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I often talk of the value of letting go, allowing, or surrender on the spiritual path. It is key for letting in the light. For the new to arise, let go of the old.

But letting go means a value of acceptance, particularly self-acceptance. If we’re seeing ourselves as not good enough in an overt or subtle way, if we’re ashamed of ourselves, or are driven by fear it’s very difficult to accept.

As long as we’re contracted we can’t let go.

Happily, we don’t have to be perfect on that front. Just enough to remove some shadows. Then the light can get in.

Enlightenment is not an escape from your troubles. It’s a process of making things MORE conscious. The open presence of awakening will draw forward anything left behind. Over time, all that is hidden will rise up.

This isn’t something to be afraid of. But it is something to be real about. Shine the light on things and the shadows become more distinct. But then we can heal them and fill with light and peace.

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  1. celeste

    I have been having a steady stream of issues coming up. I am trying to heal them by acknowledging them. Realize that I am not pushing them away and trying to be conscious about them. How do I know they have been healed? Any other suggestions on how to heal them?

    1. Hi Celeste
      This question is mainly about mind wanting to control the process. When we have an opening or enter certain kinds of time cycles, there can be an increase in issues arising.

      In the first case, the opening creates a space so issues rush forward to be resolved. Or they become more conscious. This is a good thing. We just have to be a little patient and allow them. In many cases this is all it takes. Just old experiences that wanted to be seen and completed.

      Some of the bigger nuts may arise in layers. This can seem like coming back over and over but often it is a deeper value that can become conscious as the previous level is cleared.

      A little patience and persistence and gradually the clouds lift and the sun can shine through more and more.

      It’s not a process we want to think of as ending. We just get more skilled and gradually shift to helping the collective more and more. As we wake up, it becomes less personal. That makes it easier.

  2. Emine

    Thank you David! I find your posts, your words so encouraging. I”m recently beginning to understand the importance of letting go, not clinging. Fear is a crucial obstacle here. The being- the ego, or whatever ‘that’ may be called- needs to be convinced that there’s nothing to fear as there’s actually nothing to lose. Then the light finds a way in I suppose.

    1. Hi Emine
      You’re very welcome. Yes, letting go is central to the spiritual process. And yes, the ego wants to control. Letting go is the last thing it wants. In many cases, a gradual experience of source leads to an easier letting go as the fear is relaxed.

      It depends a little on the person though. For example, I have a strong mind, so it’s the mind that needed to understand so it would let go. For others, there may be a need for emotional reassurance. And so on.

      It’s tricky though because deep spiritual experiences demonstrate to the ego it will lose it’s importance. Sometimes, presence simply gets loud enough to drown out the ego’s voice. 🙂

      But yes, there is nothing to lose except illusion, and infinity to gain, literally.

      To be clear, I use the word “being” in 2 ways here. As an entity or life-form. And as a sense of boundless existence or Amness.


    Hi David,
    When you say surrender what do you mean?

    I get confused because I understand that it does not mean inaction. It does not mean that I surrender while my house is getting burnt – instead, I do everything in my means to save my loved ones, prevent the fire from spreading, saving my possessions, etc. Maybe surrender means that once I have done the best I could, I get on with what is left and start over.

    Or another example, say I was laid off due to organization politics with the higher-ups making me the fall guy. I surrender to the fact that it was my destiny as there was no way for me to control it. And from now on bury that matter in my past.

    A different way of stating the above is I stop thinking or remove my mind from thinking. Stop making judgements, getting attached to thoughts, stop the ‘What if this had not happened” etc.

    Is this understanding correct of what surrendering means?

    1. Hi Sandesh
      Somewhat. Fundamentally, surrender is an approach to life, a letting go. It is not a doing but an allowing. Not fighting life.

      From a Yoga perspective it is letting go of the ego attachments. This allows the mind to settle and reveal consciousness or the true Self beyond it.

      Emotionally, it is allowing emotions to arise so they can be experienced and healed. Not investing in them but letting them complete.

      Similarly with the mind and thoughts.

      This is why I recommend an effortless meditation. It helps culture allowing at a very deep level where concentration techniques do not.

      As we learn to be rather than resist, this spills over into our day-to-day life. We allow events to arise as they are, then act to deal with them like you described in the house fire example. Outer action, inner allowing.

      When we allow, things open up, expand or release.

      I don’t recommend burying but rather healing so the past becomes a neutral influence. Otherwise, the past will haunt you, rising up to be healed.

      When we heal, the thoughts and emotions settle. Then the judgements and monkey mind will settle too. Controlling them is not how to resolve them even though this is the common approach of most people.

      It takes time to learn new ways of being.

      I’ve written various articles on the topic, like this

      Hope that helps

  4. Jim

    Excellent post. If I may add that once we begin to awake from our slumber, the process is irreversible, as it is our ego on one side, facing The Entire Universe on the other. The winner is obvious. 🙂

    This is the purpose of gaining light and resolving the shadows within, to become an active and useful member of the Cosmos, both perfecting the role of humanity and satisfying our greatest individual desires at the same time. Full integration.

    1. Hi Jim
      I agree, although subjectively, some people do seem to fall back into the mind while the unresolved baggage comes up. At some point, that winds down enough and the forward progress becomes more obvious.

      Everyone has their own process but eventually we all join the whole and begin to support it.

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