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The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Written By: ruchi - Mar• 15•21
The Greatest Secret
I recently read this wonderful book – The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I want to be able to refer to it again so I have written a summary as my personal notes for future reference.
Chapter 1 – Hidden In Plain Sight

  • Whether we realize it or not, we have been in search of The Greatest Secret unceasingly every single day of our lives.
  • This great secret is in plain view for every one of us to see, yet we’ve missed it.
  • We’ve missed the truth for thousands of years because we are distracted by our problems, the drama in our lives, the comings and the goings of the events in the world.
  • We’ve accepted many false ideas and beliefs throughout our lives, and they have kept us enslaved.
  • Whenever we suffer, it’s because we’ve mistaken our own identity.
  • Humanity is suffering from a misunderstanding of our true nature.
  • You are having the experience of being a person, but in the bigger picture it’s not who you are.
  • You are supposed to be happy all the time. Happiness is your true nature.
  • Discovering who you really are has been given many names: enlightenment, self-realization, self-discovery, awakening, remembering.
  • Open yourself to the possibility that you can experience the truth of what you are, this very moment.
  • When you fully recognize who you are, you will experience a life without problems, upset, hurt, worry, or fear, and you will be filled with joy, positivity, fulfillment, abundance, and peace.
Chapter 2 – The Greatest Secret Revealed

  • A single belief has prevented us from making the greatest discovery-belief that we are our body and our mind.
  • You are not your body; your body is a vehicle you use to experience the world. Your body is not conscious.
  • Believing you are your body creates the biggest fear of humanity, the fear of death.
  • What you actually are never dies.
  • Whenever we suffer, it’s because we’ve mistaken our own identity.
  • You are not your mind; mind is only thoughts. If there are no thoughts, then there is no mind.
  • You are not a thought, a sensation, or a feeling, because if you were, when they end, you will end too.
  • Your body and mind together make up what we call a person – the imagined self.
  • A person is what you experience, it is not who you are.
  • We can never have true lasting happiness while we hold on to our belief that we are a person.
  • You are experiencing a body, experiencing a mind, and having the experience of being a person, but they are not you.
  • We are pretending we are a small, limited person through constant thoughts of limitation.
  • Who you really are is unlimited, which means absolutely nothing has power over you.
  • You have been aware your entire life. Awareness is and has been the only constant in your life.
  • That awareness is who you truly are. You are awareness.
  • You couldn’t know or experience any of life without awareness.
  • It’s not the mind or the body that is aware of your life. Awareness is what is aware of every single life experience you have.
  • Imagine you have no body or mind, name, life story, past, memory, beliefs, or thought. What is left is awareness.
  • We usually give our attention exclusively to thoughts and to everything we perceive, sowe miss what is always present-awareness.
  • Awareness is present even when you are asleep.
  • When you ask yourself the question, “Am I aware?” immediately awareness is noticed. It didn’t appear; it was always present.
  • Everything other than awareness eventually ends or dies.
  • The “I” that we call ourselves at every age is the ageless “I” of awareness, which has witnessed our entire life.
  • Instead of looking outward to the world for happiness, we need to turn and look inward; it’s only in that direction that we will find everything we are looking for.
Chapter 3 – The Reveal Continued

  • You are Awareness; you are not a person being aware of something
  • A telescope is just an instrument without the astronomer looking through it and your body and mind are instruments of Awareness.
  • There is only one awareness and it’s the same awareness that is operating through everybody.
  • You aren’t aware of thoughts or sensations in another person’s body because Awareness has been funneled through your mind, making it localized to your body.
  • Awareness or consciousness is all through your body and everywhere outside your body.
  • We can put our attention either on the thoughts in our head or on the Awareness that we are. Put your attention on your Awareness as often as you can.
  • The Awareness practice:
    Step 1: Ask yourself, “Am I aware?”
    Step 2: Notice Awareness.
    Step 3: Stay as Awareness.
  • The way to break the mind’s habit of nonstop thinking once and for all is to stay as the Awareness that you are.
  • Shift your attention to Awareness by noticing Awareness multiple times throughout the day.
  • A simple way to stay as Awareness: Open your attention wide like the lens on a camera so you’re not focused on any detail anymore, and Awareness is revealed.
  • To practice, find something close up to focus on and focus your attention on only that. Now open your attention so it’s very wide, taking in as much as possible of your surroundings without focusing on anything in particular.
Chapter 4 – It’s Time To Wake Up

