Various teachings use different terminology to describe the process of surrendering the ego. They may suggest that you "kill, disidentify, soften, relax, drop, let go of" ego, but they all point toward a similar goal, one which leads to a recognition of our true nature, a path toward what we call self realization.
So, it's the ego that persists in resisting, and is unwilling to surrender. A.H. Almaas writes:
"Surrender is not resignation. It is very important to distinguish between them. Resignation means that you are admitting that you cannot get your own way. You are taking yourself to be a separate self with a separate will that is being thwarted by reality. This is very different from true surrender, which is neither acceptance nor rejection, but ceasing to separate one's own will from reality. To learn to surrender means to expose your willfulness -- the belief that you have a will separate from reality's and that you can have it your way."
The instruction to surrender appears in the Vedic Isa Upanishad (original date is disputed but possibly during or prior to the 1st millennium BCE)
All is perfect, so perfectly perfect!
Whatever being lives, moves and breathes on earth,
at every level from atom to galaxy
is absolutely perfect in its place, precise and choreographed, because
"That" flows from the Glory of God, The Lord, The Self, Consciousness, The Source, Awareness, Peace and Love, and is therefore perfect.
When you have surrendered your ego to "That"
you will find true happiness.
And we also appreciate the poking words of the Persian poet Hafiz (14th century) who wrote:
"What is the difference
Between your experience of
Existence And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, 'I Surrender!'
Whereas, my dear,
I'm afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves."
Everything is in God's hands, and you are His tool to be used by Him as He pleases. Try to grasp the significance of 'all is His', and you will immediately feel free from all burdens. What will be the result of your surrender to Him? None will seem alien, all will be your very own Self.
~ Sri Anandamayi Ma
Life is a mystery. You cannot understand it unless you surrender, for your intellect cannot grasp its expansive and infinite nature, its real meaning and fullness. Bow down low and be humble; then you will know life's meaning.
Seeing that you are not in control of your life, you start to see that life takes care of itself without you needing to be in charge of it. This is what I mean by truly coming alive. Surrender control and fall into the abyss that is your true nature. Risk losing whatever you think you have. Let life take you. Step out of the way and see that life doesn't need 'you' to control it. See for yourself that it is all already taken care of. It is a leap into the unknown. It is a free-fall into not knowing and not finding. An absolute willingness to die and keep dying to what is real right now. This is what it is to be alive.
Surrender is another name for self inquiry, its another name for this traveling back. Surrender and self inquiry are the same thing. It’s the letting go of everything that seems to limit you; it’s the letting go of everything that is superfluous to you. Letting go, letting go, letting go, until you arrive at that element of yourself that you cannot let go of - your naked, self aware being.
~ Rupert Spira
Deep down you would like to move in a total surrender where all your worries are dissolved and you can simply rest. But you are afraid; everybody is afraid of surrendering. Ordinarily we think we are somebody--and we are nothing! What have you got to surrender?-- just a bogus ego, just an idea that you are somebody. It is just a fiction. When you surrender the fiction, you become the real. When you surrender that which you don't really have, you become that which you are.
Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in - or don't, as the case may be. It makes no difference. Not until you surrender does it become a living reality in your life.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Ultimately surrender only seems like something we do. In truth it's something that happens. It's a spontaneous, internal shift that automatically occurs when we accept and acknowledge the utter truth of our powerlessness. Far more than mere resignation is required. Resignation is just resistance in a nice hat. Surrender is agreeing to cooperate with the inevitable.
~ Fred Davis
The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is to surrender their self importance, and see the emptiness of their own personal story. It is your personal story that you need to awaken from in order to be free.
The way our mind works or ego works is ‘if I want something I have to go and get it’. What I'm saying is that there is nothing to get. Our true nature is already here. But to realize that, to actually fully surrender to that, the movement is just the opposite of what we think. Because what we think is ‘go and do it’. And what it is, is come to be here. Actually, come to be here. That's what you want.”
And I surrender to the mystery In the lap of God I rest my case The force that bore this world can carry me Who am I to question grace?
The sense of duality, which is a barrier to true love, must prevail so long as the apperception of Truth has not occurred. Once individuality is surrendered, there is only total Love.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
There are never any guaranteed pathways to enlightenment. However, you'll still be compelled to walk some of them anyway until you're finally convinced that, in the end, they'll all have to be abandoned, too. The great awakening lies in discovering that, all along, you've only been "marching in place." And then...you just stop marching. And stay perfectly still. And surrender...to your Self.
~ Chuck Hillig
Regret is the longing to change the past. Fear is the desire to control the future. Peace is the surrender to Now.
~ Jeff Foster
While all great mystical teachings agree on the importance of surrender, it is not a thing to be done, but a compassionate relaxation of the learned tendencies of mind. In the same way that your body knows how to heal and repair itself - so your soul is homeostatic. It contains the inherent intelligence to know its own nature.
~ Miranda Macpherson
To feel and experience real happiness, causeless happiness, requires a conscious or unconscious surrendering of your interest in your thoughts.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
There's only one way to become liberated, and that is to awaken, just to awaken, just wake up, just as you do in the morning when you wake up from sleep. You were in a dream world and you woke up. In the same way you awaken to your Self. The way to do this is to be at satsang, to surrender to the Self. When you surrender to the Self you're surrendering to life. You're no longer thinking "This has to work out this way. This has to work out that way. This has to be improved. I've got to read this book. I've got to go see this teacher."
