A Meditation on Surrender

“It is important to understand that most of the karma that you go through doesn’t have to manifest if you can surrender. Surrender doesn’t mean getting up and not doing anything or not caring. Surrender is the ability to take the forces and energy of the mind, body, emotions, and all the dramas that are a part of your life, and to let them go so that you can be detached enough to experience the inner energy.”

– Sri Shambhavananda

So, surrender is one of the elusive subjects that is often misunderstood or gets a bad reputation as though it were synonymous with admitting defeat. Surrender is not waving the white flag and admitting defeat, it is a profound practice in which we consciously become aware of inner tensions within our being, and without fear or resistance we allow them to have their moment, and then dissolve them away. Surrender can be said to be the the practice of meditation itself because meditation requires you to abandon the habit of reaching towards something or pushing it away. It is this tug-of-war after-all that is the cause of our suffering.

An example would be something as common as sitting in traffic. Suppose you had an important appointment to attend and suddenly you found yourself stuck, bumper to bumper. Within your being you begin to feel a wave of different emotions battling for their chance at possessing your awareness. You feel first anxious, frantically looking for a way out of your situation. When there is no way out, you find immense anger and frustration building. This anger is then replaced by guilt and shame as you quickly begin to think about all the things you could have done differently before you left your home. These emotions stick with you and you realize later that your entire day has been deeply affected by circumstances you really had no control over.

Surrender is accepting that once you have done everything you can do, there’s nothing left to be done. You were already in traffic, you couldn’t go back and start the day over, you can’t talk to yourself in a self defeating tone and hope that it will suddenly get you to where you need to be on time. You are where you are, everything is as it is; so surrender is breathing deeply into this place, into this build up of tensions, and dissolving them away. It is the conscious recognition that in-spite of what may be playing upon the surface of your life, your inner nature remains unscathed. You learn to find your inner state of peace, and the more you practice, the less any external force will have the ability to move you from this stillness.

Surrender Meditation

Taken from “Sacred Journey: A Guide to Meditation in the Shambhava School of Yoga”

Compiled by Swami Kripananda

“Begin by finding a comfortable seat. Elongate the spine, relax your shoulders, and rest your head comfortable on the neck. Take a few deep breaths and try to create a feeling of relaxation and openness. Then draw a conscious breath through the nose, letting it wash over your forehead, down through the throat and into the heart. On the exhale, really feel yourself relax.

Again breathe into the heart, letting the breath drop very deeply into the heart. Allow the breath to expand beyond anything you experience, Any thought, any tension. Allow it to become bigger than the tension you feel, as big and as light as you can. As you breathe in, breathe in your wish, or intention to be free, to grow consciously. As you breathe out, just let everything go, not holding on to any feeling, thought or experience. Breathe in a complete willingness to be free.

When the breath expands beyond your tension, the pranic energy of the breath can work to break up or dissolve the tension you’re holding on to. So allow the energy to do something to help you. Allow the dissolving to take place. When you exhale, let everything go. Keeping your awareness inside, continue to take soft breaths into the heart, allowing yourself to expand beyond tension. Keep experiencing greater and greater spaciousness, and then release.”

This is an amazing practice we should all work on implementing into our daily life. With practice you will begin to perceive these frustrations and negative emotional states as simply a build up or movement of energy within your being. At this time you will have more inner spaciousness so you simply feel the energy which expresses as emotion, but you will not be forced to act or perceive through it. When this happens we begin to experience an inner freedom and a deepening of self-understanding and bliss.

It is also important to consider that even positive expressions are not worthy of your infinite being to cling to. There is a beautiful Zen story that comes to the surface:

A student goes to his master to share his recent experience in meditation.

Student: “My meditation has been horrible! I’ve been getting distracted, my legs ache, and I keep falling asleep!”

Master: “It will pass.”

A week later the student returns to the teacher to update him on his experience.

Student: “My meditation has been wonderful! I’ve been aware, peaceful, and it’s given me a great feeling of aliveness!”

Master: “It will pass.” 

May this serve you well!

Surrender into bliss,

Chris

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