True Surrender

avi's picture

Average: 4.7 (15 votes)

You have been told that in order to get rid of something painful, you have to accept it, not to resist it.

It can be a pain-inflicting emotion, a physical pain, a distress, grief over the lost of a loved on.

So you accept this painful something, whatever it is, hoping to get rid of it in this way.

But it does not go away.

It does not go away because your acceptance is not real. It is just a trick of the mind, a resistance disguised as acceptance: you accept it in order to get rid of it - your aim is to get rid of it which merely means, in other words, that you actually resist it, you are not truly accepting it. This is not a true surrender.

Real acceptance means that you are willing to accept the POSSIBILITY that this underlying painful thing might stay here FOREVER, and meanwhile you are willing to live side by side with this painful thing.

In other words, in order to apply a real acceptance, you must adopt a totally different aim, a new radical state of mind of not minding what happens with this painful thing. Sounds confusing? It is more simple than you can imagine.

Then, after this true surrender, this painful something may indeed disappear and it may not. But in this new state of mind, you do not care. This is the beauty of this system of creation.

Omkaradatta's picture

That isn't acceptance...

"Real acceptance means that you are willing to accept the POSSIBILITY that this underlying painful thing might stay here FOREVER"

Real acceptance means that the word "forever" no longer holds any meaning. It means that this underlying painful thing just became painful when you noticed it... now. No thought arises about how long the pain might last, because the pain is simply what is... now.

Dare I suggest that the pain might be equally as acceptable as pleasure? Is it too radical? Even if so -- from here, that is real acceptance.

Accept no cheap imitations ;-).

Omkaradatta | Tue, 08/26/2008 - 07:39
sisi's picture

Keep simple

It is much more sophisticated than what you think. It uses the word "forever" precisely due to the common connotation of the word in the minds of people, it is not intended to write a new dictionary or a metaphysical thesis. It starts from where the readers start with their concepts and leads them to a new simple, yet radical, state of mind.

I totally agree that the above definition of true acceptance as not having hidden rejection motives and so accepting the possibility that the pain stays here forever is the most effective, practical and accurate depiction of acceptance I have ever encountered until now. I find it extremely important to emphasis this because I saw the enormous change this simple sentence has instantly done on so many people, including me.

It enables people for the first time to really accept after years of futile trials of false acceptance. whoever ever tries this new approach sees the radical change. I did. And this change and the new ability to really accept is what counts. The actual practice and its effectiveness is important, not the wording and the "philosophization".

Just do it and you will notice the difference. Words, analysis, intellectual debating about the meanings of certain words are just tricks of your mind to avoid the essence, they most often serve nothing.

The word "forever" is used here just for the sake of conveying the mental state of true acceptance as accurately as possible. "forever" is a concept which has a certain existing common connotation in the minds of the readers so the description uses this current connotation, that's all.

What you suggest has no strength in giving people the ability to start accepting truly from now on in daily life. It is like the "you are not the body", "reality is non-dual", etc. These sentences as well as yours are true but unfortunately they are not effective otherwise all that ever heard them and pondered on them were already enlightened by now. There is a need for much more creative tricks when you try to counter the mind's old conditionings.

sisi | Tue, 08/26/2008 - 08:21
Omkaradatta's picture

Accepting the possibility?

Don't people do that anyway sometimes? "Oh my God, it feels like this pain might be here FOREVER". It seems to me thoughts like this tend to increase the suffering involved.

Are you saying folks should also think that it would be OK if it were here forever? That seems here to be quite difficult, turning the pain into a "task" or "challenge" to be worked on.

Perhaps that would work for some folks (I'm not knocking it), but I don't see the sophistication in this approach, sorry. It's an affirmation of "me, separate and distinct from this pain, living side by side with it forever" and it looks quite crude from a spiritual standpoint. Maybe I'm missing something?

Omkaradatta | Tue, 08/26/2008 - 09:30
talesh's picture

Have you ever considered the

Have you ever considered the possibility of pouring unrelenting love into that situation which is painful? Not suddenly, but in slowly increasing parts? I know my words sound vague but the original idea being discussed is very broad also. For a better description than I can ever provide see this link.