  • Life is a dream. The whole world is nothing but a dream-illusion.
  • In your night dreams your mind creates an entire world and makes everything so real that you don’t question it until you wake up.
  • The waking state is also only an extremely convincing play that consciousness is producing.
  • Because the mind is mechanical, if we live from our mind, our life is mechanical.
  • When our mind is running our life, we’re prevented from seeing the world as it really is.
  • When you wake up, you will be in the world but not of the world.
  • The Mountain of Consciousness is the metaphor for consciousness: Your perspective of life expands as you get higher. At the top of the mountain, you can see the beauty and perfection of absolutely everything.
  • Your mind is made up of thoughts and the thoughts it produces are coming from programs formed by your beliefs and held in your subconscious mind.
  • The subconscious mind stores our beliefs, memory, personality traits, automatic processes, and habits; its operation is no different from that of a computer.
  • The first step to freedom is when we understand that our thoughts create our life. What you think is what manifests.
Chapter 5 – Freedom From The Mind

  • The habit of believing our own thoughts robs us of being able to live in the magnificence and glory of who we really are.
  • It’s your thoughts about a person, circumstance, or event that’s the source of negative situations in your life, not the actual person, circumstance, or event.
  • Thinking was made to order what you want. Thinking isn’t needed for anything else because everything else is taken care of by Awareness.
  • Your mind is not your brain. Your brain doesn’t think. Thoughts come from your mind.
  • Your mind is made up entirely of thought. If there is no current thought, there’s no mind.
  • Most people believe their own thoughts as though they were facts, which explains why life is stressful and challenging for so many.
  • It’s negative thoughts that are the cause of our stress and suffering, so we need to become particularly aware of negative thoughts.
  • When we believe our thoughts, we’re immediately caught in an imaginary mind-made movie that’s playing inside our head and we’re no longer experiencing the world as it really is.
  • Thoughts are also responsible for causing our feelings and then in turn our feelings will cause more thoughts.
  • There’s nothing wrong with the mind; the trouble only begins when we believe its negative thoughts.
  • The one who gets angry, hurt, worried, anxious, or disappointed is not the real you. It’s your mind.
  • The mind only has three different kinds of thoughts. The mind measures compares, and describes.
  • One of the biggest lies our mind has convinced us of is the story that we are a body and a mind.
  • Another story our mind has convinced us of is the story about time. Time is an illusion, a mental concept created by the mind.
  • All that really exists is this present moment. Past and future exist only in the form of thought.
  • You don’t have to eliminate your mind or go to war with your mind. Awareness is your way out of the turmoil of the mind.
  • When you observe your thoughts instead of getting lost in them, you see them what they are; something separate from you that you can either choose to believe or not.
Chapter 6 – Understanding the Power of Feelings

  • When you are free of all negative feelings, what remains is the Infinite Awareness that you are and your life will be absolutely breathtaking.
  • Thoughts create feelings. The kinds of thoughts you have will create the same kind of feelings.
  • What you feel inside will match precisely with your experience in the outside world.
  • Feeling good is true nature. Whenever you feel good, it means you must have let go of bad feelings, enabling good feelings to naturally arise.
  • Positive and good feelings are a result of saying ‘Yes’ to what’s happening in life. Negative feelings are a result of thinking or saying ‘No’ about what is happening in life.
  • Positive feelings are completely effortless because they’re our true nature. Negative feelings require a huge amount of energy to maintain.
  • From the time we were children we have unconsciously suppressed countless negative feelings, which are now stored in our subconscious mind.
  • When you have a negative experience that causes bad feelings unless you let go of the negative feeling completely, it ends up being pushed down and suppressed inside you.
  • Letting off steam or venting isn’t the answer. That will just add more energy to our already suppressed emotion because expressed feelings get suppressed too.
  • A suppressed feeling will find an outlet to take some pressure off the body, so it will find the people, circumstances, or events to enable some of its built-up energy to be released.
  • When you next experience a negative emotion sweeping over you, remember that no matter how it might appear to you, you’re experiencing it because it is already inside you – not because an outside person or circumstance caused it.
  • Negative feelings are energized even further when we believe that a negative feeling is who we are.
  • Question every negative feeling with, “Am I that, or am I the one that is aware of it.”
  • Notice that feelings appear and then disappear and that it’s you, Awareness, that is aware of them coming and going.
  • Don’t expect people, circumstances, and events to change for you to feel better. To change how you feel at any given moment is always an inside job.
Chapter 7 – The End of Negative Feelings

