How To Meditate 3 – Various Approaches: Surrender
How To Meditate 3 – Various Approaches – Surrender
For some on the path to awakening, the heart, love and desire to serve is more dominant than their analytical mind or interest in doing deep inquiry. These aspirants may never feel inspired or comfortable sitting for long, deep meditation, but love to chant Divine names, adore their teacher, and express their awareness of Spirit or the Oneness of everything by serving all equally and non-egocentrically.
For these blessed souls, the best form of meditation might not be concentration on breath or mantra or dispassionately witnessing the rise & fall of all sensations, but simply surrender. Certainly, if you want to still your mind or experience that there is only ever-changing sensations and no “I” behind them, you may be able to achieve this just as quickly by surrendering your noisy mind & ego, and all your supposed identity and ‘control’ over to Spirit. Indeed, it could be said that all paths of concentration, meditation, witnessing and inquiry end up as surrender, because in order to take the final step of merging with Spirit and allowing It to take over, you must eventually let go, give up all your trying & practicing, and acknowledge that you’re not doing anything, it’s all just Spirit’s movement.
When you do surrender as your meditation, you can still sit daily and still your mind, chant a mantra, watch your breath, etc., but even as you’re doing so, you say, ‘I’m only doing this to surrender my smaller self to my True Self, and I offer all the by-products of this meditation – my noisy or quiet mind, my calm or agitated body, my dis-identification from my ego or my continued ego-entrenchment, my joy or sorrow – to that Self. You can then continue this type of meditation throughout the day by continuing to joyfully offer your mind, body, ego and any identification with them to merging with Pure Spirit’s will. People who find this meditation of surrender easy are usually the first ones to recognize that they never had separate ‘will’ of their own anyway, it was always Spirit moving everything. And as such, they may be able to drop their attachment to their own desires, plans and ego more easily, and merge with Spirit more rapidly than those ‘working’ to slowly minimize their ego-minds through meditation and inquiry.
The pitfall of thinking one of the Concentration & Focus forms of meditation is your best path to full Awakening is that you may hold on to the belief that you are doing it. You’re making the effort, you’re gauging your progress, you are stilling the mind all the way to the dawn of enlightenment. In the end, you must surrender the experience of you doing anything, because you must realize there is no ‘you’ and literally destroy the concept of a personal identity, to take the final step into Pure Awareness. This step can be the hardest for a committed aspirant on the path of meditation, and may be easier for those who started with the path of surrender.
The pitfall of the path of surrender is that you may externalize the Divine too much. You may think God or Spirit exists out there, in the ‘heavens,’ or your Guru is doing everything and you nothing, or that you are just a flawed little human, unworthy of experiencing enlightenment blossoming in you. You may see the Divine outside you but not as you. Or you may fall into the old Westernized religious belief that, as something separate & unworthy of God, She will reward or punish you according to your ‘good’ or ‘bad’ deeds.
Truly, you are Spirit, and can no more please or displease an outer Spirit in a subject-object relationship, any more than can the meditator hold himself as a separate subject trying to ‘attain’ the object of Spirit. True surrender to Spirit means realizing you are One with It and always have been – so all that love & service you were offering, you were showering on your True Self. That said, it’s just a function of what path feels more comfortable to you, which approach you resonate with more.
If all this quieting your mind in meditation or deeply probing the nature of Reality with inquiry seems too effortful, dry or analytical to you, and you just naturally gravitate towards the bliss of loving Spirit and Creation as a ‘larger-than-me’ Entity which you can surrender to and serve, by all means, make that your meditation. Still your busy mind and ego, not with concentration on a mantra, your breath or body sensations, but with constant one-pointed awareness that every thought, breath and act is surrendered to the Higher Reality, Truth or Spirit, which is acting through you and thus, One with you.