It is truth that liberates, 
not your effort to be free
~ J. Krishnamurti


The question of ‘surrender’ is one that is often misunderstood. Surrender implies, in everyday language, something that the mind does, even remotely, in order to give itself to a reality that seems inescapable. It often comes down to a form of resignation, a giving up, something passive at its core, which brings more delusion and suffering. So what is true ‘surrender’, in a non-dual context? I have gathered here many quotes and pointers on this subject, from various spiritual teachers and poets of the eternal and the infinite. I hope that this will bring some clarity into that which Jeff Foster calls the deepest acceptance…




People often think that surrender means to renounce wealth, sexuality, or objects. Such a renunciation might be useful but it could also be a hindrance. Real surrender takes place when we cease to take ourself for a separate entity, an object. This renunciation seems, at first sight, limited in scope and too simple, but it is, in fact, the ultimate surrender. Such a giving up has no purpose, it comes from the deep understanding that our true nature, consciousness, is free from all limitations. From this perspective, surrender means to see the limitations for what they are: mere concepts superimposed onto our real being, which is limitless.”
~ Francis Lucille (‘Eternity Now’)


You may discover that when there is no resistance to totally being in hell, that heaven opens up and samsara reveals its true nature as nirvana. But the catch is, if you are embracing hell as a strategy to get you to heaven, that doesn’t work. Only the complete absence of wanting what is to be different in any way pops the imaginary bubble of separation. No one can do this. It is like dying or falling asleep. It is the absence of any doing, the absence of control, the absence of effort, the absence of any concern about what happens. It is a letting go, a dissolving, a relaxing. This letting go begins with letting go even of the need to let go, for the need to fall asleep keeps us awake, just as the imperative to surrender is a form of holding on and seeking control. True surrender is the absence of resistance even to holding on if that is how life is showing up in this moment. Surrender is the absence of trying to surrender.”
~ Joan Tollifson


How can you allow this moment? How can you accept it? Wouldn’t you have to be separate from it, to accept it? How can you allow the air, the rain, the grass as it grows? How can you allow the planets to spin in their orbits? How can you allow the breath in your lungs? Isn’t all of this already allowed? Isn’t life already exactly as it is right now? How can you allow or disallow what is already here? Isn’t it already too late to accept or reject this moment? How can you surrender to something you were never separate from in the first place? Hasn’t The Deepest Acceptance already happened?
~ Jeff Foster (‘Falling in Love with Where you are’)




What is self-surrender?
Accept what comes
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj



Letting the movements of your body and mind follow their natural course does not mean passively indulging and identifying with them. This only leads to servitude and misery. You must distinguish between passive letting go and active letting go. In active letting go you remain totally present, clear-sighted, uninvolved and actively alert. Gradually the ego loses its grip until it is reabsorbed into pure awareness. Seeing things no longer from a center is the first step towards permanent freedom, which can only take place if we are free from any form of projection or expectation. If we anticipate, it only disrupts the natural process which must be allowed to come to completion of its own accord. The awareness that shines forth like a flash of lightning in clear-sighted vision cannot possibly take root in a mind which is encumbered.”
~ Jean Klein (‘I Am’)


Take a thought, or a series of thought. Is it clear to you that the space of awareness in which this series of thoughts is appearing, is letting go of every thought as it appears, just letting the thought come and go. In other words, the natural condition of awareness is to let experience in and to let experience out, to let things come, to let things go. Now continue taking a series of thoughts, and just choose one of them, the current thought. Now, try to hold on to it. Have you in fact ever had an experience in your life that you were able to hold on to? When we look at our experience, we’ve never managed to hold on to a single experience in our lives. And this hasn’t destroyed us, it hasn’t diminished us. Experience is continually just passing through us, leaving us as we essentially are. … We try to make surrender an activity of the mind, rather than realising it is the natural condition of awareness.”
~ Rupert Spira


I think there is a surrender which is not deliberate, which is totally unasked, un-demanded. When the mind demands something, it is not surrender. When the mind demands peace, when it says `I love God and I pursue the love of God’, it is not love. All the deliberate activities of the mind is the continuance of the mind, and that which has continuity is in time. It is only in the cessation of time that there can be the being of reality. The mind cannot surrender.”
~ J. Krishnamurti  (Bombay 2nd Public Talk 10th February 1954)




