Trying to get out beyond the breakers today, past the white water and fast coming waves was “gnarly”. I was spun and brought to my knees, my mop of hair slathering my face and doing somersaults at least 30 times just trying to get onto my surf board and paddling out beyond the initial surf. Learning how to surrender and keep going was indeed, a humbling experience. At times I had to just hang back and wait to catch my breath. What surprised me most is how much I laughed and kind of enjoyed how hard the process was and credit this for being the reason I didn’t get hurt. This got me thinking- How often do we seek challenge? How do we approach it? What does surrender look like?
Here’s my initial brainstorm of images and thoughts:
Breathing into pain and challenge.
Trusting something greater than yourself, a divine intelligence.
Offering your neck.
Waving the white flag.
Opening your heart.
Becoming a slave to a master.
Diving into the unknown.
Letting the waves take you and not fighting.
Dropping your battle axe.
What comes up for you? Where do you resist the invitation to surrender? Do you hate pooping next to other people in public bathrooms? Do you have a hard time letting someone else drive or lead? Do you enjoy letting go? When?
Why all this talk about surrender? I think it’s interesting to consider how we define and relate to something, surrender being a complex topic. Let’s dust off this understanding and dive in, shall we?
Here is a really amazing read my gal pal sent me this week by OSHO on surrender and love. It helped me have a deeper, more clear experience with loving surrender, especially after getting my ass handed to me today surfing in biting waves. Read it when you feel like, just seeing this in my inbox, made me cringe. I waited a week to read this piece, I won’t judge ya for doing the same but I do invite to think about and feel into what surrender means to you…
Osho – There are a few things, you have to do them if you want to know them. There is no way to tell anything about them. And surrender is one of those things. It is a dimension of love, let-go. If you ask me what is surrender and what is the meaning of surrender, yes, something can be told to you, but that won’t carry any meaning. You have to taste it. It is a taste. If you taste it you know it. If you don’t taste it, I can talk about it, but you will not know it. Without your own experience, whatsoever I say will be a tautology.
You ask what is surrender. I say surrender is a let-go. But what am I saying? You will ask what is a let-go. It is a tautology; I have not answered you. I say a let-go is falling in love. It is a tautology again; I am not saying anything. You will say,’What is falling in love
then?” The question remains the same, and all answers will go round and round and round.
I have heard about a prudish, tight-lipped old maid who would not even allow her pet cat out of the house after dark. Headed for New York on one of her infrequent outings, she paused to remind the maid about locking up that cat each evening. This time in New York, however, the old maid encountered a handsome old rogue who swept her off
her feet. After four nights of blissful romancing she wired her maid, ”Having the time of my life. Let the cat out too!”
Let the cat out. When you know what love is, only then you know. There is no other way to know it. I am here creating a situation for you to surrender. Don’t ask for the meaning. Do it. Be courageous. Let it be an experience. Accept my invitation. My doors are open; enter and be my guest. Surrender.
By ”surrender,” in the West, a very wrong idea arises – as if you will be dominated by somebody – because surrender has a very wrong association. It has become almost a political word in the West. The Nazis surrendered; that’s how it has become associated with politics. A surrendered one is the one who is defeated. In the East we have a totally different meaning for the term. It has nothing to do with war and nothing to do with defeat. Have you not heard the proverb that in love defeat is the only victory? If you are defeated in love you have become victorious. Yes, that’s how it is in surrender.
It has nothing to do with defeat. It is not that you are being dominated by somebody. It is not that now somebody else is going to oppress you, exploit you, that you are becoming a slave. No, it is nothing of the sort. The surrender in the East is used as a technique. And the surrender has to be made only to a person who is no more, so he cannot dominate you. So this has to be remembered: don’t surrender to a person who is still there; otherwise he will dominate you and he will give you a discipline and he will start forcing you to do this and not to do that and he will create a prison around you.
That’s why I don’t give you any discipline. Even if you ask, I don’t give. You ask continuously because you want to depend, because you want to be a slave, because you don’t want to take your own responsibility. You want to throw the responsibility on somebody else. You are in search of a father figure; you want somebody to lead you. But I am not going to give you any discipline and I am not going to give you any clear-cut direction to do this and don’t do that. All that I am going to do is to share my awareness with you so you can become a little more aware, to share my love with you so you can become a little more loving. It has nothing to do with any discipline.
Coming closer to me, you will be able to imbibe my spirit. That is the meaning of surrender: that you are ready to come close to me, that you are not afraid, that you will not protect yourself against me, that you will not be defensive, that simply you are ready to come closer to me, that you are attracted, that you have heard my call, that something has clicked in your heart and you will try to know who this man really is, what manner of man. You would like to enter into my emptiness and be surrounded by my emptiness.