True surrender is allowing your heart, your spiritual heart, to take over and you have nothing to do and nothing to say. All of the practices are incidental.
The word "surrender" is used, where there is duality between "me" and God. When this surrender happens, this 'will' which we think of as ours, drops off and there is total acceptance, that all that prevails is His Will.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and your troubles and sorrows will be at an end. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will alone.
This is a point that most of us are a little confused.
When I say, "You allow whatever is to happen, will happen,"
what I'm talking about is simply this.
There is something that takes care of this entire universe
in the right way without any help from you.
You therefore do not have to take care of your body.
What appears as your body will take care of itself.
I know this sounds strange to some of you
because you still believe that unless you take care of yourself,
you will never be able to take care of yourself unless you do it yourself.
But this is not the ultimate truth.
The ultimate truth is, the same power that
knows how to grow oranges on an orange tree,
knows how to grow wheat,
knows how to grow mangoes and roses and flowers and everything else,
knows how to take care of what you call your body,
without any help from you.
You simply interfere for you are the ego it appears.
And it's the ego who tells yourself how you're supposed to live
and what you're supposed to do,
whom you're supposed to be with, so forth and so on.
If you will only surrender yourself.
If you would only surrender your body, surrender your fears,
surrender your nose, surrender everything
then the current which knows the way will become activated
and you will find that you're doing beautiful things on this earth.
You will find that you're well taken care of.
It also sounds sort of strange when I tell you
if you have a disease, if you have physical problems,
if you have problems of lack or limitation.
Do not attempt to correct these things.
Whatever problem you may think you have
do not attempt to correct these things at all.
Become the witness to the whole play of consciousness.
Merely watch, observe, look intelligently at everything that appears.
Whether it's in your body or in the world or in the universe or wherever.
When you surrender like this
something will give way and lead you
where you're supposed to be at this present time
of your incarnation going through the experiences
that you came here to go through.
As you begin to trust and have faith in the powers that be,
you find that you're becoming happier and happier and happier.
Fears begin to leave you, anxiety, tension begin to disappear.
For you no longer have anything in this world to rely on.
Yet you are functioning, things are happening and you're at peace.
~ Robert Adams
Don't look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.
~ Eckhart Tolle
At some point for the seeker to cross to the other shore, they must let go of all sense of responsibility to both mind and body phenomenon. What connection do you really have to all this and what responsibility? Are you the creator of the cosmos? How ludicrous to think that your will can interfere with the will of God or that your concern is even needed or helpful. Therefore, stop trying to protect a life that is terminal and truly stand completely alone in spite of concepts and physical concerns. Complete surrender is the only effort one need make, and surely the rest is taken care of by Divine Force.
~ Atreya Thomas
You' don't surrender.
You get surrendered.
~ Roger Castillo
Let’s look further into what trust is. Let’s say that trust is what gives the security and the safety and the confidence to allow yourself to be open in a situation, allowing whatever is there to happen without resisting it, without having to protect or defend yourself against it. That’s a good operative definition of trust for now. Within this concept of trust, there are two levels. The first level, the superficial one, is the willingness to trust. You feel no conscious resistance. You can say, “Yes, I trust. I don’t want to resist you or the situation.” That is one level. The deeper level is actually doing it—not resisting, even unconsciously. So the superficial level is consciously not wanting to resist, consciously not defending, consciously feeling safe and secure enough to let yourself be open and surrender to the situation. Perhaps that’s all a person can do at a given moment, even though there is still an unconscious distrust. On the deeper level, the person trusts all the way; even the unconscious fears are gone. Then there’s a complete openness, a complete lack of resistance, defensiveness, or protectiveness, a complete lack of fear or paranoia, a complete surrender. Not just willingness to surrender, but really surrendering. On the first level, there might be a willingness to surrender, but not the capacity to surrender. On the deeper level, there is the capacity to surrender, to be there, to yield to the situation.
~ A.H. Almaas
Right now, there are whole monastic communities praying for your liberation. Whether you consciously receive this support or negate it, the loving support is offered. Whatever we relate to that helps us sense and accept a sense of love and unconditional holding will go a long way towards giving you the courage to surrender open. Whether you choose to cultivate trust via calling on a guru, a teacher, an aspect of The Divine you personally relate to, an inner guide, or a person who has appeared in your life as if evidence for unconditional love, work consciously with that. Acknowledge the love and holding as a spiritual field in which you always dwell, and let it support your capacity to surrender into deeper realms. This is singularly one of the most powerful things you can cultivate in your daily life.
~ Miranda Macpherson
There are two ways of achieving surrender. One is looking into the source of the ‘I’ and merging into that source. The other is feeling, ‘I am helpless myself, God alone is all powerful, and except by throwing myself completely on Him, there is no other means of safety for me’; and thus gradually developing the conviction that God alone exists and the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation.
~ Ramana Maharshi
Complete surrender is impossible. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In the course of time that will lead to complete surrender
~ Ramana Maharshi
Surrender is not a weakness it is strength. It takes tremendous strength to surrender life to the supreme – to the cosmic unfolding.
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. . . . Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Breathe, live, die... as if you had a choice in the matter but know in your deepest place that your every choice is given and you are powerless to refuse.
~ Wayne Liquorman