Surrendering to the “I am”
Aren’t you like the water in the river?
Holding onto water doesn’t make sense
and pushing water away neither
All that can be done is to surrender to this river called life
All the coming and goings...
…embrace them with awareness… this is you
I wrote this poem a year ago in Rishikesh while watching the river Ganges and while attending Mooji’s satsangs.
With this poem I’m trying to say that the “selfs” that we often identify with for example the body, the mind etc. are fluid, it does not make sense to hold on to any versions of it. It also raises the question who is suppose to be holding on to it as the something that is nature fluid can’t hold on to something else that is fluid. At the same time to hold on to pleasant experiences and push unpleasant ones away, is an illusion and discouraging peace.
I think we do not control this river called life, I suspect this movie might be predetermined, so there is not much to do, but a lot to “BE”. This is pointing to a spiritual practice of not identifying oneself with the body nor mind and not to be affected by the nature of it’s experiences. In other words the invitation is: See what happens.
In addition to this, experiential avoidance of “what is” can create more suffering than is already inherent to this experience called life. Our inner and outer reality is constantly changing, comings and goings. We can live with more peace if we realize who or what we really are and what is the nature of things even though our might gives us many illusions. This means surrendering to the fact that change is inherent to reality and training our brains to feel satisfied with less.
However the idea that I’ve heard from Spiritual teachers like Mooji of being the awareness of awareness has confused me a lot over the years, although I could see the benefit of experiencing the self in that manner. Then I learned about dependent arising which means that awareness can’t exist without a subject and a subject can’t exist without awareness. This was also my direct experience during a Vipassana meditation retreat. However this dependent arising happens because our minds are designed to think in terms of separation, in a dualistic way. Our understanding of the world is based separation of all things, this is part of the strategy of the organism to survive. However the teaching of the Buddha shows us another perspective of interconnectedness and oneness. Most meditation and yoga practices are aimed at overcoming duality to facilitate the unity of experiences and views to attain peace and suffer less.
However animals including us humans are subject to strategies of gene survival (from the Buddha’s Brain) and unfortunately mother nature doesn’t care about how these strategies feel. These strategies work greatly for our survival but also lead to great suffering. The survival strategies create distress and pain so that we keep following them and this often leads to frustration, seen the nature of things (interconnectedness, changing and unsatisfying). This is because the strategies try to create separation while we are interconnected, try to stabalize something that is always changing and try to hold on to pleasures and avoid threats, while it is impossible to do this and be and feel safe and satisfied all of the time.
In other words our evolutionary systems are not developed to feel one with all things, the flow with change, and to remain in a state of equanimity within a river of ever changing stimuli as they are interpretated by our brain as neutral, pleasant and unpleasant. However if we don’t develop awareness about this and develop strategies to retrain our brains, we probably suffer greatly with our pain and distress. We add something onto the unpleasant experiences like being in pain, aging and dying by not accepting it. We suffer that we suffer. In this way self-compassion, acceptance or surrendering to the flow of life can be helpful.
This “surrendering” is this something that can be done? Or is it something that is? Or does this just happen as well and if so, can it be observed? Because who or what is it, that is surrendering? I start to come to an little understanding of this, and might confuse myself and you more, but let’s see what happens ;-). In this vision the path and the one walking it are not separate and in that case there is nowhere to go and no one to be, but here and now.
Inspired by Mooji, Sri Ramana, the book the Buddha’s brain and a friend.