Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week 4 - Surrender

"At some point, to go beyond the mind, the power of intention has to be turned to a deep abiding surrender....Pure surrender has to be living with what is, as it is, as God." ~Swami Abhayananda from The Supreme Self

What is, at the moment, is that we're dancing on the cusp of winter. Disguised in glorious sunshine and temperatures in the 50's, I see how easy it could be to be lulled into believing the next four months won't be as dark and as bone-chilling as they will.

In all honesty, I secretly enjoy when the weather takes this turn towards winter. I love when she rages inhospitably with no apology, with the sub-zero reminder that if we don't take the utmost care of ourselves while in her clutches out in the world, all could be lost. I feel the urgency of this most simple act of survival. It clarifies things for me to know beyond a doubt that our judgments and expectations of what Mother Nature offers in her most unforgiving moments mean nothing. We are reduced to our most powerless state, just like our ancestors before us. Surrender. Nature teaches us -- be humble or perish.

In our day and age the lesson of "be humble or perish" isn't as much a matter of life and death of the body as it is of our soul. We spend so much of our lives feeling cut off from Nature, from others and consequently ourselves that our souls are literally starving to death. Until we find that way to connect with the mystery from which we all came, until we learn to surrender, we will continue to feel separate and alone.

In both cases, the lesson is the same -- communing is the key to survival.

If the past four weeks have taught me anything, it's that meditation -- or any practice for that matter -- requires this same humility. A willingness to let go and let the universal energy, the creative process, engage with us and move us to new heights, to a place not only beyond expectation, but beyond imagination. This lives in the poet who comes upon the ideal turn of phrase to best encapsulate a profound experience, the musician who hears and transcribes a song that embodies the pain of a recent loss, or the child who dances with abandon to no music whatsoever, unashamed and unafraid. This is surrender in its purest form -- an admission that we understand that our lives are an invitation to participate with Source rather than independent of it. An acknowledgement that we are not here alone to live this life, but we are one with the creative force that inspires -- literally brings breath to -- all of us.

One meditation this past week yielded the following phrase: Wise and compassionate Universe, I surrender myself here to connect with Source.

I didn't know what I was asking for when this intention came -- and stuck -- but it works for me. When I utter these words as I begin my meditation, I connect to a place of humility within myself. A place where I don't have to try. A place where I'm not looking for answers or anything in return, but simply to show up to Source and hang out a while -- to keep each other company, if you will. It helps me to see that meditation isn't about becoming disciplined or even enlightened, but is about freeing myself from my own sense of pride, my own sense of isolation, feeling like I have to live this life by my own wits and effort alone. And by doing so, it allows me to connect with all of the beauty and wonder that surrounds me and recognize myself in it.

It seems ironic that by showing up and doing nothing and expecting nothing, I receive the greatest gift of all -- connection. Yes, it's harder than it looks. But if that's all it takes, count me in.//

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