him and seeks to understand it – which also means getting to know himself.

Of course, when he talks about it, this sometimes provokes incomprehension from those close to him or his teachers. However, this doesn’t matter to him because he’s caught up in the desire to explore more deeply who he is.

3. The pillars of Zen

One of his fellow doctoral students suggests he read Philip Kalpeau‘s The Three Pillars of Zen. It was a revelation! Having never been particularly interested in religion or spirituality, Michael A. Singer finally discovered a book that spoke to his inner “voice.”

More specifically, the book describes how to deal with it and silence it. How so? The answer is simple: through meditation.

The formula proposed by the book seems easy to apply: sit down in a quiet place, observe the flow of your breath, and mentally repeat the Mu sound to yourself. Zen seemed directly serious to the author, who decided to start practicing individually while being self-taught.

The idea is to make each session a little longer. He starts with 15 to 20 minutes each day, then increases to 30 minutes twice a day. Michael A. Singer enjoys the tranquility he gets from this practice.

On a camping trip with his wife and a few friends, he decided to do a meditation session in the woods. And there, a new sense of wonder, even stronger than the ones he’d experienced when discovering the book.

[I chose a tree and sat under it. Like Buddha. Then, very dramatically, I said to myself: ‘ I won’t go away until I’ve reached enlightenment. What happened under that tree that day was so powerful that even today my body trembles and my eyes begin to water when I think of it.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section I)

4. Absolute silence

Here, the author recounts his experiment of meditation under the tree that day. Gradually, he achieved a state of deep concentration by focusing on his breathing. He begins to experiment strange sensations and has the impression of ascending to other levels of consciousness.

5. From absolute peace to absolute turmoil

This very special meditation creates a state of intense fullness, with no interfering voices, that lasts for weeks. Michael Singer feels as if he’s been born again.

Gradually, however, these effects fade and new consequences are felt. He seems to see things more clearly. He has better control over voices. But above all, he seeks to immerse himself further in meditation.

He decides to leave his wife and move out on his own. It hurts, but he feels it’s the best decision to make at the time. As he puts it, he becomes “a kind of hermit,” living only for his practice.

6. South of the border

During the summer vacation, he takes his van to Mexico City. He doesn’t know exactly where to go, but he doesn’t care. His family and friends are a little worried, but he decides to brave the “dangers” and trust his intuition.

In the end, he spends several weeks on a small hill and is visited one day by a young boy who offers him a bottle of milk. It’s an act of kindness that touches him and makes him realize that life is not a matter of choice, but rather of “gift.”

7. Disconnecting the ‘panic’ button

On his way back to the United States, Michael Singer stops for a few days at a lake. While doing his yoga poses, he hears the sound of horses and men’s voices approaching him. He becomes frightened but decides to keep his eyes closed and concentrate, switching from yoga to meditation.

When he finally opens his eyes, he almost comes face to face with two Mexican farmers taking a break. They start chatting, and the author feels proud to have overcome his fears.

The next day, he decides to visit his new friends and discovers the village where they live. He is impressed by the simplicity of their existence and their friendly nature. After so long in solitude, this social exchange, which he hadn’t asked for, but which life had given him, does him a world of good.

8. Unexpected inspiration

Michael Singer is due to complete his doctorate in economics. However, he doesn’t really want to and doesn’t attend many classes. One of his professors notices his lack of attendance and challenges him to get a good grade.

The final exam for this course consists of writing an article. The author starts writing in his van, without the necessary references. However, he puts himself in a situation of concentration, taking all the pressure off himself. Then inspiration strikes.

He manages to write a 30-page essay, logically coherent and original in content. He fine-tunes it, adding sources and finalizing it in the days that follow. The result: an excellent grade and positive feedback from the teacher.

[Inspiration comes from a place deeper than thought. It comes spontaneously, in complete silence, without shock or effort.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section I)

9. The Promised Land

The young man lives in his van on the edge of a wood. It’s not always easy, but he makes the best of it. One day, someone tells him that he knows of a plot of land for sale, in the forest beyond.

Michael Singer went to visit it and fell in love with the place. It’s a completely isolated place that gives him an immediate feeling of being at home. He decides to use his savings to buy the property.

Problem: he doesn’t have quite enough money. But he tells himself that it’s this or nothing, and that in either case (whether he buys or not), he’ll be happy. This light-heartedness allows him to negotiate without difficulty. In the end, he gets the land for the price he wants.