Sannyas is the visible effort of surrender. Many people come to me and they say, ”We don’t take sannyas. Can’t you help us?” I say, ”I will try my best, but it won’t be of much help because you will continuously protect yourself. You will be defensive.” Sannyas is just a gesture that ”Now drop my defenses and I am ready to go with you.”
Of course, it is risky. You don’t know me yet. How can you know? If you surrender you will know; you cannot know beforehand. So it is only for very courageous people. The daredevils – it is only for them. And I exist for daredevils, those who are ready to risk their life and to go into the unknown and to see if something happens. If you are ready to go, it is going to happen; and then you will know the meaning. Then too you will not be able to tell somebody else what the meaning is! The meaning is in the taste, in the experience.
And you ask, ”How is surrender?” Apparently, sannyas is the ”how,” obviously. The deeper ”how” will open its doors when you have entered the porch. Sannyas is the porch; once you enter the porch – you have accepted me and I have accepted you – then there is a deep agreement, that you trust me. Now I can invite you to deeper realms of my being. You become an initiate. The second thing happens someday. Sometimes it happens with the sannyas itself. If you are totally surrendered, then in the first moment of contact with me it happens – you become an initiate.
Sometimes it takes time. The outward sannyas happens first; then you wait, then you watch, then you see things, then slowly, slowly you relax, inch by inch you drop your ego, and more and more I penetrate in you. Then one day, without any warning, suddenly it has happened – you suddenly become aware it has happened: now my light exists in you and my heart beats in you. Sometimes it takes years, sometimes days, sometimes minutes, sometimes not a single minute. It depends on you, how much courage you have.
And of course, Westerners are gaining much more from me than the Easterners, because the East has become very cowardly. So by and by you will see more and more Western people around here. The East is very cowardly. They have become almost corpses. They don’t have the spirit – the spirit that Kabir calls the spirit for the quest of truth – they don’t have it. Either they believe they already know what truth is or they think there is enough time and there is no hurry – if not in this life, then in the next life.
And for them, to be religious has become more a way of being respectable, and of course my sannyas will not appeal to them because if they are respectable, by becoming my sannyasin they will lose all respect. They will not become respectable through my sannyas. Through my sannyas they will become rebellious; they will start falling out of the society. People will start avoiding them. People will start feeling they are dangerous and infectious, and people will think that they have gone mad or something.
But in the West something new is happening – a new courage, a new spirit of inquiry. It always comes whenever a country becomes materially rich. It always happens. When a country becomes materially poor, it loses spirit. Not only outwardly poor, it becomes inwardly poor. It loses confidence, it loses courage, it loses potentiality. It starts dragging. In the West people have become materially rich; they are well-fed, science has come to a certain point from where religion can be contacted, and people have seen material affluence. Now they would like to see something beyond it. It is not enough. So if you are ready, don’t ask ”how is surrender?” Surrender.
Once it happened, Jesus was staying with his friends in a house, and the friends said, ”Tell us how to pray.”
Jesus said, ”But how to say how to pray? I will pray, and if you are ready you can participate.” And Jesus started praying. Now the others were standing there and they couldn’t see what to do. He started moving into some unknown realm. They watched and he prayed; and when he came back from the world of his prayer, they said again, ”But tell us how to pray.” He said, ”I SHOWED you how to pray, and you ask how to pray.”
Remember, maybe the question arises out of your cowardliness. Maybe you want to be certain about everything, what it is, whether it is worth it or not. I am here surrendered. I am here in prayer. I am here in God. Come closer to me. And I have made it easier than it has ever been, because I am not putting any conditions on you. I accept you as you are. It has never been done before. I accept you as you are. I have no condemnation, no evaluation, no judgment. If you are a drunkard, good. If you are a gambler, good, exactly right. Because this is a sort of gamble and this is a way of becoming drunk. Whatsoever you are, you are accepted. Come closer.
Sannyas will be a visible thing for you to do, and the next thing, leave it to me. I will do it. You do one thing; I will do the other. There is a saying in Arabian countries, ”If you walk one foot towards God, he walks one thousand one feet towards you.” You walk towards me one foot; I will walk one thousand and one feet towards you. You do the first; the second I will do.
But you come and ask, ”But sannyas… just by changing the clothes…. It is too outward. Tell us something inward.”You are not even ready to do the outward and you ask for the inward. And you are an outwardly-oriented man. That’s why I am talking about the outward sannyas – that’s where you are. That’s from where the journey has to start. You arc yet outside yourself; from there the journey has to start. The inward can happen only later on, not right now.
-Source – Osho Book “Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language”
Taking in these words, imagining them being expressed my your deepest, most loving heart – your true self, is an exquisite experience. Create your highest self as your guardian angel.
My heart is my guru. The heart invites us to be initiated into loving every day. Surrender doesn’t mean that you give up or drop all tools and ways of being to survive but perhaps in your quiet moments, you become the servant to that inner wisdom that’s there silently, waiting for you, always and you return to it as much as you can especially when the waves are steep.
Rolling in it,