You can write it down before proceeding with the text in order to get some orientation in the discourse:
There is a connection between:
From the other side, there is a connection between
Relation between these two became a crux of my practice for five long years. Let's try to elaborate it in simplest way possible.
Firstly, we need to know where to find these two groups in our experience
opening-surrendering-letting go-being humble
closing-resistance-attachment and, well, suffering
to stay tuned to it. Then, we are able to study our experience and elaborate it, put it into words, and in result share and get some feedback. In most cases I can feel the quality of others feedback immediately; if it is intellectual, it's worthless. When somebody will respond from his/her own, visceral experience, the sharing and mutual enrichment can emerge.
The spirituality is about studying one's experience, studying one's life.
You live your life and practice spiritual stuff for years, and you are transforming your experience and nervous system.
You need to stay in touch with the changes and consciously relate to your experience, renew the relation over and over again. It means to let go all the assumptions and opinions which are builded on the experience. They are helpful for some time but further development requires to perpetually "brush them up" and, finally, let them go. All of them!
After some time we need to abandon all our opinions and assumptions taken from books and teachings to create an ability to relate to our experience in a direct and visceral way. This ability is usually emerging from rapid, spiritual breakthroughs.
Suppose that there are a lot of people who had this kind of insight and they are still trying to operate their experience by intellectual opinions taken from books.
It creates very toxic situation and sabogates the further growth. There are a dozens of people who have practiced some spirituality, provoked some changes in their body-mind cognition and later got stuck, blocked and very miserable.
One of the reasons is a compulsive need to align your life to intellectual opinions, yours or others (gurus, teachers etc). We hope that it can help, but after some changes it won't help anymore. This is extremely important.
The situation of encountering your guru face to face is completely different; it's not about intellectual opinions, but about relation which stimulates your experience and the whole being.
My growth was blocked and looped until I found my own teacher. Basically, he was teaching one thing needed very much in the past, and this was THE ACCEPTANCE.
We can add acceptance to our group: letting go, to accept, surrender, opening, being humble - it's all the same but not the same at the same time! It's very hard to expose a meaningful distinctions between those qualities; you need to find it yourself.
After encountering my teacher my growth have boosted up. But there was much more circumstances which forced me to transcend my current blocks and evasions. I have went throught quite traumatic time. Then for me, there was one single riddle to resolve: the nature of attachment.
1. How are we get bounded by attachments?
2. How can we free ourselves from them?
3. How to shorten a way to free from a particular attachment?
One need to comprehend that like one "comprehends" to operate with bare hands, breath or walk over the street.
Attachments are great saboteurs of the spiritual and mundane life. As far as I can see, attachments are the main category of many spiritual teachings.
This issue is very direct for me. I do not add some smart categories to my bad and good moments; I am constantly trying to recognize when my experience gets blocked and when the flow is loosen, open and natural. That's it.
Attachments disturb the flow of my psyche. I cannot live with them anymore, even if I am subconciously still repeating the same, old stuff. But it also does not work anymore.
My experience informes me about it through suffering. There is no other way than trying to let go a particular (usually invisible) attachment which gets my bodymind shrunken. It goes by cycles over and over again. I am living my life in loosen and open way and then, suddenly, some plan, agenda or thought is creating a block. I feel that my cognition got transformed, and the strategy of establishing a smart agenda belongs to my former condition, which is gone.
Well, I can understand that very clearly but I cannot avoid doing that; it goes automatic, especially when I am stressed or overwhelmed. Actually, attachments emerges independently in many situations. It is not always up to my conscious will. The challenges and suffering are inevitable; but every challenge can be a gate to break down the repeating pattern.
To do that, one need to have a direct realization of the nature of attachments.
Sometimes I clearly feel that the pattern of getting attached (in nutshell, it is about creating objects in your bodymind and misleading them with reality which results in tremendous and painful disorder in the flow of psyche) is a pure absurd.
The "attachment strategy" is about uniting two realities; our intellectual reality and phenomenal reality. I can comprehend that, but I cannot transcend this pattern. If I could, I believe I would be liberated.
Let's elaborate it a bit more.
There is a cognitive action hidden in being humble, letting go, surrendering, in abdication (as F. Pessoa express it), loosening and so on.
It is always the same action and it is very subtle one. As an anthropologist I think that many cultures are performing this action by rituals, practices and habits, like bowing, acts of veneration. As a Buddhist I made a thousands of bows in my life and I still find this practice best for me after all these years. What is happening in one's bodymind when one is doing bows, praising the God, making offerings, saying sorry to others, refraining from one's own opinions? I am sure that the visceral realization of the function of all these acts opens a gate to very rapid and quick development which eventually results in a full liberation.
Rudrananda (Rudi) is a spiritual guru I deeply respect. His book called "Spiritual Cannibalism" can be shortened to one, golden rule: making effort to surrender.
As we know, the act of surrender is considered rather wrong in our civilisation. We should be dominators, warriors, kings of our lives. We won't bow to anyone nor obey any rules in the sake of our independence.