10. Building a sacred hut

Although all he wanted was a small, simple hut for meditation, Michael Singer was persuaded by an architect friend to build something a little more ambitious: a house with a large bay window.

Accompanied by another friend, they set to work and, over several months, almost single-handedly built the edifice.

The author learns a great deal in the process, and recalls an ancient proverb:

[Every day, bite off a little more than you can chew, and chew it.]

What does this mean? It means we shouldn’t be afraid to take on the challenges life throws at us. That’s how we grow and strengthen.

11. Get thee to a monastery

The young hippie (because that’s what he looked like in those days!) decides to impose an iron discipline on himself – or rather, it comes almost naturally to him, as he pushes his meditation practice ever further:

  • Rise at dawn.
  • One meal a day (vegetarian).
  • Light clothing.
  • Several hours of meditation and yoga during the day.
  • Walks in the woods.

At the time, he believed that this was the only way to find inner peace. It’s imperative that he stays focused on his practice. But is this the only way?

12. When the disciple is ready, the master appears

Autobiography of a Yogi is a famous book by the Indian meditation and yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda. Reading this book takes Michael Singer a step in the right direction.

In fact, it enabled him to build bridges between the Indian and Western Christian traditions. “What is spirit?” was one of the questions he asked himself.

As it happens, Yogananda, who died in 1952, left behind a series of lessons available by mail order (Self-Realization Fellowship). He buys them and also begins to read the New Testament; their cross-reading enables him to deepen the relationship between the two teachings and to feel guided in his practice.

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

Section 2: The Great Experiment Begins

13. The experiment of a lifetime

 The “great experiment” or ”surrender experiment,” as the author calls it, appears at this time. Realizing that he was still attached to his thoughts and his “self,” Michael Singer decided to go even further.

How? By making the firm decision to silence his preferences. It starts with small exercises. For example, going from “Damn, it’s raining when I wanted to go out” to “It’s raining; that’s perfect.”

In other words, it’s about trusting life and letting yourself be carried along by the way it unfolds, whether you like it or not. It may sound insane. Yet the author is sure that this is the right way forward in his practice.

14. Life takes charge

At this point, the young man is still a doctoral student. He has to finish his thesis. Fortunately, it’s funded, so he doesn’t have to work on the side. All he had to do was give a few lessons a week to young undergraduates.

This he does without conviction, but with some success. He’s so focused on his meditations that one morning he finds himself teaching … without a shirt on!

One day, the head of his university’s economics department summons him to his office. He thinks he’s in for a reprimand. But he wasn’t. Instead, the head of the department wanted Michael Singer to help someone obtain their doctorate by becoming their tutor.

The interested party’s spontaneous reaction is refusal. In his mind, it’s the urge to say no that takes precedence. Yet he remembers his commitment to surrendering and finally decides to say yes to this new opportunity.

15. The prince and the pauper

Exam preparation goes well, and the two men become friends. Finally, the student challenges his tutor to take the thesis qualifying exams at the same time as him. The tutor accepts.

He’s only ready for two of the three exams he has to take. A clerical error meant that he was finally registered for all three. Once again, he decides not to back out.

With no time to study for the third exam, he resigns himself to the failure he was so afraid of. He tries to come to terms with the possibility of failure. Nevertheless, he randomly opens a few pages of the finance book on which the exam is based.

On the big day, he was stunned. The questions he draws at random are about the very subjects he had just so happened to read about the day before.

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

16. Following the invisible into the unknown

In this section, Michael Singer sums up the principle of the surrender experiment this way:

[At that moment of growth, I could see that my practice of surrender was made up of two very distinct steps: first, I let go of the personal reactions of preferences that were forming in my heart and mind; second, I simply observed what was required of me, thanks to the clarity achieved by rejecting preferences. What would you do if you weren’t influenced by “like” or “dislike” reactions? Following this profound guide to surrender leads your life in a different direction from the one your preferences would have taken you.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section II)

This is how the author, who had only wanted to devote himself to his meditation practice, found himself “enlisted” to teach at the University of Santa Fe.

17. My first job interview

Michael Singer is hired to teach social science classes to new students. It’s a part-time job.

At the same time, he meets a young woman who wants to practice meditation on his land. Despite his misgivings – or rather, because of them – he accepts and indulges in this new experiment.

This person brought other people along, so that gradually the “Practice Sundays at Mickey’s” (the author’s nickname) were established. And these continue today, over forty years later!

