When to exert? When to surrender?
My first memories of the word “surrender” relate to old cowboy movies, when someone had a gun pointed at them, and they had to “surrender” against their will. Therefore, I have built-in resistance to even considering the possibility that surrender could be a good thing, much less something to do when I don’t have to. I’m gradually coming around to realizing the fact that surrender is not only a valuable asset, but a true key to peace of mind. Who knew? Have you heard the “Serenity Prayer”?
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Moment by moment, I’m beginning to notice how often I face circumstances that I would not choose, but that I cannot change. My peace of mind is affected. This is when surrender comes to the rescue! Jesus prayed, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done.” This is my new understanding of surrender. I’m beginning to see it as a valuable asset to cultivate for peace of mind.
Often, we don’t know whether we can change a situation or not. That’s why we need to pray for wisdom. Meanwhile, I’m starting with the small stuff. For example, one day as the 30 minute guided meditation was taking place here at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam where I run the sound system and recording equipment, there was suddenly some electric interference that caused the wireless microphone to have disturbing noise mixed in with the Swami’s voice. I did whatever I could think of, and it was better, but still distracting for the 80 people who were there to meditate. To really stop the noise, I would have had to interrupt the meditation to change to a different microphone. That would have been even more disruptive than the noise. So, I had to sit there for 20 minutes while the interference continued. I suspect it was more obvious to me than to everyone else. Still, my peace of mind was noticeably affected. Then, I suddenly realized that it was an opportunity to practice surrender. Wow. To my surprise, it worked! I was able to let go and let God. The bottom line: Surrender is a choice. It’s like a secret weapon against mental disturbance. As for the rest of the story, it turns out that the old wireless microphone was using a frequency range that the FCC has now assigned for other uses. We got a new microphone, and the interference does not happen anymore. Yay!
Sending Love from Pennsylvania,
(Who am I really? Hmmmm… )
QUOTES FROM MY NOTES
When you have lost something in your house, do you look for it in the forest? Don’t make that mistake. When you have lost your happiness, don’t look outside yourself to find it.
Pursuing lasting fulfillment in wealth or relationships or pleasures has not worked yet, and will not work. High status and position have fooled not a few. Don’t get clever and rationalize and justify. Desire only awareness of God within. “Our hearts remain restless until they rest in God.” (Saint Augustine)
Searching for God outside is futility.
Don’t let memories destroy the freshness of each moment. Don’t.
Instead of focusing on changing your destiny, focus on changing your attitude toward whatever happens.
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