Weekly thoughts and insights from participants of the “Surrender: Experiencing What Is” series. This week’s contribution is by Elysha Rae: In last week’s class at the Dharma Hub, we continued to explore the theme of “Surrender.” Within this series there has been much discussion on how surrendering is not a passive state. During this class, Evangelos lead us through a particularly interesting exercise that allowed us to mindfully tune into the active process of surrendering. In the exercise we were asked to join with a partner and surrender ourselves into an embrace with them for about a minute. Observing as I allowed myself to soften into the arms of my partner, I quickly realized how mindful and aware I had to remain, in order to let the surrender continue throughout the duration of the exercise. As a class we discussed our experience in the surrendering embrace. Many of us expressed that as we moved deeper into the hug, sensations would arise and grip our attention. In surrendering to each sensation as it arose, each sensation became an anchor point for our surrender deeper into the experience in the embrace. Evangelos lead us through a sitting meditation where we practiced the mantra, Acknowledge, Accept, Let Go. Many thoughts and sensations arose for me during this sit, but I found the mantra allowed me to not engage with them, but instead observe them as they came and went. We discussed how it is natural for these sensations to arise in mediation, as it is through these sensations that we live our experience on this planet as human beings. However, when we allow them to be consciously acknowledged, accepted without judgment, and let go without attachment, we open ourselves up to fully experience each moment as it comes and passes. Evangelos shared his experience of being caught in a rip tide to metaphorically illustrate what tends to happen when we fight off or resist sensations. When a rip tide takes in its grip, instinctively you begin to fight against the strong current, in hope that you will escape. Fighting against the rip tide will exhaust you, and ultimately be the end of you, however, if you surrender to the tide it will eventually release you all on its own. Surrender to the chaos, and it will pass. In surrendering to each moment, our sensations are allowed to naturally ebb and flow, and we make ourselves available in each moment to fully experience the present as it is, with ease and mindfulness. I would like to extend my gratitude to Evangelos, for leading such an informative, engaging, and enjoyable class.