18. Letting go of the rope

That summer in 1972, Michael Singer went to a seminar in California to learn a new meditation technique. During the seminar, several things happened.

First, he has a dream. Secondly, thanks to this dream, he becomes aware that he doesn’t have to “lock up” his self, or ask it to put down his fears, hopes, sorrows, and so on.

Rather than seeking to extinguish his own personality, he must instead learn to play with it, to work with it to overcome it.

This didn’t make much difference to his actual stay, but it did make him feel different, freer, and wiser.

19. Acceptance, acceptance, and more acceptance

Michael Singer begins teaching at the University of Santa Fe in September 1973. He had absolutely no idea what he was going to teach but trusted both his knowledge and life.

His classes were such a success that some of his students began to take part in practice Sundays at his home.

On the other hand, he has to finish his doctorate: he still has to write the dissertation. However, he knows he doesn’t want to write about economics. In response to a promise he had made to his professor, he decided to write something completely different.

The writing could not claim the status of an economics thesis. Nevertheless, another professor helped him find a publisher who would publish it. This first piece of writing became his first published book: The Search for Truth.

[Little by little, the fabric of my life is made up of the results of surrender. I find myself surrounded by a life that was built for me. In my wildest dreams, however, I could never have imagined where this would lead.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section II)

20. The most important thing I was ever asked to do

And it leads him to prison! Not as a prisoner, no, but as a meditation teacher. It was a first in a North Florida prison in 1973: a group of prisoners practicing Buddhist meditation every week.

The initiative was so successful that it was organized in another state prison as well. Just when he thought it was going to cost him, Michael Singer realized that his meditations became more profound when performed in a group with these inmates.

What began as a simple request from an acquaintance turned into an activity lasting over thirty years. It was during this time that the author learned to leave his solitude to serve others.

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

Section 3: From Solitude to Service

21. The call of a living master

In the summer of 1973, Michael Singer encounters twice, by chance and at opposite ends of the country (once in Florida, once in California), the photo of an Indian master nicknamed Baba.

One of his friends suggested that he write a letter to the famous yogi, inviting him to stop by Gainesville, his home in the woods, on his planned winter world tour. He did so, but the return was mixed, as he lacked the necessary infrastructure.

That same year, the author would meet his future wife: Donna Wagner, a slightly older former student who had come to live in the woods with the small community he was building.

22. Shaktipat

The young people struggle to get Baba to come. They find a plot of land big enough to accommodate a hundred people, and a house to house the master and his team of twenty. Then they contacted as many people as possible to take part in the event.

Eventually, things fell into place and a deal was struck! Six of them were even invited to take part in the retreat held a month before the Gainesville event.

During the retreat, meditations are organized and Baba “drops in” on the meditators, gathered in a darkened room. Nothing special happens until the last day, when Michael Singer experiments the strength of the yogi, who transmits his spiritual energy to him for a moment (a gesture known as shaktipat).

23. Gainesville hosts a Guru

In the end, Baba’s retreat in Gainesville was the longest of his world tour. And another of life’s coincidences: it was during this retreat that Michael Singer met up again with his ex-wife’s brother, with whom he’d had this discussion about the voices he’d been hearing.

As it happens, it was this wealthy lawyer who, a few months or years later, financed Baba’s foundation in the United States – and became its president.

24. The temple is built

The Gainesville community and practice Sundays begin to flourish. As do the author’s university lectures. His second book, Three Essays on Universal Law, further enhances this effect.

Following a visit from another guru, a woman called Mataji, a temple is built. From then on, Michael Singer truly became a man at the service of meditation and its teachings.

Little by little, members of the community built and financed the temple, then filled it with objects and began to meditate there. Finally, the temple found its name: Temple of the Universe.

25. Opening the heart chakra

By now, the place was well known, and new personalities were flocking in. It was thanks to another Indian visitor that Michael Singer took another step on his spiritual path.

But not only that. Thanks to this person, Amrit Desai, the author began to share his daily morning and evening meditations. From now on, he hardly ever practices alone. He also gives lectures on Mondays and Thursdays.

26. Get thee to an ashram

The Temple of the Universe welcomes well-known figures from the yoga and New Age movements. It is now a non-profit organization. Michael Singer, 30, also decides to marry his new partner.