  • Happiness is your natural state of being, so if you don’t feel happiness right now then you have a negative feeling that is stopping that happiness from being present.
  • Be aware of negative feeling without resisting it, expressing it, or judging it in any way and see that it’s just a feeling.
  • The energy behind a negative feeling will naturally release when you allow the feeling to be present. It’s an automatic process.
  • Welcoming is a practice that eradicates negative feelings. Welcoming is the opposite of resiting. Welcoming says to a negative feeling, “Yes, you are welcome here.”
  • In the beginning, it can be helpful if when you open your attention, you also open your arms out to the sides of the body. You can consciously open your heart too.
  • Use the welcoming process for anything that makes you feel bad, any negative thoughts or stories, negative feelings, painful sensations or memories, and limiting beliefs.
  • When you have allowed a bad feeling to be present and you haven’t suppressed it, that feeling will never be as strong in you again.
  • Every negative feeling is there to direct you back home to who you are. They alert you to the fact that you’re believing stories that are not true, so you can welcome those feelings and live your life as the magnificent Awareness that you truly are.
  • A negative emotion only arises when you’re ready to be free of it.
  • When you release your negative feelings around a subject you feel strongly about, you are releasing all the energy you have focused on it and are disempowering the circumstances surrounding the subject.
  • When we welcome a suppressed feeling evoked from a memory, all the hundreds and thousands of thoughts attached to that painful memory will be released with the feelings.
  • The lightness, the happiness, and the high you feel as you release the feelings attached to painful memories cannot be described.
  • The super practice:
    Step 1: Welcome anything negative.
    Step 2: Stay as Awareness (loving Awareness is one way to stay as Awareness).
Chapter 8 – No More Suffering

  • You are not meant to suffer. And when you are living as your true self, Awareness, you will never suffer.
  • Suffering is caused by believing negative thoughts. So suffering is self-imposed.
  • If we resist what’s happened, we’ll hold the situation to us and we’ll continue to suffer.
  • Ask yourself this question, “Am I the one suffering or am I the one aware of suffering?” The truth is that you are the one that is aware of the suffering rather than the one suffering.
  • There is one belief, in particular, that’s the root cause of all the suffering in the world. It’s the belief that we’re a separate person.
  • Problems exist only in the human mind. Problems are not real. Problems are only imagined.
  • To experience a problem-free life, instead of believing your mind, use the power of your Awareness to become aware of your mind.
  • When we give our attention to a problem, we energize the problem and it gets bigger. When we shift our attention away from the problem, the problem disappears because all the energy has been removed from it.
  • Once you have taken your attention off any problem, you can use your mind to create what you want by focusing your mind and your thoughts on what you want.
  • Use the power of your Awareness to be aware of your mind’s negative thoughts and stories, thereby dissolving them and you will be free of all problems and sufferings.
Chapter 9 – Dissolving Limited Beliefs

