In this writing:
- You will find out how surrender is a pathway towards freedom.
- practical neurocience that backs practices of surrender
Is surrender the pathway towards liberation?
Surrender is a complex word, with many meanings.
What is being surrendered?
Who or what is it being surrendered to?
When I Googled surrender for a definition it defined surrender in the context of surrendering to your enemy or opponent – this is not what I mean by surrender.
What is being surrendered in the context with which I am speaking?
At best, your whole being. In any given moment, an attachment, or aversion, or a peice of yourself.
Surrender to what?
The now – the present circumstances.
To the universe – to God – to fate – to death.
How is this a pathway towards liberation?
Surrender creates no resistance. To willfully suffer is not to suffer. To offer ones life, is not to die, but to be reborn. To surrender to circumstance is to join the flow, instead of being attached to the past.
Regardless of if you are Christian, a Hindu, Yogi, or Atheist.
Surrender is a path towards liberation.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
The langauge of the Bible triggers many in our culture (I won’t discuss this here, but it’s a fascinating topic). Here is a way of entering into these verses…
‘Submit yourself to God’ = surrender. God here does not mean a man in the sky, that is the literal understanding, the metaphoric or metaphysical reading can represent the highest principles of love, beauty, and truth.
‘Resist the devil’ – resist sin, resist unconsciousness, resist trying to choose a way of living with your small mind. Your small mind is your limited vantage point, a mere two eyes, of 7 billion other perspectives, and countless other eyes and beings, and forces and energies. Surrender your limited knowing and continually seek to know a greater view, seek to see the world through the eyes of God (in this context, God represents the omnipotent, and the countless beings and forces).
‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.’
- once again the langauge is triggering for some who don’t want to told they should or shall…but the teachings is the same. Surrender your limited knowing for a greater understanding. We do this again and again, for everything we know and learn, there is always yet more to know… the more we know, the more we realize we do not know. Surrender then is a continual process.
To surrender your ego to love, and to the all. You must give up everything, to taste more. There a theme of death a rebirth here. Surrender is wilful death. We are always dying. Every exhale is a death. Throughout your life, peices of you are dying, and eventually your whole body and mind will be offered back to God (to the universe)… the practice of surrender guides us to surrender ourselves before we have died…this is true liberation.
“Surrender simply means keeping God’s will before our own”
Once again, we see a differentiation between a higher and lower will.
The human brain has 3 evolutionary segments.
The lowest, which helps with vital functions such as breathing and heart rate are known as the reptilian brain – because it is shared with reptiles.
The middle brain is the limbic brain, it is shared with mammals, and is responsible for emotion and a more developed memory.
The high brain is the neocortex, and though a few animals have a developed neocortex, humans by far have the most evolved cortex, which helps with the higher faculties of reason, planning, morality, etc.
The neocortex is your higher will, your survival instincts (fight, flee, fuck) are your lower will.
The versus thus discussed, speak to these respective brain areas, each in their own langauge which was most relevant for the population they were speaking to.
How does one practice surrender?
Let’s look at two ways of practicing…
Refers to what we typically understand as practice. Most often involving a set aside time with a specific intention to practice a certain method.
Example. Yoga. The practice of yoga, when there is movement, breath, concentration, meditation etc is one of being fully present (offering your whole being) and with every exhale there is a softening, this softening happens in the body, emotion, and mind. Each breath cycle is a practicing of this surrender.
Example #2: prostration and prayer. Bowing the body or head and praying, or reflecting, or confessing.
Both these rituals teach an individual to surrender. Both practices will strengthen the neocortex, and help with self-awareness, self-reflection, planning, understanding, rationality, etc.
In the context of brain development we can see how rituals and techniques can have a positive effect on brain structure, which can be tested, and there is a wealth of information to prove exactly what I am speaking to, simply search on Google scholar, meditation and the prefrontal cortex.
Informal practice is life. As you go about your day, no matter where you are, there is a situation…an external circumstance, and internal conditions. The practice is to surrender to the moment.
Surrender your resistance and expand your awareness of your breath, mind, body, and emotion.
Surrender here can refer to not judging oneself and creating a loving awareness.
Love and surrender are intimately tied. To surrender out of defeat is different than to surrender in love.
Every moment, instead of bringing the past with you, instead of projecting and judging, instead of clinging to a certain view or desiring a certain state… surrender to what is.
It may mean surrendering to the weather, surrender to love, surrendering to guilt, surrendering to loss, etc.
Each surrender offers you strength, when it is done in love.
It develops inner resilience to create a state of internal allowing, that is not attached to external circumstance.
Surrender does not mean retreat into becoming soft or in permanent meditation… to surrender to a circumstance may ask you to work hard, and struggle. We can never knkw what will be asked of us, surrender says, yes I will submit to my higher knowing and offer my limited knowing and give up my past patterns for new ways of being that are in a higher alignment with love and my relationship to the all.
We must learn to create happiness that is not contingent on external conditions, otherwise we will become dependant or attached. The practice of surrender is a practice. Start slow…surrender to the day… surrender to hunger. Surrender to being in traffic. It is a muscle that will build.
Surrender has no religion or system or specific practice that you need to tie to it.
It will yes help to have a practice that strengthens your neocortex, but choose one that fits you… or have several.
But know that, the highest practice is when the practice is not simply the formal version, but when it can be a living practice you take with you everywhere. This is why surrender is important. It is found in every tradition, and is possible in every moment.
When a life is lived in surrender, it will flow.
When a life is lived in surrender, you will grow,
and know love.
As a breathworker, I know we breath 22,000 -26,000 times a day, each is an opportunity to surrender. Surrendering to the breath is a tool that is always with you. Every exhale is a letting go.
It’s an honour to guide people in breathwork.
If these words have spoken to you, reach out…I’d love to connect you with the power of the breath to know surrender.
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Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. Buddha