[The fact is, I never dreamed of creating a spiritual center. It just happened as life went on. Although there was internal resistance every step of the way, I just let it happen. Sharing my solitude certainly wasn’t what I wanted, but that was because I didn’t know that serving others is far greater than serving oneself.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section III)

Section 4: The Business of Surrender

27. A company is born

A new and unexpected event awaits Michael Singer. One afternoon, while strolling through his grounds, he sees a police car and a police officer circling the Temple.

The officer asks him about the building’s construction: did he build it with his own hands? Would he be willing to help the policeman build an extension to his house?

And so, Michael Singer started a construction company! He helped the police officer, then his colleagues and neighbors, to renovate their homes (porch, garage, extension, etc.).

Michael works alone or with a helper from the meditation community, Radha. He puts his heart and soul into his work, expecting nothing in return.

The author must now learn to deal with customers and accept money for the work he does. He calls his business “Built with Love.”

28. The master builder

Fortunately, Radha’s accounting skills can help him manage this new business. What’s more, thanks to another member of the community, he obtains a license that allows him to carry out more extensive construction work.

This was also the time when his partner gave birth to their daughter, Durga Devi, and he built a new house for them both.

Finally, thanks to this work, and in particular to one that paid particularly well, he was able to buy an additional plot of land next to his own.

29. Community banking

One day, a couple asks him to build their future home. But this requires a loan from the bank to buy the materials. Michael Singer starts looking for financial help.

He managed to find it in extremis, thanks to the kindness of a Gainesville banker. The author recounts how, 10 years later, it was he who lent money to this banker, now turned entrepreneur!

30. The ever-expanding Temple of the Universe

The Temple of the Universe itself becomes a business in its own right. The people who live there have to pay a modest rent.

Michael Singer also takes care to expand his domain whenever he can. He sees it as “a game with life.”

31. Metamorphosis of a creature

At the same time, the author continues to visit the prisoners every Sunday. Meditation and yoga sessions are followed by discussion groups.

That’s when he meets a young man from the Outlaws gang, who says his name is Creature. Creature has a troubled past, but he begins to take an interest in Michael Singer’s classes, and to develop a passion for meditation.

Section 5: Something Priceless is Born

32. From the personal self to the personal computer

Michael Singer continues to reinvent himself by letting life come to him. Next steps: becoming a professional programmer, then a freelance reseller for a company selling a computerized accounting system.

By the early 1980s, he already had a solid background in computer programming and business. Yet, as we shall see, his new company, Personalized Programming, was still in its infancy.

[My formula for success was very simple: do whatever is placed in front of you with all your heart and soul, regardless of personal results. Do the work as if it had been given by the universe itself – because it was.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section V)

33. The birth of the medical manager

From the 1980s onwards, the company became very profitable indeed, earning Michael Singer over $100,000 a year. Built with Love continues to run smoothly. Yet he did not change his lifestyle in the woods or give up his meditation practice.

It’s at this point that two companies ask him to create a medical billing system for insurance companies and patients. The project seemed enormous, but he took it on.

Over many long months, he conceived The Medical Manager, the program that would soon make his fortune and turn Personalized Programming into a leading company in medical informatics.

34. The early programmers

To help him complete his task, he trains several people, including one who will become an outstanding collaborator and a pillar of the company: Barbara Duncan.

From there, it snowballed. Several programmers began working for Michael Singer. The work takes shape, and it becomes clear that the computer system has been specially designed.

35. Preparing for launch

The program is complete. But Michael Singer has no idea whether he’s going to sell it or not. One phone call will make all the difference. Systems Plus – the company he had been working with on a freelance basis – offered to distribute his program.

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

Section 6: The Forces of Natural Growth

36. The foundations of a successful business

It’s worth mentioning a few dates:

  • 1983: First annual Medical Manager seminar.
  • 1985: Transition to “all-electronics” (computer-to-computer transactions).
  • 1987: The Medical Manager is the first management system to be able to submit all requests electronically, and to be used in all 50 U.S. states.
  • 2000: The Smithsonian Institute preserves the program in its permanent archives, in recognition of the help it has given to the computerization of the US healthcare system.

37. The industry knocks on our door

One day in 1985, Systems Plus asked Michael Singer to meet with a pharmaceutical company representative in Gainesville. Everyone expected a man in a suit and tie to arrive, but in the end, it was a meditation enthusiast who knocked on the door!

Many years later, this person would go on to work for The Medical Manager, helping it to grow and make a name for itself with the big pharmaceutical companies. More than twenty years later, he still lives near the community with his wife and children.

