Surrender involves the letting down of individual barriers to merge into the otherness of experience. True surrender comes by knowledge. Untrue surrender comes by fear. I think that surrender begins by accepting our negative side.
Surrender can only begin by accepting that the dark nature is ours.
The dark nature lives in the secrets we create and keep.
Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser. Surrender evokes the unpleasant images of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. Captured criminals surrender to the authorities.
In our competitive world we’re taught to never quit trying, never give up, and never give in - so we don’t hear much about surrendering. If winning is everything, surrendering is unthinkable.
Surrendering is not passive resignation, fatalism, or an excuse for laziness. It is not accepting the status quo. Surrendering is not putting your brain in neutral and giving up rational thinking. Surrendering is not repressing your personality.
There is a great deal of fear surrounding surrender, especially if we reveal our secrets - see them, acknowledge and accept the content of them. When we deal with our fears, bringing them to consciousness and releasing them to love, we can then allow trust. In this state of being we are magnets of the highest love, light and joy available to us here on the planet. We have the choice.
Usually an in-depth view of our shadow leaves us feeling tender and washed out, and often with a sense of failure. It even might leave us with a sense of disorientation as to who we are and where we are in relation to the world around us. In this state of not knowing, we are the most likely to have an experience of surrender.
Most of us are terrified of surrender because we think it implies no longer being in charge, no longer being in control of our lives. In actuality, that is exactly the goal. A state of surrender means we no longer make claims such as "I did this or that" or "I accomplished this or that." Instead we recognize that everything we do is the result of divine energy moving in and through us.
"Non-surrender hardens your psychological form, the shell of the ego, and so creates a strong sense of separateness...Not only your psychological form, but also your physical form, your body, becomes hard and rigid through resistance. Tension arises in different parts of the body and the body contracts. The free flow of life energy through the body, which is essential for its healthy functioning, is greatly restricted. Bodywork and certain forms of physical therapy can be helpful in restoring this flow, but unless you practice surrender in your everyday life, those things can only give temporary symptom relief since the cause 'the resistance pattern' has not been dissolved. There is something within you that remains unaffected by the transient circumstances that make up your life situation, and only through surrender do you have access to it. It is your life, your very Being, which exists eternally in the timeless realm of the present. Finding this life is 'the one thing that is needed'."
- The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
Ishvara pranidhana is usually translated as "surrender or devotion to God," a practice that is at the core of every spiritual path. But another name for God is "reality"--the life energy that flows through every circumstance and makes things happen the way they do. Much of our suffering comes from the simple refusal to accept that reality. So, moment to moment, Ishvara pranidhana is the choice to open up to what is actually going on inside us and around us.
It's the attitude of deep acceptance that lets us experience the inevitable hardships and disappointments of life without resistance, without constantly wishing that things were different. Surrendering instantly gives us back the energy we have been spending in resisting our lives, in feeling victimized, frustrated, or despairing. It is the most profound form of alignment with reality--and it opens us to love.
In physical terms, you practice surrender when you consciously relax into full awareness of a part of your body that hurts, rather than resisting the discomfort. Surrender can also mean, in the language of the 12-step movement, "turning over" your situation to a higher power, with the understanding that there are things your personal will does not have the power to change on its own.
Buddhist psychotherapist Mark Epstein would probably agree. Epstein has said that what makes a person resilient is "accepting the truth of impermanence"--that is, the fact that life is ever-changing and that the self we think we are is actually just a shifting kaleidoscope of temporary thoughts and feelings.
The sages of Hindu Tantra would express the same idea in different language. They would say that when our egos let go of their need to control reality, we align ourselves with the intrinsic power at the heart of all phenomena. That's when solutions arise, spontaneously, to seemingly insoluble problems.
How real are your secrets? How real are your reasons for keeping them? Think of a secret you have aboutyourself. Where are you holding it? It must be kept somewhere - where are you keeping it? By it's nature, thesecret is a dis-ease. The longer and more deeply the secret is held the more power the dis-ease has. Surrendering to the truth, the reality (i.e. "I come from a poor family - I am not really as rich as I look", "I've had an abortion", "I am gay", "the scars on my arms are from a suicide attempt - not flying through a window whenI was fifteen like I tell people") disempowers the disease.
Once we become balanced and have the basics of our needs met within the wholeness of who we are, we are ready to move further into an expanded state of joyous celebration and freedom.
This freedom is created at the core of being that is unencumbered with attachment and resonates with openness and harmony with universal flow. It allows us to completely live in the moment and to manifest our desires without any attachment to the outcome. This is true surrender to magnificence and allows the universe to expand upon our desires beyond our wildest dreams. We move into the unlimited possibilities and magic for our lives and co-create the harmonious and peaceful world we all envision.
From "Talks With Babaji" © 1995 Sri Rama Publishing