Weekly thoughts and insights from participants of the “Surrender: Experiencing What Is” series.
This week’s contribution is by Megan Lundrigan:
We began the final class in the series Surrender – Experience What is with a question.
“Where is your temple?” Maya asked each of us.
For some their temple exists in a beloved place in nature. For others it is an intentionally arranged space within their home. We discussed the importance of finding or creating a space to practice meditation, for when we feel comfortable and safe we can go deeper into ourselves. I began to see this as an essential first step to learning the art of surrender.
To surrender is not a state of passivity; it is a choice, an action. We can surrender by allowing things to be as they are, to consciously let go of the illusion of control, to trust ourselves and others.
Maya invited us into a short meditation by asking us to focus on a single aspiration. I had arrived to class feeling some physical tension, so I aspired to find comfort and ease in my body. After a time, we allowed the aspiration to slip into the background and our breath to become the focus. I became more present to the sensations I was experiencing and I observed how I had attached a story, and a judgement, to each one.
As these negative thoughts swirled around in my mind, Maya said to us that if our mind wanders, we should surrender our thoughts to our breath. I became curious, how does one actually “surrender” something to the breath? I guided my focus to the sensations of my inhale and exhale once again. The unpleasant sensations still existed within my body, but I was able to observe rather than merge with them. The thoughts became less prevalent.
There are seemingly countless angles from which to view the concept of surrender. Another concept that stood out for me was that when we surrender, we do not abandon our responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and actions. This arose during a group trust exercise in which we allowed ourselves to be caught while falling backwards into to the outstretched hands of our partners. Though we surrendered our entire body weight to the group, we maintained a level of engagement; by stating whether or not we wished to be caught at a higher or lower point; by taking a moment to confirm that the group was ready to catch us before we fell.
Each day since attending this class I have discovered a new way to explore the idea of surrender. Thank you Maya for leading such an informative and experiential class!