Surrender in God and Self-Realization
“Self-realization is perfected by devotional surrender to God.”
–Yoga Sutras 2:45
In this discussion, Ryan begins by stating that to surrender in God is the most important thing a person can do to wake up. You have to be willing to completely give up all that you think you are to the Divine. Forget about yourself, your problems, your cravings and your attachments.
Meditation practice, living a good life, and other constructive actions on the spiritual path are preliminary practices that lay the groundwork for this final step: complete and total surrender in God. With spiritual practices, you’re learning to identify with the much larger sense of Self rather than the personality. The more you identify with that larger sense of self, the less you identify with the little sense of self. It’s not about destroying the ego or getting rid of the limited personality. It’s just simply about putting your attention where you want it to go, on God.
In The Science of Self-Realization, Roy Eugene Davis’ commentary on sutra 45 reads: “Because we are units of pure consciousness and God is the cosmic unit of pure consciousness with attributes, surrendering our mistaken sense of Self-identity is the immediate way to awaken to God-realization. All other right endeavors should be known as preparatory practices.” Ryan states that this sutra helped him to remember that it is not how many Kriya practices you do or how intense you can be but about surrendering to the process. He explains that when he let go of attachment to who he thought he was and just surrendered into the process, meditations became easier and deeper because he wasn’t trying to make something happen.
Later in the talk, Ryan quotes a rabbi, a mystic: “Think of yourself as nothing and totally forget yourself when you pray. Only remember that you are praying for the Divine Presence. You may then enter the state of consciousness which is beyond time. Everything there is the same or perceived as One. But to enter this realm you must relinquish your ego and forget your troubles.” Remember you are not meditating to stop your thoughts or change yourself specifically. The real reason you meditate is to know God, to know what you really are. If you know that, you won’t be worried about your thoughts and your personality.
You always have to remember with your spiritual practice, it’s not about stifling or repressing or getting rid of something, it’s about unveiling something. The way you unveil it is by maintaining your focus on where you want to go and not on the distractions that present themselves. When a distraction comes up, give it up to God. Do this over and over again until there’s nothing left to give up to God. When there’s nothing left to give up to God, there is just God.
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