38. The temple keeps growing

In order to protect the forest surrounding his property, Michael Singer leases a plot of land from his neighbors, who wanted to grow pine trees on it. A little later, he bought another piece of land bordering his property.

By the 1980s, the Temple of the Universe had grown to 85 acres. By the 1990s, the property had grown to an astonishing 170 acres, thanks to the purchase of two large plots. Michael Singer’s only stipulation was that each new parcel should border on an already acquired parcel, so as to form a single piece of land.

Section 7: When Dark Clouds Become Rainbows

39. A touch of magic

[To understand the next steps in growth, it’s important to understand what was going on inside me at that time. All the events that had unfolded so far in my experiment of surrender had shown me that the more I detached myself from the own noise of my preferences, the more I could spot subtle synchronicities manifesting around me. These unexpected coincidences of events were like messages from life, pointing me in the direction it was taking. I listened to these subtle promptings rather than my rather abrupt mental and emotional reactions. That’s how I practiced surrender in my daily life …]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section VII)

With the purchase of land came the purchase of a house for himself. Until then, he had been living in the community’s common house, with little privacy. One day, a neighbor calls him (again!) to tell him that he’s selling his land. The neighbor had built a magnificent wooden house on the land.

It was love at first sight. Michael Singer has lived in this house ever since.

40. The scary messenger of change

In the course of the 1990s, the wind shifted again. Personalized Programming grows from 25 to 300 employees and from a 400 m2 headquarters to 85,000 m2!

Of course, it was technically and, above all, legally impossible to accommodate this growing business in the Temple. To ensure the company’s development on a solid footing, a secure location had to be found.

This was done shortly afterwards and – the icing on the cake – close to the community.

41. The foundation is built for the future

As the business grows, it’s important to hire the right people. To help with programming and management tasks, Michael Singer hires Tim Staley.

The two men become fast friends and excellent collaborators. Singer kept the reins on product management, while Tim Staley gradually took over the “engineering” side.

Since the program had already been around for 15 years and had been implemented in a large number of different organizations, it was necessary to update, adapt, and modernize the product.

This is what Tim Staley finally did: create a new product to meet customers’ new expectations. Its name: Intergy.

42. Meanwhile — back at the ranch

Managing the Temple community doesn’t require much effort. However, in 1994, something changed.

Guru Armit Desai, a friend of Michael Singer and regular visitor to the Temple of the Universe, had to leave his own community – the Kripalu Center – because of a controversy.

For three years, he resides in Gainesville, before finding a home and refounding a center in Salt Springs, the Amrit Yoga Institute.

Section 8: Embracing Explosive Expansion

43. The Medical Manager sprouts wings

The next challenge awaits Michael Singer, who remains as curious and open as ever to what may come his way in life. He doesn’t feel in charge of his own existence; it’s life itself that guides him where it wants to go.

As it happens, several companies such as Systems Plus and other resellers of The Medical Manager wish to merge to create a single firm and thus solidify their national foothold.

At the heart of the discussions was the purchase of Personalized Programming, the author’s company, and thus of the program itself. At first, Michael Singer is reluctant.

But once again, he gives in to destiny and accepts this highly profitable deal. The new company would be called Medical Manager Corporation.

44. Medical Manager Corporation — MMGR

Michael Singer is the company’s CEO. The symbol MMGR is the symbol used for the NASDAQ (the famous stock market index).

This period of transition to the world of the stock market gives the author the opportunity to enter into a more intimate relationship with his father, who spent his entire career at Merrill Lynch as a stockbroker. He dies shortly afterwards but has time to give her some advice.

45. Becoming CEO

Here again, help is needed. Michael Singer finds it in the person of Sabrina (the author does not give her surname). Barely 22 at the time of his hiring, and with no university education to speak of, she proves invaluable and devilishly efficient.

As a result, the CEO can devote most of his time to the company’s future. He creates Medical Manager Network Services to help users with the program. It’s a spectacular success.

And although he works hard, he doesn’t put himself at risk. On the contrary, he feels he’s in tune with what life expects of him.

46. The Internet and health care

With the Internet comes another challenge.  It’s the late 1990s, and Michael Singer is already 50 years old.

Having never had a “boss” in his life, he finds himself “under” a new boss: Marty Wygod. This state of affairs is the result of a merger between Medical Manager Corporation and Synetic, an ambitious start-up that aims to manage medical transactions via a web portal.

