Surrendering isn’t always my strong suit. There has been and still is a bit too much fear in my system for a peaceful surrender to what is when that fear has just been triggered.
Choosing to surrender and then make it happen doesn’t seem possible. But it may be possible to invite in surrender in different ways. For instance, we can mimic surrender and create a new habit for ourselves, and we can explore what blocks surrender in us.
First, what is surrender?
I am probably not the best one to write about it, but I’ll give it a go:
Surrender is when “my will” is God’s will. When I am open to what’s here. When I recognize it’s too late to do anything about it, and struggling with it only creates suffering and distracts from more clear, kind, and proactive ways of dealing with the situation.
What’s God’s will? It’s what’s here. We can call it life.
Why are we not already surrendered?
Because of a sense of separation, and identifying as an object in the world.
In reality, to ourselves, we are what our experiences happen within and as – all our senses and thoughts, including what we label as this human self and the wider world.
If this is clearly seen, and it has gone through our whole human being, there is nothing to struggle against since it’s all what we are. We may not like what’s happening, at a human level, but we also know what’s going on and that struggling is ultimately nonsensical and futile.
This is part of the play of life, or existence, or the universe, or the divine. It’s life etc. exploring itself as also this. It’s the infinite taking itself to be finite. Oneness taking itself to be separate.
How can I support surrender?
Through discovering and becoming more familiar with what I am. The more I get familiar with what I am and explore how to live from it, the more surrender tends to come in. They are two sides of the same coin. Headless experiments and the Big Mind process are approaches that can give us a taste of this relatively quickly.
Through healing as a human being. Unhealed parts of me are by definition caught up in separation consciousness and unexamined and unloved fear. As these heal, it feels more safe to surrender.
Through dialog with surrender, I can get to know (how I imagine) surrender. I can dialog with surrender, hear how it sees this human self, and ask for advice. The Big Mind process is one way to do this.
Through inquiry, I can identify and explore what in me resists surrender. There will be a lot of identities and beliefs here. And at the bottom, unexamined and unloved fear.
Through devotional practices, I open myself up to what’s larger than this separate self. I open myself up to all of existence, to the divine.
Through prayer, I can align myself with surrender. I can sow the seeds of surrender, for instance with the prayer “let Your will be done”.
Through gratitude, I open to the obvious or potential blessing in whatever is here in my life. This can be supported by a conventional gratitude practice or an all-inclusive one. An all-inclusive practice helps open the mind for the unknown and the potential gifts in what’s happening that I don’t like.
Through a more open heart, invited by different heart-centered practices, including tonglen, ho’oponopono, metta, prayer, devotional practices, and so on.
Through giving it all to the divine. Visualize you are giving everything – your body and mind, your life, the world – to the divine. Feel you are giving it all to the divine. (This is a form of surrender and a reminder that it all already belongs to the divine.)
Through asking for surrender. Ask the divine for surrender, for being surrendered.
Through being honest with ourselves. As Adya says, real honesty feels like a confession. It’s humbling. It opens to surrender.
Through service. To the extent this is done sincerely, we will have to gradually surrender more.
Through following ethical guidelines. We are surrendering to how we (likely, roughly) would act if we were more clear.
Dialog with surrender
Can I speak to surrender?
Yes. I am here.
Who or what are you?
I am something some humans aspire to, and they can open to me and bring me more into their life. Everybody has me in them since surrender is their nature. But I am usually covered up by fear, identifications, beliefs, and so on.
How does P. relate to you?
He knows I am good for him, and he wants to bring me into his life, but he is struggling. A big part of it is some deep fear and trauma in his system, including survival fear. It makes it difficult for him to trust. He feels he needs to be in charge to stay safe, and he sometimes feels he needs to struggle to stay safe.
What advice do you have for him?
See if you can find a way to relax and be less hard on yourself. You are doing well. You have gone through a lot over the last few years. Also, see if you can find more trust in life. Bring attention to all the things you have and what is going well. Surrender is a process.
Thank you. Can I speak with Big Mind?
What is surrender to you?
I am surrender. There is nothing outside of me. The more I recognize myself, and do so locally as you, the less struggle seems useful and the more surrender happens naturally.
There are many sides to surrender, as hinted at above. Some practices mimic surrender and helps us find it in ourselves. Other practices helps identify and remove blocks to surrender.
Some, like prayer, are a more second-person form of surrender. While others, like Headless experiments, are more of a first-person form of surrender.
They all support each other and the process.