Chapter 2


What is it to surrender to a master?
It is when you have come to a place where you know you cannot move further by yourself. 
You may not wish to surrender, or you might, but it really has nothing to do with your want. 
Instead, it is that you have come to such a place of distress in your heart, and such a sense in your heart that your distress is leading you to your teacher, that you can do nothing but surrender.

And surrender will mean different things at different levels. 
It is not an action as much as its a process. 
You are a sannyasin when you are in an ongoing state of surrender. 
At each stage you will come to understand it in a deeper way.

Arjuna once said to Krishna, when he first surrendered to him, "tell me what can be known". 
This is the first level of surrender. 
You wish to have an answer. 
But Arjuna puts it in a particularly good way; he does not say "tell me the answer", he simply asks to be told what can be known. 
Most of what will be understood by surrender is not what can be 'known' or 'taught'. 
It is an experiencing.

Krishna goes on to teach Arjuna first that there is no end to anything, and that for this reason all must be accepted equally. 
This is in reality all that can truly be known. 
It is a recipe, for experiencing. 
If you take this as your thesis, you will be able to begin the process of actually experiencing surrender, to life.

To surrender is to surrender your ideas, that things have a beginning and end, and that there is a difference between one thing, one possession, one feeling, and any other. 
Krishna compares joy and sorrow to winter and summer. 
They are like the seasons, they will come and will go. 
To surrender is to accept this coming and going, and realizing that there is a force that exists, behind these changing 'seasons', that remains as it is, that does not depend on any subjective factors.

Your sense of attainments will rise and fall; sometimes you will feel that you are reaching great spiritual peaks, other times you will think you have fallen to deep valleys. 
But they are both nonessential; whether you are in the peak or valley of your experience, you are still experiencing, still witnessing.

It is the same with your teacher. 
You will sometimes feel very close to your master, sometimes very far away. 
Do not let yourself be attached to these feelings. 
The master is a constant, and only when you can look beyond these subjective sensations will you be able to see him as he truly is. 
Then you will discover what it truly can mean to be human.

Become aware of this force, that which exists behind the rise and fall of sensations. 
Then you can take any sensation, accept it and let it go as you would go into or out of a set of clothes. 
This hidden force behind all things is the eternal, it is what I call the Mystery. 
When you can understand this Mystery, you will come to know how to be natural. 

Being natural is simply knowing the purpose of sensations. 
Rather than clinging to them for their own sake, you will know that each sensation comes and goes, and have no inherent value. 
Their value is simply in accepting each in its proper time. 
Thus the Zen masters say: 'when you are hungry, eat; when you are tired, sleep'. 
This is naturalness, it is being in the sensation that has arisen, remembering the eternal force that is behind it, and thus living each sensation to its fullness without longing for its arrival or departure.

Then there is no more a need for analysis, there is simply a flowing in the experience. 
No more doubt, you simply accept what is there at that moment.

Surrender is part of how this naturalness is achieved. 
By surrendering, to a master, to the divine, you will be able to slowly let go more and more of the attachment to sensations. 
It is a reminder, to connect to that eternal force. 

And surrender is the opposite of struggle. 
At first, it may seem like the same. 
One who begins on the mystical path will attempt to fight against attachment. 
But to fight against attachment to sensations is a hopeless battle. 
As soon as you have mastered one sensation another will appear.

They are like the endless waters flowing into a vast ocean. 
This is how the Gita puts it; it is futile to fight the senses. 
Instead, surrender is to simply release the association with the senses, and open one's self to the eternal force behind all senses.

This is the difference too, between religion and mysticism. 
Religion will try to teach you to fight desires; it will call surrender obedience, and claim that to be obedient is to create rules for avoiding desires.
But this is an impossibility.

Mysticism says that surrender is a deep letting go, not fighting but accepting, and offering your sense desires to a higher force.

Thus, you allow yourself to become a vessel for the divine.