The attitude of surrender is one of the most powerful of all the spiritual principles on the path to wholeness. That moment of liberation from that which you were holding back. In essence, we are already whole, yet the fractured character structures, formed in each beings’ development, creates destructive, abusive and dis-empowered personalities, that must be acknowledged and released, before higher states of consciousness can be embodied. Surrender is a letting go of all that is not you. The great yogi’s say, we are not our minds or what our mental attachments are. The great yogi’s ask who is it that is attached to money, fame or success?
As we begin to recognize these immature and outdated character structures and patterns, we are already over a huge hurdle.. Once we see the energetic relationship we are having with our experiences, we can actively make choices from a place of higher awareness. A well-known quote emphasizes the need for change, when it says… The definition of insanity, is doing the same thing again and again and yet expecting different results. As we begin to recognize these reactive and repetitive character traits, we can consciously choose to respond, instead of react. By cultivating presence in our meditation practice, we are fine-tuning our conscious awareness – our master tool, to take out into the World and our relationships.
How then do we embody the attitude of surrender to ourselves and at the same time, to the experience we are having?
We can define surrender as an active detachment from attachments and outcomes. This is the gate to the way of the Tao. To embody this attitude, is to no longer mind what happens. We can bring presence to our experience without an attachment to how things go or when things manifest. At this point, a higher plane of existence and flow is potentially available to create from, fluid like water.
I see this attitude recognized in endearing characters like Winnie the Pooh, and Tha Dude in The Big Lebowski. Both characters do not care about the outcome. They are in the present flowing with what happens. Dissolving into the flow of the arising experience, takes away the pressure of knowing how things come together. As long as we have the awareness of what excites us and what is calling us at our more subtle levels, we can make the choices that resonate, free of concern. It is only our concerns that create mental blocks and control dramas in our lives. When we are free of concern, we are free to be as we are, and as we hold that vibration, others in our company will to feel that sense of freedom.
This attitude of surrender, like vulnerability, has been culturally represented in the West, as a weakness. Surrender, for example, is commonly related to the action of succeeding defeat in battle. A surrendering of power. In this case, we can see how it relates to our practice, through the surrendering of the egoic power structure of the mind. This control program, most of us have, can be seen, tamed and ultimately let go of. What we are letting go of is the attachment to this voice as a sense of Self. We are more than the thoughts we have, we are the container of the thoughts. When thoughts are not there, who are we? Surrender is the gateway to spiritual development and pure experience.
In recent weeks i have been cultivating a practice of active detachment through the Sufi teaching about the man and his camel. Paraphrasing, it goes something like this… A Sufi master was riding his camel with his apprentice, when they needed to stop for the night to sleep. The Master leaves the apprentice to deal with the camel, whilst he prepared the room. The apprentice, taking on his masters words about trusting Mohammad, decided not to tie up the camel and to trust in Mohammad. In the morning, as the two men came out, to begin their next day’s travel, the camel is nowhere to be seen. The Master turns to the apprentice and asks, what happened. The apprentice explained that he was following his guidance to trust Lord Mohammad, that He will look out for the camel and that he did not need to tie up the camel. The Master replied. Trust in Mohammad but tie up your camel first! This is suggesting that we do what we can, by taking an active approach, whilst trusting the process we are on. There is an element of trust that needs to be cultivated, living with such openness to any outcome.
In my own Life, i have had countless experiences that have called on me to trust deeply the unfolding play, when I’ve been in the eye of the storm, with no sense of which way to turn. Life constantly has its riches being offered to us. If we can find a place of neutrality with our experience we will flow with the symphony of Life itself and manifest our highest calling. Be aware, to reach our highest calling is to dive into the deepest depths of the shadow and return self illuminated. These are simply words yet the most courageous souls have come here for exactly this work and at some point we are all to surrender who we think we are to reach the heights of Heaven on Earth.
I would also like to highlight a little the relationship between passivity and surrender. Passivity is not compatible on the path of self development. It breeds inertia and laziness. Surrender in its noble sense is a meeting of an inner relationship to your perceived sense of self, the small self with a name and particulars, and a expansion into liberated consciousness. Passivity is, in no way, an attitude that cultivates the conditions, for the warrior within, to overcome the individual mountain, we all have to climb. We can use the principle of surrender to detach from how the mountain top will look and feel, or even if we get there..
Attitudes like patience and presence, are also intimately connected to the state of surrender. By cultivating patience in our process, either in meditation or out in the World, we are building persistence and perseverance, noble traits of Kings & Queens. By becoming bigger than our selfish self, we create an inner environment of centered-maturity. True & balanced Mother’s & Father’s, Brother’s & Sister’s, free from concerns and attachments.
Let us close our eyes.
Taking three deep breaths to relax us into our bodies.
Anchor yourself in the present momen, with each inhalation. …
As we exhale, we can let go of any attachments to the past, or concern about the future.
Letting go of any desired outcome to this meditation.
Become the meditation.
Witness the rise and fall of any thoughts sensations or sounds…
Let them be.
Surrender to the flow of pure existence.
This vast emptiness. Full of presence.
Rest in the stillness.
This inquiry into Surrender, has been written to be part of a tutorial series, that is part of an amazing meditation app called Souse Guru. Created with Martin Bone’s vision and guidance of meditation. I am honoured to be asked to contribute to this beautiful project, to spread this sacred art form we know as meditation.
You can download the app for free via this link which gives you access to the basic content. With monthly donations you gain access to a library of wisdom, including guided meditations, breath work, techniques, practices & podcasts.