Friday, September 24, 2010

What is the Meaning of Surrender in Spiritual Practice?

One of four healing prescriptions from the Path of the Sacred Feminine

Have you ever thought that surrendering to Spirit meant resigning in defeat? Surrender somehow meant giving up and throwing out everything you have been doing. Surrender was like waving the white flag and giving yourself over to your enemy to be tortured and executed. It meant walking away from what you held dear to you. Surrender was a difficult endeavor and the last resort.

Surrender in spiritual practice is actually much more inviting than this perception; however, it is no less difficult. It is difficult because ultimately surrender means letting go of everything. In spiritual surrender we give up our attachment to specific beliefs and desired outcomes; we let go of our preconceived ideas about how things should be and rest in the wisdom of a greater Divine knowledge. We stop attempting to figure things out for a while and we return to Source, allowing ourselves to be in complete service to the Divine Consciousness.

The challenge is in stopping the machinations of our mind and compassionately witnessing our intense feelings, so that we can let go into the serenity and peace of not knowing. It is from the not-knowing—the realm of all possibilities—that we emerge refreshed and renewed with a truer sense of what is next for us. We may discover that the very same goals we had prior to surrender are still appropriate, and now we are able to approach those goals with a clearer sense of purpose and trust. Or we may find that the goals and desires we have been clinging to are now out-dated, so to speak, needing to be replaced with more relevant considerations.

In surrender, we let go of it all—what we perceive to be good, bad, right, wrong, helpful or limiting. We disengage from the duality, where we may have been feeling trapped. In doing so, we are free to receive new input that may demonstrate to us better and more effective goals or means of achieving our greatest desired outcomes. We may learn that there are other approaches more in alignment with our own awakening and the awakening of others.

If you think of surrender as letting go of your individual will and opening to God’s will, or if you would like some really wonderful concrete examples, I like this article at Meditate for Life:

Even the author of the article above agrees: surrender requires much effort, but it does not have to be a struggle. This is a surrender to a quiet mind and still emotions so that you can know what is beyond the struggle. You might find it helpful to think of the effort as what is needed to fully surrender to love. This is not a surrender to romantic, sexual, friendly, parental or conditional love, but it is a surrender to agape—the highest form of universal, unconditional love. This is a surrender in which you allow yourself to trust in the Divine without any care about how things should be. It is a choice to rest in the Divine and allow yourself to be nourished.