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Season 3 - Episode 4

Levels of Surrender

15 min - Talk
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If we know how to surrender completely, there is no doubt that we will be nurtured fully and protected by the supreme mother. Anuradha shares a talk and brief chanting practice on the levels of surrender—the body, emotions, and mind—so that we may listen in and discover our Truth.
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About This Video

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Jul 14, 2017
Jnana, Bhakti
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Surrender. A fascinating topic indeed. In the last episode, we took up the question, Koham, who am I? And we tried to figure out this question in a more concrete way through an exploration of the different identities of our self, the different identities of our, of the lives we lead, the environment that shapes us. And then we went into the further dimension of looking at the question as, am I the body? Am I my emotions? Am I my mind? Or am I something which transcends all of these and yet which holds it all together? And therefore, when we look at the idea of surrendering, the question is to whom are we surrendering? The natural inclination would be to surrender to somebody that we trust or to something that we trust. If it's something that we trust, then it would somewhere imply that we have the feeling, the innate feeling that the entity that we are putting our trust on has a greater understanding of things. And therefore that there is a greater intelligence to which we are willing to submit our limited perception of that situation. And therefore the question, what is this intelligence? Where is this intelligence? We'll try and try and together discover whether we have had experiences of that intelligence in different ways. So let's fall back on a level of identity that we are very comfortable with and that we cannot deny ourselves. So that's the body. If we really look at the body, one cannot but be amazed at the phenomenal functioning of this machine, this instrument that we are inhabiting. If we believe that my identity is my mind and everything that I do is shaped by how I think, how I see the world, what I decide about it, we cannot be more wrong when it comes down to understanding how the body works. We know absolutely nothing of how this entire instrument is coordinating with billions and trillions of cells and blood vessels and there is so much that is moving in our system, fortunately with not a single interference from our mind. It is beyond the capacity of our rationality and limited intelligence to penetrate the intelligence of the body consciousness. And when one is invited to surrender to the body consciousness, it is this invitation to recognize that there is a certain knowledge within this system, that knowledge can be acquired with training, it can be acquired with putting in more consciousness. In fact, that is the whole effort of Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is that practice by which one can infuse the different aspects of the body with a consciousness and an awareness that is inherent within the body. It is a practice by which we can awaken the latent intelligence of the body and once that intelligence is more prominent in our lives, one is invited to allow the mind to rest, to surrender itself to the knowledge of the body, where it is required. And I think this is what a lot of sports people, the sportsmen and women experience. For example, a gymnast who has been training from her childhood is able to do certain stunts and certain acrobatics which otherwise would be very hard to conceive of and to rationalize. And the beauty is that the moment the mind interferes with a possibility of a suggestion, there is a danger of an injury. So when we are talking of surrender in the body, we are trying to make the body more tuned to the inherent harmony that structures it and that harmony can manifest itself in movement. I think that is quite also evident when, for example, a dancer who is not so trained, when such a person tries to do a movement versus a dancer who has done years of practice and that person does the same movement or it can be the same person who has done it initially and then later on with practice. The flow of the hand is very different and the flow of the hand is not a mind coordinated action alone. The flow of the hand is as if the body knew what was the most harmonious position, the most beautiful movement that would coordinate it with everything else. So working on surrender in the body is the process of allowing the being to rest with the body consciousness and listening, listening to how the body is wanting to manifest itself at that moment and trusting that it knows. So one word that came through in this understanding of surrender is the quality of listening. How can we practice listening as we apply the practice of surrender at all levels of our being? We have again all experienced this intelligence of the emotions. There are sometimes situations where the emotional being feels in danger or spontaneously happy even when nothing has apparently taken place outwardly. The problem is that we are always interfering with our mind most often and imposing a certain preconceived framework on the reality of being present at that time. And the more we impose a construction over the present moment, we have missed seeing things for what they are at that point. That is very, very true of emotions. If we could trust ourselves and surrender to the truth of our emotions, a truth of the emotion which is elevating rather than again a truth of the emotions which is pulling us towards the gravity of our being. That kind of a pull is not helpful to keep us centered in who we are because the more we allow ourselves to get pulled by emotions that are heavy, the more we acquire baggages. I mean, if you can feel it, as I'm saying it, if you can sort of do this journey of surrender as we are exploring the topic together really. So surrender really always has this quality of upliftment. So in emotions also it is this willingness to listen to the intelligence of our emotional being or the vital consciousness to respond to something which is more true at that moment. But for that one has to practice the listening, the trusting, the being. All three are very key words in this journey of surrender. Let's then move to our mental being, the mental consciousness, the mind consciousness. That, as you and I know, is the toughest one to handle. It's really like a monkey that really takes us for a walk rather than us taking our mind for a walk, right? So the mind is so full of its impressions and its judgments and its preconceived notions that the ability to let that go, the ability to rest it and listen to that seeing and that knowing which is in line with a greater truth. That is a quality that takes some more time to develop. But there are certain practices in that, especially with the mind, which can be quite helpful.

And one of the ways of training the mind to practice surrender more often is the idea of engaging the mind with thoughts or readings or sounds that have light in them, that are not based on just wild explorations. So the more one is able to bring in this quiet, or rather the less noise there is in the system, the easier it is to start listening to something which is more in light of the knowledge of things. All right. So we have just seen that it is possible to awaken the body consciousness by a practice of surrendering and listening to that consciousness and intelligence. The same process in our emotional being. And in the emotional being, the practice of our breathing is very, very important. The relationship between our breath and our emotions is very intimate. So the conscious practice of our breathing is another powerful tool to help us focus or to help us start developing the quality of listening to our emotions. The same in the mind, the breath has that equal power of calming the mind and allowing us to surrender its functions to something more true, something which knows the structures in which we have to engage. And of course, in order to arrive at that surrender, the most important quality is the ability to step back. Can we step back and listen? Can we step back and listen to the voice of truth? This voice of truth is the voice that calls on us to give ourselves completely. It's the voice of the mother, the divine mother through whom we come forth. It is true that we take birth in a human being. So the mother who has borne us for nine months is someone whom we owe a lot because without her, we would not be who we are. The fact that you and I can have this discussion is because we've had a mother who has held us with great trust that what will emerge will be the best that she can offer. So in recognition to that experience of surrender, experience of trust, the sounds that reflect these qualities best is the sound ma. In terms of vibrations, it is the sound that relates to the experience of surrendering. The mm is like the emerging and the ah is the expansion. So join me in this practice. As we close our eyes and we do the sound ma, I want you to just spread your hands skywards. So starting from your heart, just open it up skywards in a diagonal movement and do the sound ma. We'll do it. We'll do it three times and see how we feel with it. Try and hold in your heart this giving, this absolute surrender to this intelligence, the divine mother that has created all of this universe that is all functioning in an amazing manner.

So close your eyes, visualize the supreme intelligence, the supreme mother being and with a deep breath, do the sound ma, ma. Once more, take a deep breath, ma. And the last time, you can do the sound silently. You can do it with the gesture or without the gesture. Take a deep breath and do the sound ma silently. If we know how to surrender completely, there is absolutely no doubt that we will be nurtured fully and protected by the supreme mother.


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