Life can only find the space to reveal its beauty in complete surrender, 
in total inability to be anything
~ Éric Baret



Meditation is very simple. It means to surrender the mind, the body, and the world, from moment to moment, to the silent presence in which they appear. That’s all. … Surrender the one who does anything, who wants anything, who is afraid of anything. This one is an appearance. This one is made of thoughts and feelings. When this one is silent, then the world, the body, and the mind are surrendered to silence. Nothing else needs to be done.”
~ Francis Lucille (‘The Perfume of Silence’)


When one makes an effort to be good, in that very goodness is evil. Everything affirmed contains its own opposite, and effort to overcome strengthens that against which it strives. When you demand an experience of truth or reality, that very demand is born out of your discontent with what is, and therefore the demand creates the opposite. And in the opposite there is what has been. So one must be free of this incessant demand, otherwise there will be no end to the corridor of duality. This means knowing yourself so completely that the mind is no longer seeking.”
~ J. Krishnamurti


Now let me get to your question: “How do I surrender to life, and just let it happen?” Short answer: you can’t. Surrendering to life, I say, is neither necessary nor possible. Life is already “just happening,” and will continue to just happen as long as the body is alive. That is what life is: a living, breathing body. Life is just happening right now as you read this. The body, which is life, knows exactly what to do. You—meaning the endless round of thoughts you call “myself”—have nothing to do with that aliveness, except that myself—the habitual intellection called myself, I mean—needs the body in order to exist, and myself knows it.”
~ Robert Saltzman (‘The Ten Thousand Things’)




To the mind that is still
the whole universe surrenders
~ Buddha



It is really courting death when we refuse to accept death; when we wish to give the form of the self some fixed changelessness; when the self feels no impulse which urges it to grow out of itself; when it treats its limits as final and acts accordingly. Then comes our teacher’s call to die to this death; not a call to annihilation but to eternal life. It is the extinction of the lamp in the morning light; not the abolition of the sun. It is really asking us consciously to give effect to the innermost wish that we have in the depths of our nature.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore (‘Sādhanā’)


‘Surrender’ has something of a negative implication. You can never achieve surrender by deliberation. What you want is to surrender your attachment to objects. In other words, you want to forget objects (body, senses and mind). If you start deliberately to forget them, they become more strongly manifest. Therefore the only means to achieve surrender is to turn your attention to the support or the background. … Surrender can never be accomplished objectively. It is only by establishing oneself in one’s own Real nature, Atma, that real surrender obtains. Because you see that there is nothing else to be surrendered; and then, even the word ‘surrender’ becomes meaningless.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon


To begin with, welcoming is usually understood as something that we do. Later on it is understood to be something that we stop doing. It is understood as the cessation of resistance, of exclusively focusing onto a fragment of our experience. And finally welcoming is understood to be what we are, the natural, loving, open space in which all things come into being, abide, and dissolve. Surrender to not knowing. Understand that every time that you have been happy in your life it came out of nowhere in an unpredictable way. We cannot secure happiness through knowing or doing. Let go of this waste of energy.”
~ Francis Lucille (‘The Perfume of Silence’)


Meditation is the relaxation of the tension in attention and the subsequent return of awareness to itself. It is a dissolving of the mind in the heart of awareness, not a directing of the mind towards any kind of objective experience.”
~ Rupert Spira (‘Being Aware of Being Aware’)


love is a place 
and through this place of 
love move 
(with brightness of peace) 
all places 

yes is a world 
and in this world of 
yes live 
(skillfully curled) 
all worlds

~ E.E. Cummings




– Pictures by Alain Joly

– ‘The Perfume of Silence’ – by Francis Lucille – (Truespeech Productions)
– ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ – by Robert Saltzman – (Non-duality Press)
– ‘Presence‘, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Freedom from the Known’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Rider Books)
– ‘Nothing to Grasp’ – by Joan Tollifson – (Nonduality Press)
– ‘I Am’ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)

Francis Lucille
Rupert Spira
Robert Saltzman
J. Krishnamurti Online
Joan Tollifson
Jean Klein (Wikipedia)

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