It makes complete sense from your point of view if you accept that which is painful is also that which is part of you. You end up pouring love back into yourself.


talesh | Tue, 07/28/2009 - 00:24
gurthbruins's picture

the essence

sisi writes:

"Just do it and you will notice the difference. Words, analysis, intellectual debating about the meanings of certain words are just tricks of your mind to avoid the essence, they most often serve nothing."

I so agree.
What is the essence of enlightenment in one word? "Acceptance" is OK I think, if it is deep, total and effortless. I'd say total acceptance is total enlightenment, if it spans all moments in time. (short-term acceptance is pretty useless!).

I prefer "surrender" even.

And what we basically accept is : the will of God, and what we basically surrender is: our whole being, as given to God.

Is anything more than this needed?

gurthbruins | Wed, 11/09/2011 - 08:40
robert's picture

accepting the possibility

This is so true - our hidden motive is still to get rid.

"Accepting the possibility" works - it names precisely the thing that needs to be accepted, not more and not less; it is stated softly and so does not provoke unnecessary contra; and it prevents the mind's hidden motive to coexist.

robert | Tue, 12/30/2008 - 00:41
lalo's picture

accepting the possibility

I adopted the possibility trick since I read it here and it works

lalo | Wed, 12/31/2008 - 00:41
salamtak's picture


it is so pessimistic even though it is only the possibility

i find it too harsh

salamtak | Sun, 01/11/2009 - 22:58
enlight's picture

A radical shift in objectives

This is a super important post. So many people fall in this pitfall, so many people that have already arrived to the the greatest secret of all - the magic of acceptance. And YET, they fail in a tiny but super important condition: They do try to accept but they accept out of the wish to extinguish the object of acceptance. And so, their acceptance is not effective.

This is so crucial there are not enough words of warning that could convey it: The aim of acceptance is to be able to live side by side with the pain, not to eliminate the pain.

This is a radical shift in objectives. One must understand this delicate yet central difference.

enlight | Tue, 04/21/2009 - 14:50
Quantum's picture

My two cents worth

Sounds like "Apathy" to me. Really.

Has anyone every considered the 5, or was it 7, stages of grief? Goes something like this:

1) Denial
2) Grief
3) Bargaining
4) Anger
5) Acceptance

Seems to work for me. So long as I know which stage i'm in, so I can move on to the next. If something is a sad circumstance, I convince myself of the reality of the event, to quit denying it, then I skip the grief, or stay there for a moment, or, maintain it, I don't bother to bargin, negotiating is not one of my strong points. I quickly try to jump to Anger as soon as possible, because anger for me is a more positive emotion than grief. Anger gets my adrenaline going, makes me want to do. Grief is debilitating, makes turns me into a vegetable. I seem to inhabit all stages simultaneously also, sometimes.

But when the situation can call for it, I jump to anger as soon as possible. The adrenaline pumped in my system gives me strenth to ...well.. let go, I guess.

My car got stolen.
Denial: I coult not believe my eyes that the parking stall was empty. It took several seconds to sink in.
Grief: Of course I was sad.
Bargaining: "It's not really stolen, I just parked it somewhere and got a ride back home. It's still where I left it."
Anger: GOD! #***A It*@Q!@!! Some *ss**#AA*!!! Jacked my car! I Hope they rot in Hell!

Then the doing: I called whoover needed to be called, cops, insurance, tow truck-after it was found, shopped around for another.

Then, I cleaned out the found, but stripped for parts, beloved Honda, sat in it, shed a tear. Perhaps another. Sat in it for a bit more. Touched it.

Then said good bye.

And I was fine after that.

Now I frice a silver 6cylinder Jetta. Sweet ride.


Quantum | Mon, 10/05/2009 - 20:32
Elijah_NatureBoy's picture


My experiences have proven to surrender is to accept what is and every possible outcome associated with it. One example was when I got a hairline fracture in my right ankle and desired not to go to a doctor so I used my staff as a crutch and in three weeks it was healed with only a healing line one can feel as evidence.

One thing we all forget is the law of existence is change, so when we surrender we are accepting whatever change comes with the condition. That include discarnation, a permanent disability or relief, we have determined to go on with our lives no matter what tomorrow brings.

--Elijah "NatureBoy"-- Presenting SEEDS OF LIFE @

Elijah_NatureBoy | Mon, 06/20/2011 - 01:06