These notes from Cynthia Bourgeault are taken from a transcript of a series of recorded reflections Cynthia gave over a space of many months from 1999-2003.

When we begin to have a rudimentary meditation practice, a heart that knows how to surrender, when we begin to have a rudimentary observing “I”, at this point we’re going to get to used them and become so at one with the motion that a different consciousness can be born. It’s almost like going through a time warp. I almost see surrender as a time warp that opens out into a kingdom which doesn’t exist apart from it but exists within it. It’s huge – a whole different place of reality which is an indescribable reality until you have done the gesture, until you are doing the gesture.

So the state that we’re talking about is a state of continuous surrender and what that means in any of your lives might be worth pondering. What’s the difference between surrender as the bottom line to a variety of different life propositions as opposed to surrender as a steady state – a continuous, unvarying, moment by moment attitude to life?

The higher possibility is accessed by surrendering. And all that really means is, if you can see the higher possibility, do it. If you can’t see the higher possibility but you know it’s there, surrender to it – just don’t do the lower. If you can just follow that much, you’ll be led because the moment you wake up, the moment you actually see, you’ll see the choice. There’s a choice in the situation.

Another way of saying the higher and the lower possibility is there’s a “yes” and a “no” in every situation. You can follow the “no” – and I don’t mean by that a firm choice externally – but you can go into a situation filled with resistance, filled with “no”, filled with fighting and that will be the lower possibility; or you can go in filled with yielding, filled with opening, filled with surrender, and that will actualize the higher possibility even though you don’t see it.

If we say that what we are surrendering to is the possibility of the manifesting of the Essential Self; if we’re surrendering to Spirit, what surrenders is heart – something deeper in us. I experience surrender as the heart opening.

So it’s not something that the ego does, but of course the ego is a mirage all along. What finally arises is there is only Spirit, nafs – or lower self – and heart; it simply restores the right relationship.

You can’t surrender unconsciously. And rather than saying it’s not an act that the ego can do, you can say it’s not an act that unconsciousness can do. It’s only an act that can be done from a level of conscious presence. And that’s probably much more useful because this thing that people mostly mistake for surrender is really only knuckling under and victimization.

If you just sort of give up and resign yourself without conscious presence, you haven’t surrendered. But from the point of view of being in that observer, being in observer “I”, realignment and then saying, “Yes, I let go of the drama of my life as it’s manifesting in this moment and surrender in the now, the is, the what is here, the higher” – that’s where it comes from. For something higher in you, surrender; the amazing thing is that you’re able to do this at all, that you can wake up and be conscious. And that’s the gift.