  • A belief is just a thought that we think over and over again until we believe it. All beliefs are limited because they come from the mind.
  • A belief is stored in our subconscious mind where it operates as an automatic program.
  • Beliefs will continually project themselves into your life and make themselves true.
  • Whatever circumstances are appearing in your life currently are being generated by your belief system.
  • Be very aware when you hear yourself say, “I believe” or “I don’t believe,” because immediately following those words is a belief.
  • Be very aware when you hear yourself say, “I think” or “I don’t think,” because most likely what will follow that will also reveal a belief.
  • Question everything. Through questioning, we can discover limiting beliefs we’re holding on to that are obscuring the truth.
  • While beliefs remain stored in the subconscious mind, they will automatically continue to play out in your life. But the moment you become truly aware of a belief you hold, the belief is dismantled.
  • Every belief you become aware of and consequently dissolve will propel your life to heights of freedom, abundance, lightness, and joy.
  • You can give the subconscious mind an instruction to highlight your beliefs for you, so you can become more aware of them, “Show me my beliefs clearly one by one, so I become aware of each and every one of them.”
  • When a belief dissolves, it also takes with it the thousands upon thousands of thoughts attached to that belief, which have also been buried in the subconscious mind.
  • We don’t realize that it’s our beliefs that make our life so heavy and make us feel older and that it’s our beliefs that hold us back from having the life we deserve.
  • To expose your beliefs, be aware of your reactions. Reactions are actually beliefs in disguise.
  • All you have to do when you notice yourself reacting is, become aware of the reaction. When you’re aware of the reaction, you take the power out of it.
Chapter 10 – Everlasting Happiness

  • You are happiness. It is your true nature! Happiness, a never-ending wellspring of happiness, is right here inside you.
  • There’s no other happiness but the happiness of your true self, Awareness. The happiness you have felt at any time in your life is the happiness of Awareness.
  • There’s nothing better for your life circumstances than you feeling happy. The happier you are, the more effortless is your life.
  • When we seek happiness in the world, our happiness is fleeting.
  • We can enjoy all the wonderful things that we want to be, do, or have in the world but we can enjoy those things with the full knowledge that the only place to find real, permanent happiness is within us.
  • Your thoughts determine how you’re feeling, so if you’re not happy it’s because you’re thinking about something you don’t want.
  • Standing between you and permanent happiness and who you really are is one thought – “I don’t want this.”
  • When you feel pain or some hurt from a situation, let that hurtful feeling be a wake-up call telling you that right now you are believing negative thoughts that are not true.
  • Many of us unintentionally resist being happy.
  • Simply by realizing that we’ve been resisting happiness we take most of the power out of the suppressed belief that has been causing us to resist happiness.
  • We don’t have to do anything to be happy. Instead, we need to stop doing what we’re doing that’s making us unhappy.
  • There is only one thing that causes unhappiness – attachment.
  • Attachment comes when we hold on to something for fear of losing it because we believe that we can’t be happy without it.
  • Often our attachments make up the identity of the person we think we are and we feel that if we dropped our attachments we would lose our identity. So we cling to our attachments when all along they rob us of our happiness.
  • What is actually attached is not you but your mind. It’s the mind that has attachments. Who you really are is not attached to a single thing.
  • To free yourself of attachments all you have to do is just stay as Awareness, more and more, and all of your attachments will drop one by one.
  • You can be happy in this very moment no matter what is going around you. Happiness is not something you have to look for or wait for.
  • You can’t acquire happiness; you can only BE it. If you are happy, you are being your true self.
  • If you’re not feeling happy, remember to welcome any feeling that isn’t happiness and allow it to be present without trying to change it or get rid of it.
  • The more you welcome unhappy feelings the more you will feel the happiness of your true self increasing every day.
Chapter 11 – The World All is Well

  • The world as we believe it to be, solid and concrete, out there existing separately from us, the only reality, is an illusion.
  • At its deepest level, the entire physical structure of our world and everything in it is nothing more than empty space.
  • Matter is mind. Everything appearing as solid and material, our whole physical world and Universe, is actually images projected by the mind.
  • The contents of your dream and your experience of the dream are entirely man-made, just as your experience of the world when you are awake takes place entirely in your mind.
  • The power that can turn thoughts into an apparent Universe is Infinite Awareness, the only power there is.
  • The Universe came out of Consciousness and Consciousness, which is infinite, is the very foundation and underlying substance of our Universe and everything in it.
  • The world, the Universe, and everything in it including your body is in Awareness. They are all sitting in and on Awareness.
  • While we remain attached to our own beliefs and the belief that we are separate individuals, the world will never be at peace. Billions of egos will always create strife.
  • Your freedom from any suffering doesn’t depend on the world coming to peace; it depends on your seeing that you have mistaken yourself for only a person, and on your experiencing yourself as the one and only Infinite Being.
  • No matter how things appear in the world, all is always, always well.
Chapter 12 – The End – There is No End

