Dharma Talk

Fundamentals of the Dharma: Surrender

Surrender is not something we decide to do. It is what is left after we have tried every way to avoid or surmount a problem. Surrendering is releasing your guard and allowing the experience into you without protection or defense, and therefore it is an activity of faith. Mostly we try to adapt our way through a difficulty, changing strategies according to the results, but surrender is not another response to a problem, it's the ending of time, distance, and separation from the problem itself.

For Your Contemplation

The difference between surrender and an adaptive response to the Dharma is that there are no adjustments in surrender; it is a simple release without a narrative. When you have bottomed out of a particular behavior there is no more discourse about whether you should do it or not. It drops away, and that is surrender. Notice where you are resisting life and see if there is a adaptive theme that runs through your aversion. “This should not be happening to me. Why is this occurring?” When you are tired of feeling sorry for yourself, surrender will be the activity of choice.