Notes on the Book LETTING GO by David Hawkins, MD

Many of you know my praise of Dr Hawkins’ influence on thinking, reality and self-healing. Of all his books, this is the most personally relevent as an emotional human and as a guide to caring for emotional humans day in and day out in the trenches of Sun Acupuncture. I have suggested that many of my patients read this book and, I recognize a dedicated following exists, especially through the Facebook group of the same name.

So, for all of you familiar with this book, I offer you my “Cliff’s notes” for your continued growth and development.

The smaller self buys into the frightened, inadequate set of programs that we have unwittingly allowed to run us.  The purpose of letting go is to de-energize these programs so that they no longer run us; then, we are free to expand into the greater awareness of our Higher Self.

Look at the emotional complex, disassemble it into its component parts, let go of the negative aspects, and let go of our resistance to the positive ones (through payoffs).

Meditations from David Hawkins Letting Go


Since the 1950s there has been continual studies demonstrating various effects of electro-acupuncture in the local tissue, in the release of hormones, in the brain, and its adaptation for specific diseases. Much of what we know about how acupuncture affects the body comes from these studies because electro-acupuncture is reproducible, allowing the amount of stimulation to be controlled, limiting variables to what is being studied.

Apathy and Depression

Apathy is the belief, “I can’t”

o The biologic purpose is to summon aid, but part of the feeling is no help is possible

o Apathy around letting go appears as resistances

o The way out of apathy is to remind ourselves of our intention

o Another way out is to look at the payoff- face saving excuses that cover up fear- reframe as fear`

o To catalyze feelings- picture going through the process of something you “can’t” do

  • And/or replace “I can’t” with “I won’t”- then choose if you have the willingness

Blame- a big block with huge payoffs= innocence, self-pity, victim, sympathy magnate

o Cost= self-perception of weakness, vulnerability and helplessness = loss of freedom

o #1 recognize we are choosing to blame

o #2 let go of the payoffs

o We are only subject to a negative thought or belief if we consciously say that it applies to us.

Choose or “inner greatness”


“I’ll never get over this. This one is too difficult. I tried, but nothing helps.” We seek help because we don’t think we can do it ourselves (vs apathy which assumes there is NO help).

Men, in particular, hide a great deal of suppressed grief. It’s not manly to cry!

o When allowed to come up and be relinquished, the energy can shift to acceptance. Then “I can do this”, “I can handle it” means its shifted up into pride.

o Its time-limited, if we don’t resist it and totally surrender it, it will run out in 10-20 mins, then it will come up again later, and we release again. If we can tolerate overwhelming grief for this short time, it will not go on and on for years.

o As always, let go of shame and embarrassment if those come up. Our attachments create a dependency, and dependency, because of its nature, intrinsically carries with it a fear of loss.

The first state preceding loss is fear of loss.

o Defense #1: increase intensity of the attachment to strengthen its bonds

o Defense #2: denial- all the warning signs are there but we don’t take heed.

o INSTEAD: Ask, what is the purpose the person or object [or my body] serves in my life? What emotions would arise if I lost that? Clear on those fears one by one. Continual release of our attachment can actually PREVENT grief. “When the source of happiness is found within, we are immune to the losses of the world”

There may be anger, resentment and self-pity when the illusion is threatened.

Guilt- is loss punishment?


Worries are chronic fears. Anxiety is a state of fear.

Fear of retaliation leads to anger at the object itself which is higher calibration. Release fear/anger and move up again to pride/courage

Experiment by letting go of fear of fear itself- can be useful for moving one up from depression

Fear is easy to release, simply pay attention to the body sensations, they are not that bad. Stay with them.

Imagine worst case scenario and clear all resultant emotions/sensations

Remember: what we hold in the mind tends to manifest

To counter control: If their happiness were best served by leaving me, how would I feel about it?

Fear is healed by love (global release?)

Fear of what’s buried in the subconscious (Jung’s shadow)- to work with the shadow its important to have a sense of humor. The shadow isn’t polite; its crude and uncivilized. Its all the darkest stuff on tv within us.