  • There is no such thing as death as we think of it. The body dies but the spirit cannot be touched by death.
  • To die before you die means to die to the idea of being a person and to realize the Infinite Awareness that you really are.
  • When the body ends, Awareness and Consciousness remain as always – fully aware and fully alive.
  • When we know the truth, life becomes light and full of ease. There is a lot of laughter, unbridled love, and total enjoyment of everything that happens. Deep love and compassion arise for humanity and every living thing.
  • Your real self is the only permanence in existence. Everything else comes and goes, appears and disappears.
  • Having a life on earth is like having an avatar in a computer game. In our human life, we also get a new body every time we die until we “finish the game” by waking up and fully realizing who we are – Awareness.
  • As your true self you will have even more fun than you’ve ever had. You will do all the things you did before. The only difference is that you will do everything in continuous happiness and peace.
  • The only purpose in life is to be the totality of who we are.
  • Very often it’s through our sufferings that we begin to wonder what life is all about. For many their sufferings have led them right into the paradise of their very own self.
  • When you know that all is well no matter what, you are finally free from any motion of negativity and your presence will soothe others tremendously in their sufferings.
  • Awareness is your way out of all suffering; it is your ket to immortality, and a life of laughter, joy, abundance, beauty, and bliss.
  • When you see love anywhere in the world, realize it is you.
  • When anything hurts you in life, without exception it’s a wake-up call telling you you’re going in the wrong direction – you’re believing something that isn’t true.
  • The end for all of us is to realize, to remember, and to recognize who we truly are – eternal Awareness.

  • Affirmation – I intend to be fully conscious of my true nature, Awareness. I intend to fulfill my purpose and live my life in the joy of the Infinite Awareness that I am. I have made the decision to be the eternal, indestructible pure Awareness that I am.
  • The Awareness practice:
    Step 1: Ask yourself “Am I aware.”
    Step 2: Notice Awareness.
    Step 3: Stay as Awareness.
  • Shift your attention to Awareness by noticing Awareness multiple times throughout the day.
  • Give five minutes a day, at the very least, to put your attention on Awareness. You can do it when you first wake up, when you get into bed, or at any other time that suits you.
  • Question every negative feeling with – “Am I that or am I the one that is aware of it?”
  • You can use the same question (“Am I that or am I the one that is aware of it?”) for any negative thoughts or painful body sensations.
  • The super practice:
    Step 1: Welcome anything negative.
    Step 2: Stay as Awareness.
  • Ask yourself this question “Am I the one suffering or am I the one that is aware of the suffering?” The truth is that you are the one that is aware of the suffering rather than the one suffering.
  • Be very aware when you hear yourself say, “I believe” or “I don’t believe” because immediately following those words is a belief.
  • Be very aware when you hear yourself say, “I think” or “I don’t think” because most likely what will follow that will also reveal a belief.
  • You can give the subconscious mind an instruction to highlight your beliefs for you so you can become more aware of them, “Show me my beliefs clearly one by one so I become aware of each and every one of them.”
  • To expose your beliefs, become aware of your reactions.
  • Welcome any and all feelings of resistance.
  • To free yourself of any attachments or problems, welcome them and just stay as Awareness.
  • If you’re not feeling happy, remember to welcome any feeling that isn’t happiness and allow it to be present without trying to change it or get rid of it.
  • Awareness says “Yes” to absolutely everything. Awareness allows for the freedom of everything to be the way it is because the world and everything in it is Awareness – its own self.
  • Stop and be present right now because Awareness can only be recognized in its present moment.