The main difference I can discern between Surrender & ‘giving up’ is the level of one’s vision in the process.
In Surrender I warrant you give up the current struggle, yet trust in the longer journey.
What I’m seeing is that more & more people, on a wider & wider scale, are having to give up. For some it’s surrender, involving trust in something beyond small human-scale vision. But for many it’s giving up, which feels like failure or death, & sometimes even leads to physical death.
One of the articles I wrote a couple years ago on these upper level energy centres, or chakras, talks in more detail about our western aversion to the dark depressions of life & how we self-medicate to avoid looking too closely. Another article discusses how there is a reason for all the seasons, if we will but honor them. In NZ we are deep in winter, a season many avoid.
I stood at a bus stop in the Wellington suburb of Ngaio last night with howling winds & threatening rain thrashing me about. Windy Welly has been known to pull my feet out from under me & to feel like cutting ice on my face when it’s sweeping up from Antarctica. A gin-nosed grumpy old man came out with his wheelie rubbish bin & said, “It’ll never end!” He was so sure of it & the wind was so loud that I didn’t bother trying to assure him it would, in fact, end.
I was headed to teach our current sadhana (regular practice of inquiry on the mat) called Deepest Winter–Folding in with Forward Folds. In it we work with sacred geometry in our bodies–creating circles, right angles, crosses & triangles. In this cyclical focus we begin to feel in our bones that “this too shall pass” which is also the translation of our mantra–Sa-Ta-Na-Ma.
At the end I always ask if anyone has any questions, comments or awarenesses & one long-time student asked me to explain further what I had said when I introduced the mantra meditation–“Sat Nam, which means ‘I am Truth, or Truth is my existence,’ when it’s then broken down into its contingent sounds–Sa-Ta-Na-Ma–comes to mean (rough English translation) ‘this too shall pass.'” She wanted to know, “How does I am Truth also mean this too shall pass?”
Well, if our very existence is Truth & the only constant is Change, doesn’t it stand to reason that our Existence is Change, that whatever is now will shift into whatever is next? Yet in a cyclical way, as opposed to our fixation on a linear-time construction. Also the seed sounds, or bij mantras that constitute Sat Nam, indicate (don’t directly translate into but rather indicate) the never-ending cycling of Existence–Sa, Life/Movement–Ta, Cessation/Death–Na, and Rebirth–Ma.
Some things that I’ve created or written felt more like they were given to me as clues to unravel a deeper story. This image I made in 2010 is one such instance. After 7 years of cycling through the myoga Seasonal Structure, I am still learning. I trust I all-ways will be. I couldn’t have fully explained why I saw the calendar year as an egg. Nor could I have explained then just why I saw the energetic anatomy of the chakras, which most people see as linear, vertical, & even hierarchical, as cyclical. Actually I see our journey through the chakras, & through the years, as spirallic–ever-turning & ever-widening. I’m getting better at explaining this choreography of practices I felt compelled to put into place in 2010, at the same time that it still continues to unfold its wisdom to me.
As I waited for the bus, I leaned into the wind instead of cowering from it, & was reminded of this that I had seen carved on the waterfront:
A ruffian wind is bliss, a blind man’s–James McNeish
comfort station. When I get tired of walking
around it, I can always lean against it.
We can rely on change. And sometimes we can see the meaning of things, but more often than not we are the blind man, head into the wind.
The questions are:
Will we trust change, or at least trust ourselves enough to grow from the change?
Will we develop any vision to see how change might be serving something larger than our small selves?
Can we find gratitude in the process?
And how can we possibly embrace, & even enjoy, the stretch that change requires of us?