This article was originally written for a private group of spiritual practitioners in 2016. It is reproduced here with minor edits for offering a glimpse into the role of surrender, in the journey of awakening, as it happened for me. The spiritual path is not for the faint-hearted. If you come into it feeling that it is all angels and ascension, boy, are you in for a rude shock! The sense of self shatters. Ugliness hidden within is laid bare. The ground beneath you heaves and crumbles. Yet, there is a sacred sweetness in surrender, when cultivated and practiced diligently. Here, this glimpse into my journey, is my offering to you.
Three Spheres of Life
There have been three spheres to my life for nearly 16 years.
- One is that of a healer, sharer, teacher, spiritual practitioner.
- Second, with my family as a spouse, father, son, brother, friend and more.
- Third, as a technology entrepreneur.
One single human being, and yet such a diversity of roles for the character Sundar 🙂
As a healer, sharer, teacher, spiritual practitioner, the virtue and practice of surrender has brought forth increasingly sharper, though subtler experiences of Truth. In these spaces, it is very natural for me to adopt a stance of being open, suspend judgment, be in an unhurried presence, and virtually eliminate expectations.
And in turn, it is as if Nature precipitates sheer miracles, whispers her secrets readily, and takes me to depths of Truth never known before.
The Family Man
As a family person, with my spouse, children, family members, friends, I see that my main weak area, ‘anger’, has been fading. Still rises its ugly head, but weeks or months could go by without incident. Life is generally all good. But what is missing is that “stance” I talk about above … open, non-judgmental, unhurried presence, zero expectations … this is simply not occurring with any consistency.
At work, boy oh boy, the scene is different! I’ve been working for years to integrate the transformation from healing practice into the person I am at work. I have increasing moments of that “stance” … open, non-judgmental, unhurried presence, zero expectations … but this is not occurring in any meaningful measure, and in a given day, it may be three or four or five times I’d BE in this space. 30-minutes could go by, being dragged through work as Sundar, before the awareness is there and the falling back into it briefly, only to be dragged out of it by the “DO”ing of Sundar.
What all this tells me is the following:
- “Sundar”ness is a habit
- “Sundar”ness can mostly be absent in healing practice (teaching, sharing, practice, listening, all included), as the practice of surrender has been running deep
- “Sundar”ness flares up here and there at home with old habits of eating, lethargy and the flashes of anger being the ones that have been slowest to wither
- The DOing tendency, that thing that entrenches separation, is strongest at work, no doubt fed by 29 years of working 60 hours a week on average, doing this, doing that, driving this, driving that. So, “Sundar”ness is strongest here at work
- In all these three facets of life, it is definitely evident that a separate-I isn’t there. How do I know? Diligent Self-Inquiry is the way. It reveals every time the absence of the separate-I. Yet, the habituation in mind-body of that separate-Sundar exists with varying degrees of strength. It is as if the echoes and impressions of having lived life as a separate entity “Sundar” are caked into mind-body
- The degree of clearance of the echoes and impressions of a separate-Sundar from mind-body is varying across the spheres of life mainly because of just how caked in the habits of “Sundar” have been historically
Applying the Lessons
Could the stance of surrender be taken in practical terms like this … open, non-judgmental, unhurried presence, zero expectations … into all spheres of life?
Absolutely yes. It took years to get there with healing practice, and longer in family life, and slowest at work.
This stance of surrender is the same as “abidance” in true self.
It is also the same as saying, start as Awareness versus a separate-I.
This is the rest of the journey. And this unfolding clearance of the echoes and impressions of “Sundar”ness in this mind-body in all spheres of life is occurring as a result of this stance of surrender, this abidance in true self if you will.
As I blog this on the No-otherness blog, in 2020, the journey continues. I’ve left my entrepreneurship and technology career of 34-years in Sep 2019. I write and share here and elsewhere. I teach and mentor regularly. I help with healing every now and then. Echoes and impressions of otherness in body-mind, clear out in their own way at their own time – this is the way of karma. Abidance is a process, until one day, it isn’t anymore, and is as natural as Sunrise, as effortless as breath. In the meantime, blessed surrender is the way of abidance in and as No-otherness.
Awaken from the illusion of otherness. Experience your real essence. Get the guidance you need through “Awaken: An Experiential Exploration of Enlightenment.”