Yesterday I made a commitment to myself to explore the question, “What is the more I seek?”
To begin my quest, I wrote a list of words (surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love) which I felt were all inclusive of my seeker’s journey and declared that I would dive deeper into clarity by exploring each word without expectation of an outcome.
Staying unattached to my need for an outcome is a challenge for me. I like to know what’s going on. I like to be in control, or at least give myself the illusion of being in control.
Realization 1: The journey begins with surrendering my need for an outcome.
“Surrender”. It is a big word for me. A tough one.
I let go of my labelling of the word and begin.
I enter meditation with a question. “What does it mean to surrender?”
My goal is to allow myself to fall effortlessly into the silence and allow answers to find their way to the surface.
It isn’t working. I find myself fighting, resisting, defending against the word.
I want to push it away. I want to cry out, “No! No! No! Look at those synonyms! You do not want to succumb, to yield, to give in. Don’t do it.”
My mind, ever-willing co-conspirator in over-thinking, resists the quiet space and leaps eagerly into the fray of my thoughts run amuck in my resistance to stillness.
It begins with criticism.
Why didn’t you start this quest on a Monday? Really? Who begins a spiritual journey on a Friday?
I ignore it.
It is unrelenting.
Surrendering is not good. Surrendering is a sign of weakness.
How can that be?
Is it true? Am I weak when I surrender?
A thought swoops in like a hawk diving for a mouse. “What are you surrendering to?”
Is it ‘to’ something or is it all about the act of surrendering with no outcome in sight, I wonder.
I breathe. I scurry after the last thought, searching in its entrails for the stillness of mind that comes when I surrender my thoughts to the nothingness of being present.
Resistance rises up. Again.
Seriously? Can he not just stay quiet just this once?
I notice how I like to separate my thinking from my desire to be still.
My resistance to my resistance crumbles. I give up and submit to its call.
There’s something here, it says. There’s a piece of information that is important for you to see. Don’t stop thinking. Let the thoughts roll in.
I do not want a cloudy mind.
I want the stillness of reflection.
I find neither in my resistance to letting go of having to know the answer.
How can I surrender when my mind wants desperately to be in control?
Breathe into it.
Surrender your desire to know and be present to your breath moving in and out.
Let go of your resistance. Stop defending against that which you fear and be present, right now. Allow yourself to…
I think I’d rather run away.
Is that another form of surrendering?
Or is that just a way of avoiding?
And I begin again.
Breathe into it.