This Mystical Tidbits post was inspired by current events relevant to the
previous post and those that came before it and will come after it, in chapter
eight of the Bhagavad Gita.
I have recently come out of my metaphoric cave and been presented in
Connecticut. It has been an education. While I have been telling people about the
practice of Surrender Meditation, they have been hearing something else entirely.
It seems that the word ‘surrender’ has a different meaning to them than it has to
me, and that I will either have to find a way to get this difference across, or
change the name of this exquisite practice we now call Surrender Meditation.
From what I am hearing, it seems that the word ‘surrender’ has become trendy,
and amounts to getting out of one’s own way when in the midst of a challenge of
some kind or other, and to not try to control things but go with the flow, etc. The
element of abandoning one’s attachment to getting a certain outcome is more to
the point. I applaud this. It is a very good practice, and a prelude to real
surrender. Though it has elements of surrender, it is not surrender as I mean it,
and would more aptly be defined as a ‘momentary renunciation of attachment’.
Scriptural texts on the subject of surrender yoga are plentiful, and all are in
agreement that real surrender is the full surrender of oneself to God (whatever
your name is for That) under certain conditions meant to make this degree of
The purpose of this practice is union (yoga) with God—union, unity, communion,
reunion, unification, with Truth—and liberation from the cycles of birth and
death. It is not about navigating life, though this is inevitably affected in the
Surrender Yoga requires that the proper conditions are in place, and that one
fully surrenders oneself to God within this context by abandoning the personal
sense of being the one doing things, or being the cause of actions—thoughts,
bodily movements, feelings, or even falling asleep…etc. One does not try to
control what happens or doesn’t happen, but abandons these kinds of desires,
along with the expectations and preconceived ideas associated with them.
What I am calling ‘real surrender’ as it is taught in mystical texts on Yoga, and my
own lineage of teachers, is the full surrender of oneself to God—the whole
package, not just the mind, not just feelings, and not just the body, but all of it.
This surrender is not just an ah-ha moment of realization in the midst of life in
Real surrender requires that you know what you are surrendering (yourself) and
what you are surrendering it to (God). These two keys are vital. Then your
surrender will protect you and take you to the Divine, God, Truth, the Absolute.
You get what you surrender to, whether you are aware of what you
are surrendering to or not.
The trendy form of surrender is mild enough that you may not run into any
trouble with it, though there will be some who will. I have come across some of
these people. Just surrendering, or just opening up, is never a good idea. It is no
different than parking your car in a tough part of town with the windows down
and the key in the ignition. One must be clear on WHAT one is surrendering, and
WHAT one is surrendering it TO—and what that is, should always be God/Truth.
If you aren’t specific, anything can come along and drive away with your car.
To the degree that one can do this, to that same degree one is surrendered.
It takes time and practice like anything else, but with the proper conditions, it is
delightful and easy, and leads to profound experiences and jet-fast progress.
By resorting to God in this way, God will drive your car for you.
This is not a practice done in groups. And it is not for everyone. It is not a good fit
for someone who wants what the world has to offer in the way of enjoyments,
success, money, fame, family ties, approval, etc. It is only useful to those who are
interested in God, Truth, the Absolute, the Divine, the Real, and to whom this
comes first and is not at the bottom of a wish list.
Privacy is of paramount importance. You will not surrender much if there is
someone around, or if you can be heard, walked in on or interrupted. While
you might start out in less than perfect conditions, you must work toward this
kind of privacy.
Another component is time. One tries to practice during the same time-period
daily, for at least one hour. It is best not to do more than two hours a day if you
have duties and responsibilities that take most of your time. It is a seductive
practice, effortless, pleasant and laced with amazing experiences, and after some
time of regular practice, there may be a temptation to increase the time.
After a few months, you will begin to notice subtle changes in yourself, often
without knowing how or when they changed. This is God at work, taking care of
you, because you surrendered to That.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),