Cynthia Bourgeault has taught eloquently on the spiritual practice of surrender.

Here are some random quotes from Cynthia’s teaching on surrender:


The well-spring about which Jesus talks is accessed by surrender. Surrender is not about knuckling under; it is about moving to the higher being. The soul in surrender waits for the daily manna; it doesn’t feel it has to create it.

When you surrender to the Presence, you are surrendering to the Mother of Intelligence and Love.

…that act of surrendering becomes itself your connecting link with deeper awareness.

Whereas before God’s will was something out there that you could discern, download and implement in your own way, now it becomes much more immediate. You go where you are put, whether you want to or not. When people ask you questions about, “Do you like what you are doing?” the question doesn’t compute. Liking is completely irrelevant; you’ve developed enough of an independent being that you move apart from likes and dislikes. You’re not trying to satisfy yourself at that level. Instead, you become an immediately plugged-in instrument of Divine will. You have no will apart from Divine will – that’s what surrender really means.

It’s a kind of funny thing because we practice and practice and practice the gesture of surrender. We practice it in our centering prayer, yes? We practice it in our letting go in daily life. Remember? We have done a little bit of work with that, you know, where you see the smaller stuff and you let go of it. So we practice surrender. At one point surrender is the means to an end. You use surrender in order to achieve relative equanimity – you know that when you surrender all of a sudden you stop getting all that consternation, your turmoil subsides, you get in touch with the larger Being. At this point you are using surrender to get to the bliss that lies beyond it.

But eventually, as you pass through this dark night, surrender becomes itself the Absolute. It’s no longer a means to an end. It is a pure state of being, a free gift that doesn’t lead to anything else. It just becomes a permanently fused attitude.

…when we first up the ante in the spiritual journey there’s this sense of this incredible heaviness – this thing, this stuff, this loneliness, this emptiness, this ache, this whatever it is – is in your face. It’s heavy. You feel it as something odd and unfamiliar and even alien. And as you gradually get used to it, it lightens. But the knack – and this is what you really practice going through the dark night of the sense and developing this surrender, surrender, surrender thing is that surrender will always get you where you’re going – and if you can surrender into being gentle and quiet with it rather than resisting and pulling out it will pass, it will move. If you resist, it won’t and you get caught in that fire.

You eventually learn, just by trial and error, to promptly take the position of being gentle, being quiet, resting, relaxing in whatever is rather than trying to change whatever it is so you can relax. This is the practice you go through.