As one participant highlighted during the seminar: when we surrender, there is no need to fight anymore. All too often surrender is seen as a weakness, but if we are able to see the empowerment which lies at its heart, then we feel encouraged to practise it more and more. And when we surrender our attachment to who we think we are, or how we think life works, or what we think we deserve, or what we think others expect of us, then we liberate ourselves: we become free to do whatever makes us happy, to give everything we have to whatever is in front of us and remain calm and balanced because the results – whatever they are – do not affect us.
It’s simple (but not necessarily easy), and it reflects what more and more people are doing with their possessions: let go of what you hold on to, and refrain from collecting more of the same. When you do, you’ll find that you need less and less of it, and that you are more appreciative of what remains because it’s all that you need to be happy. Furthermore, without the clutter, you see yourself and the world more clearly.
Surrender Can Be A Strength (p.448)
Written about someone who found it difficult to surrender his intellect in the face of the feedback and challenges from those around him, this piece underlines the importance of humility when it comes to evaluating ourselves. Given the near-arbitrary nature of our early development, what are the chances that we successfully hit on precisely the right strategies at the very first attempt? Very small. Therefore, unless we have defied the odds, there is work to be done. Surrendering to this premise alone, is a powerful step.
Complete Surrender (p.155)
‘Surrender to the task, surrender to the moment, surrender to life itself.‘ Those words carry the sense of (demotivating) enormity which is so easily associated with surrender. It seems such an ambitious goal; intimidating and out of reach. But all it takes is practice. And there are many opportunities each day to do that. Whenever you feel challenged, or whenever your emotions threaten to get the better of you, surrender to where you are; let go of your thoughts and feelings, and of what you think should be happening; and relax.
It’s okay to have goals, but there is no point in being attached to them. Either they will be realised, or not. Being attached to them makes no difference. Attachment and expectations are so often linked to disappointment and frustration because we invest so much of ourselves in them. Invest instead in the work – give everything – but remain unattached to the outcome. (The video below contains a good example of this at 05:10.)
Let Go (p.117)
A simple reminder to let go of your work when it is done. It has served you well, and if you can extract the full extent of your learning from the experience, then it will be even easier to let go. Again, practise this whenever you get the chance.
No Past, No Future, Just Today (p.472)
A beautiful piece inspired by a good friend of mine who prompted me to release myself from thoughts of the past and the future. It showed me how difficult it can be and how I needed to do it repeatedly (practise!) in order to gain any noticeable relief:
‘There were times, for instance, when my mind distracted me with thoughts from my recent past, transforming them effortlessly into doubts about my future. Moreover, I noticed how those thoughts affected my mood, creating dissatisfaction and making me judgmental of the people around me. It took a conscious effort to unhook myself from their weight, but the relief was only temporary because they came in waves.‘
Detach, Don’t Disengage (p.183)
Another example of how easily we contaminate the purity of the present moment with our attachments to past and future. In in this example those attachments were used to try and amplify the feeling of well-being I experienced by being totally present and with myself. They didn’t work, and it was only when I returned to the present that the peace and contentment returned.
There is clearly some overlap between surrender and non-attachment, yet in other ways they have very different meanings. They complement and confirm each other, pleading with us to embrace the power which each of them brings, and offering us the chance to free ourselves of the baggage we have been carrying with us for all these years. More than that, by making a habit of them we can remain free because anything which drags us out of where we are right now can be surrendered. And in that freedom, we catch a glimpse of who we truly are and who we have always wanted to be.
Additional posts: Surrendering To Your Process | The Necessity of Surrender | Too Arrogant To Surrender | Attachment & Feedback | We Already Know | How Potent The Attachment | Say Goodbye To The Old Life | Seeking The Truth