Medical Manager Corporation was sold for $1.3 billion, but the new company kept its name.

47. Merging – but not with the Universe

The merger between the two companies caused a media sensation. Their competitors also merged (WebMD and Healtheon) and became a formidable opponent.

The stakes were simple: Medical Manager Corporation had to build and sell its web portal before its competitor attracted all the funds it needed for its own development.

The answer came in early 2000, when the WebMD/Helatheon start-up succeeded in acquiring Envoy, an industry behemoth. Under these conditions, it would become difficult to compete with them.

48. Building Rome in a day

One acquisition follows another: if you can’t beat this new conglomerate, you might as well join it! The two “behemoths” – as the press put it – decided to merge. This becomes official on February 14, 2000.

Medical Manager Corporation is sold for $3.5 billion. The name of the new entity becomes WebMD. Their website is their most important asset.

49. Hanging out in Washington

In June 2000, Michael Singer is invited to the White House to receive the National Medal of Honor for Technology with Ray Kurzweil. The author meets President Clinton and Stevie Wonder, among others. He can’t believe his eyes.

He, the hippie who wanted to live in the woods and meditate, finds himself at a banquet, invited by the President of the United States. His software is considered a pioneer in computer science.

Another visit to Washington DC awaits him a few months later: he has to report to the Justice Department to answer some questions about antitrust laws and the merger between Medical Manager Corporation, WebMD, and Envoy.

Once again, the author reiterates his commitment to life and the importance of his meditative practice. For him, even in situations of extreme tension, surrounded by very powerful people, he manages to remain calm thanks to his deep gratitude for life.

Section 9: Total Surrender

50. The raid

One fine day in September 2003, the FBI raided all the buildings in Gainesville. It’s not one agent, no, but fifteen, the sheriff, two helicopters, with the firm intention of sifting through everything.

He finally understands what’s going on when he sees a list of names. He spotted personalities who were the subject of an internal investigation by the company for fraud.

[A feeling of total peace came over me and stayed with me all day. It was so thick that it felt like a blanket protecting me. I wasn’t concerned. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, so they weren’t going to find anything … I wanted to make sure I was there to enjoy the experiment. It’s not every day the FBI shows up at your house and raids for no apparent reason.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section IX)

51. Attorneys, attorneys, and more attorneys

To defend himself, Michael Singer needs a lawyer. He decides to be careful in his choice, but knows that, in the end, he will follow the path he has always followed: that of intuition.

Internally, the investigation continues, and it turns out that the main suspect does indeed have serious charges against him.

In fact, caught in a trap, he presented himself as a whistle-blower to the police and the “informer” of crimes he himself had committed but attributed them in part to others in order to have his sentence lightened. He created a veritable network of lies to protect himself.

52. The United States of America v Michael A. Singer

The rest is a long time coming; investigating a case like this takes time. Government agents have to process the information and build a solid case before calling the interested parties to justice.

To avoid confusion and damage to the company, Michael Singer – one of the accused – steps down from his executive duties. He would take the opportunity to return to the Temple and embark on a project he had long had at heart, namely writing two new books:

  • The Untethered Soul.
  • The Surrender Experiment (to be completed after the outcome of the trial).

Finally, two years after the police raid on the company’s premises, the author receives a subpoena to appear in court.

53. Preparing a defense

In the face of such events, Michael Singer decides to “surrender” once again. On the first day of the trial, he meets up again with his former colleagues, accused like himself. He observes a lot and tries to make peace with himself while remaining convinced that the truth will prevail in the end.

When the defense lawyers finally gain access to the documents (e-mails, notes, etc.) confiscated on the day of the raid, they in turn begin to prepare the case. However, in their view, no charges could be brought, as no link could be made between the nefarious actions of Bobby Davis and Michael Singer.

It was at this time, at the end of 2006, that the author completed his book The Untethered Soul. He decided to publish it quickly, despite his lawyer’s misgivings. The book was finally published in September 2007, and sold very well immediately, despite the fact that Michael Singer did not do any advertising himself.

54. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Defense lawyers appeal to the U.S. Constitution to ask the government to clarify the grounds for the indictment. The judge rules in their favor, which is a positive first step. The legal team then finds documents that contradict the charges against the author.

But things get complicated: the legal team’s head lawyer, a friend of Michael Singer’s, falls seriously ill. He manages to ask for the trial to be postponed until someone else can be found. However, this proves difficult, as the work is so specific and complex.