Fear itself is the greatest danger that the human body faces. Consider all the energy to box up the shadow that could be used for love/integration/function/vitality.

We could take the same protective actions out of love rather than out of fear.

GUILT– accompanies all other emotions; shoulds, fear of reprisal as a child,

o “Physical disease is unlikely to exist without guilt, and guilt is a denial of our inner intrinsic innocence”

o We are the true blank computer upon which programming happens

o “Guilt is the consequence of the memory of regretted past actions as they are recalled. These can be transcended only by recontextualization. Mistakes are the natural, impersonal consequence of learning and development and therefore unavoidable.”

o “One immediate discovery was that every negative feeling or thought is associated with guilt, and this guilt is so all-encompassing that it is constantly being suppressed. Thus, there is no such thing as just anger. The actual feeling is anger/guilt. There is guilt every time we have a critical thought about someone. The mind’s constant judging and criticizing of the world, its events and people, is an unending source of guilt. Guilt itself engenders negative feelings, and negative feelings in and of themselves also engender guilt.”

o “Relief of guilt and greater compassion for oneself and others occur through realizing that the individual person did not volitionally create the structure of the ego, nor did anybody else. The human condition is primarily a karmic ‘given’.”

o “Judge ye not, lest ye be judged”


The underlying quality of this emotion is its drivenness

The essential question is, have we chosen consciously to fulfill a certain want, or are we just being blindly run by unconscious programs and belief systems?

Things come into our life through intention, because we have chosen it. This happens in spite of desire because what desire really attunes to is, “I do not have”

This involves the unconscious genie, which can only take orders and not make decisions (so negative beliefs also have power if kept in the mind)

Intention: Surrender the emotion of desire and, instead, choose the goal, picture it lovingly, and allow it to happen because we see that it is already ours.

Exercise: Write down personal goals. Surrender the desire for them.

Blocks: unconscious guilt, smallness, sacrifice is needed, pride in achievement.

Glamour- the aura, flash and attractive magnetic effect vs the thing itself

o Dissect away exaggeration, fantasy and romanticizing

Selfishness- immediately brings up guilt, which traps us in self-indulgence (positive feedback loop)

o Let go of selfishness not because of guilt, it’s a “sin”, its “wrong”, but because its impractical. It doesn’t work. It’s too costly. It consumes too much energy


May be rooted in fear, so let go of the fear and let go of the anger

May be rooted in pride, especially vanity or self-sacrifice

o That which we want, desire and insist upon from another person is felt by them as pressure. They will, therefore, unconsciously resist. Instead, view our efforts on behalf of others as gifts

Acknowledgment- everyone is our mirror, reflecting back what we fail to acknowledge in ourselves- “What is that person asking me to become more aware of?”

Do not indulge in making ourselves and others “wrong”

This whole arena of anger can be offset and prevented when we see the enormous value of simply acknowledging the gestures of others toward us.

o Exercise: Pick someone in our life who, in our view, is critical toward us and begin to look at how we have failed to acknowledge them. (Once their value has been acknowledged the nagging stops.)

Expectations: We get what we want when we stop insisting on it.

Make the declaration, “I will no longer accept invalidation from myself or others.”


The humble person cannot be humiliated for they are immune to vulnerability

Defensiveness invites attack

The attempt to suppress pride out of guilt simply transforms it to spiritual pride

[Duality of Pride (puffed up self/chest) vs lesser/wounded self- most would pick pride!]

To surrender:

o What is the purpose of pride? What is the payoff? Why do I seek it? For what does it compensate? What do I have to realize about my true nature in order to let pride go without a feeling of loss?

o A higher level substitute would be joy

Its not what we have that matters, but how we hold it, how we frame it in our consciousness, and its meaning to us.

Gratitude is an antidote of pride

Opinions- a major source of pride- better to look at them as ideas we like or dislike- don’t claim ownership