Spiritual student can see all the cultural patterns as a terrible resistance. The crux is that we cannot avoid the consequences of these actions, because they are adressed to our bodymind, our psyche or our brain. I mean that we are doing something very harmful when we are trying to dominate, when we are pursuing our opinions and so on.
There is still one, single, cognitive pattern hidden in all of this. Rudi states that we need to see all of daily situations in terms of growth. When we have a direct connection with our experience, the mundane world appears as the perceptual spectacle; it's not about people, job, career, relationships, great ideals, social struggle and so one. It's just about our own actions. We must not get seduced by the objects from the world because in result we loose the direct relation with our experience.
All these objects are just a delusion, including "people". It does not mean that we should ignore other people, it means that we need to abandon all assumption about the others, and perceive them as "sentient beings", the Other(s), the incarnated Reality or the God himself. Treating people according to their personality is just an attachment; you are picking up some feature and stick to it.
This approach creates an multiple opportunities for resolving the problem of attachment and eliminate the meta-pattern forever. Before that is necessary to learn the visceral technique to surrender every attachment as fast as possible. In the Dzogchen tradition this process gets automatic: the bounded phenomenas (karma) are naturally emerging from subconscious and liberating themselves without our action. Before that a lot of work needs to be done!
There are a lot of practices and rituals which contains the surrender within. I encourage you to read some Christian texts, for example Silouhan the Athonite. He's literature exposes all I am talking about, embodied in his own painful life.
The great weak point of Christianity is sticking to the idea of God. It may inhibit a further development at some phase. But these logs are still full of insights. We can see how Silouhan is systematically shaping his life to avoid attachments (the Satan). In fact, he is in a constant struggle with the "pauses" of feeling the Grace, which means to be in attachment-less states, united with God. For example:
“When bad thoughts are planted in you, then cry to God: ‘Lord, my Maker and Creator. You see that my soul is in agony from bad thoughts. Have mercy on me.’ Teach yourself to root out thoughts immediately. But when you forget and don’t root them out immediately, then offer repentance. Work on this, so that you get a habit.”
We can see through the traditional terms and contemplate the raw , underlying cognitive struggle. He was "crying to God" what means the blind effort to get rid of attachment. People are grounded in different cultures and they have a specific rituals to to that. Crying to God, humble oneself is one of then. One needs to be completely serious and engaged into the process. Then, eventually, one will succeed. It is not the work of intellect, but about a total devotion.
Devotion is another synonyme of surrender. Devotee is one who cultivates the surrender. Most of people need a cultural framework to believe; God, Buddha and so on. We need a cultural framework to get engaged.
God or Buddha is perceived as a total, sacred reality which we are attending to. We could consider this process in terms of our cognition, but it won't give us so much thrills! Of course, cognitive narration is the same narration as religious one. It shares the same "substance". But, after some time one gets able to experience all the process in a raw way, and what is more, the Reality (and the bodymind) forces his or her to go forward. As I said below, some changes occured and you cannot step back. You need to pursue to the grande finale!
Let's move to the crux right now. One need to learn how to move and function in the state of surrender. As Rudi said, firstly you are afraid even to move your body. You are sitting in meditation and then, suddenly, surrender occurs.
The genuine state of surrender means to be free from any attachment in a here-and-now very moment. The state of surrender is also called the Natural State.
The task of being in the world in such state is extremely difficult. Chan master is not a one who is enlightened, but one who can maintain the state of surrender all day/every day, even during sleep period. This is what makes him the master.
The crucial thing here is connected with the will. Usually, when you are willing to do anything, even to maintain the surrender state, you immediately make an cognitive error which results in the loss of Natural State. This is how our bodymind/brain works. Most of religious narrations attach this situation with some supernatural entity or reality. For example, in Christianity, when you want to stay in touch with Grace you need to abandon your will or yourself. Daoists are talking about no-action, wu-wei. Wu-wei or grace is the environment of the Surrender.
The following sentences are very difficult to elaborate, so please stay conscious.
The surrender state has something to do with being passive.
You remain passive in some sense, and you let the Reality to flow through you. By this I mean both: internal phenomenas and external ones; all the phenomenas which approach right now in your experience. All phenomenas need to be passed through.
You do not interrupt and you remain completely spountaneous. This way of being is completely different than a "normal" state. You need to constantly let go/surrender everything, unless it will stick to you and create "you" indeed which means attachment.
This way of being is like dancing. You need to remain highly conscious to keep up with the ongoing experience and stay passive at the same time. The easier way is to maintain the state is to be completely good and avoid any evil or bad actions. The more difficult way is to do completely nothing and accept to be guided by Reality.
Christianity created a very intelligent discourse about that. You are being guided by God, with full trust and exposure. Even in pain and darkness. Pain is inavitable, but notion of "pain" which connotes something bad should be abandon too. There is no pain, just a river of phenomenas which are felt, not conceived. But I am not talking about lack of thinking; thoughts are here too, but as feelings, sensations.
It's impossible to exhaust this issue, but I will finish right now and rest. Take a final look on a picture below with could be the summary of all text you've just read: