Surrender As Art

I begin to see surrender as an art, having recently witnessed the most graceful surrendering in form at the San Francisco ballet in a sequence called Hummingbird, danced to the music of Philip Glass. A male and female dressed in white, floating across the stage, she in drifting chiffon, completely releasing their bodies into one movement, a merging beyond form as she was lifted above his head, or melted her body over his back to back.

I’ve rarely seen ballet so this vision of surrender was a new realization. I have thought of the form as demanding great discipline and even very painful practice as young girls learn the challenging task of standing on their toes.   And while we might see great sequences of grace and strength, coordination and agility, it was a revelation to view the total surrender of the dancers body into the strength of her partner, whether falling back to back, or being lifted and carried in another sequence from one set of arms to another.

So of course this made me think of the act of surrender in spirituality. This moment of letting go seems terrifying to some people – they feel they are “losing” themselves, or that they might never know how to function again, if they relax into the mysterious unknown that arises at some point in the spiritual journey. They lack trust in the Whole, in the strength of that which is eternal and vast to hold them. So when moments of grace are at hand they contract, and the energy of fear washes over and paralyzes them.

Adyashanti wrote a book about awakening to life called “Falling Into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering.” Another remarkable book on awakening during the process of dying was written by   Kathleen Dowling Singh , called “The Grace in Dying: A Message of Hope. Comfort and Spiritual Transformation”. This grace, which we do not easily understand and often wonder how to “achieve”, is actually the response to surrender, to slipping gently into the arms of another dimension, with a profound trust and relaxation of every cell in our body. We need this surrender to fall into Truth, into the recognition of our true nature, and ultimately to have a peaceful passage into the unknown vastness beyond our lives. Like the ballerinas, we each struggle and seek discipline within our own destinies to become capable and agile in our own lives and spiritual practices. And then at the right moment, we must utterly surrender and trust in the emptiness and the fullness in which consciousness rests.

She must trust her partner in dance. We must trust our partner in that which has enabled our existence.

Perhaps we are touched by great artists, whether in dance or painting or music, because it holds this paradox – the passion, the power, the hard work and the grace of surrender.

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2 thoughts on “Surrender As Art

  1. Hi Bonnie – how beautifully written and symbolically explained. Can I post it to the Inner Peace Community Blog on the Tidings and Mail Tribune website? Let me know. It could also be an Inner Peace column but just a tad short of the 600 minimum. Looking forward to seeing you and Bill soon! Kisses, Sally Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 19:47:33 +0000 To: mckirgan1239@msn.com

  2. It took many years for me to understand my spiritual awakening… the mental and physical suffering and the process of being “part of this world” but “not of this world” if that is what our true nature means it’s indeed very hard to assimilate… let go of our fears of the unknown, when in fact, this life of senses it’s the only life we know! No philosophical system, no religion, no scientific method prepare us to encounter the challenge that will transform us, eventually. After many years It’s only now that I understand that to surrender is to accept without resistance “the grace” and the infinitive LOVE that is bestow upon us.

    Thank you Bonnie.

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