55. Divine intervention

Four weeks before the trial, the charges against Michael Singer are dropped, and he is now free from any judicial investigation. This is a huge relief, although it’s not the prevailing feeling at the time, as two of the author’s former associates remain accused.

In the end, they too will get off, after an initial conviction. So, in January 2011, more than seven years after the whole affair began, the main parties involved were found innocent.

For the author, this was a victory for the truth and a demonstration, in the final analysis, of the power and uprightness of the two judges who sat on the trial, as well as of the strength of the Constitution.

56. Returning to the beginning

For the author, this trial was an experiment of surrender, at the deepest level. In the end, he can only be happy to have decided, one day, to trust life. This is what he expresses in his final words:

[The joy, the excitement, and the freedom are simply too good to give up.  Once you’re ready to let go of your ego, life becomes your friend, your teacher, your secret love. When life’s path also becomes your path, all noise ceases, and great peace emerges. Eternal gratitude for all the experiments we call ‘Life’.]

(The Surrender Experiment, Section IX)

Conclusion to The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael A. Singer:

Key takeaways from The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael A. Singer:

This book is an exploration of what it means to “surrender.” Through his own journey, the author demonstrates what this expression means in concrete terms, and how it applies to everyday life.

It goes without saying that Michael Singer has a rather exceptional story to tell, which can be described as his destiny. This is another element that makes the book fascinating. The Surrender Experiment remains to be seen whether this destiny is solely linked to the author’s meditation practice and philosophy. It also appears that the author has great intellectual capacities and a great power of action.

The Surrender Experiment would be all too easy, therefore, to uncritically link success and surrender. The latter can certainly nourish the former, insofar as it makes one more confident, more observant, more curious, and more aware.

However, it’s probably not enough. In other words, meditation and the philosophy of surrendering to life won’t automatically lead you to success! But it is indeed a “way”, a path worth following for its own sake.

Strong points:

  • An original life story.
  • A plunge into the glory days of the New Age and the beginnings of computing in the USA.
  • Interesting advice and reflections on surrender.
  • This is the classic story of the successful white American man but with the opposite discourse to that of the self-made man. Quite original, indeed!

Weak point:

  • If you’re willing to get into the story, there aren’t really any flaws. It’s well-written and pleasant to read. Nothing to say.

My rating : Permanent Record by Edward Snowden Permanent Record by Edward Snowden Permanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward Snowden

Have you read “The Surrender Experiment”? How do you rate it?

Mediocre - No interestReasonable - One or two interesting paragraphsIntermediate - Some goods ideasGood - Had changed my life on one practical aspectVery Good - Completely changed my life ! (No Ratings Yet)


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The Handy Guide to Michael A. Singer‘s The Surrender Experiment

Monastic life:

  • Rise at dawn.
  • One meal a day (vegetarian).
  • Light clothing.
  • Several hours of meditation and yoga during the day.
  • Walks in the woods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

1. How has the book been received by the general public?

The book was a resounding success. A New York Times bestseller, it has inspired millions of people around the world.

2. What has been the book’s impact?

Michael A. Singer shares his journey of experiencing what happens when someone dares to surrender and trust the flow of life’s events.

3. Who is the target audience of The Surrender Experiment?

This book is for anyone interested in spiritual development.

4. What did the defense lawyers appeal to?

Defense lawyers appeal to the U.S. Constitution to ask the government to clarify the grounds for the indictment.

5. What does Temple community management involve?

Managing the Temple community doesn’t require much effort.

The foundations of a successful business vs the beginnings

The foundations of a successful businessThe beginnings
1983: First annual Medical Manager seminar.Our existence is very short and limited.
1985: Transition to “all electronic” (computer-to-computer transactions).We often think that reality must conform to our expectations.
1987: The Medical Manager is the first management system to be able to submit all requests electronically, and to be used in all 50 U.S. states.Struggling with life constantly.
2000: The Smithsonian Institute preserves the program in its permanent archives, in recognition of the help it has given to the computerization of the US healthcare system.Transforming the external order according to our needs and desires.

Who is Michael A. Singer?

Michael A. Singer

Michael A. Singer founded the Temple of the Universe Meditation and Yoga Center in 1975. After a mystical experiment, he interrupted his doctoral studies in economics to devote himself to spiritual teaching. He has written two books that seek to reconcile all spiritualities.

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