Conscious surrender is how I get the conscious and creative parts of me working together. Both are required for making progress with love. To do creative work I have to surrender to my own inner authority, which I see as Leela, the creative source of the universe. In partner dancing Leela is the music, the key to the game the two of us are playing. The need for surrender is obvious: if I don't surrender to the music my dancing lacks musicality, the magic ingredient that transforms awkward movements into dancing. Surrendering consciously helps me engage the music, get inside it, so it moves me. Thinking is an obstacle once that begins, but I need my conscious processes to get me to the point of surrender. The problem with thinking is it uses up all my attention, leaving no room for creativity. Consciously surrendering to Leela transforms meditation from a slow laborious task into something that feels like being in love.
Working on surrender. When Leela spoke to me in 2006 she was calling me to surrender. I was finally ready to get real help from her, from my own body instead of bogus mental help from books and teachers. So when I started thinking about taking a new meditation class or joining a group she gave me a resounding NO! For the next few months I worked diligently to learn self testing and get better at body sensing. As I began getting answers to my questions via those two methods I took the advice I got as best I knew how. I questioned hard to make sure I had the answer straight, but once I had a clear answer I followed it. I had a good start on surrender by 2007. I got much deeper with surrender during the 2010s in the runup to quitting drinking in 2016. The raw acceleration of my drinking from being a heavy social drinker to a full time drunk only lasted a few months. It was a major test of and training exercise in surrender. After following that guidance I found it easy to follow her command to quit cold turkey. I had to go through my relapse three months later so I could feel the horrific ravages of alcohol in my body, sensations Leela had kept from me so I could get to a place where the lab results would scare the shit out of me.
Submission. My relationship with Leela is one of complete submission. She is the spiritual master, and I am the willing and obedient but often careless student. Traditionally, spiritual seekers have to give up autonomy, surrendering completely to the teacher. That's why it's important not to have a human teacher. Humans don't do well with that much power. They abuse it, robbing disciples of money and sexual favors. Leela is my connection with everything that exists. She will never try to take advantage of me. She knows what works. She sees through time to any desired goal, sees the path that leads there, and guides me there.
Work. Nothing is more satisfying than doing the work Leela gives me, the work of making progress with love. I can't begin that work unless I'm doing everything I can to get my thinking out of the way and let her shine through me. One way I get to work on that is by being her conscious assistant in writing these stories. Doing the work Leela gives me is how I make progress, and making progress is what gives life meaning. Nothing else does, pretend as I may. Nothing is more deeply satisfying and subtly pleasurable than this work. It's the pleasure and satisfaction of willingly submitting to my mistress, doing her bidding whatever it is. It is sometimes frustrating. Sometimes too demanding. It burns me out and I have to do something restful before I can go on.
Surrender has no settled state. It's ongoing. No resting on laurels. I have to surrender to whatever's next on my spiritual journey. Booze and pot have been my two biggest challenges so far. Homelessness gave those two a run for their money. I had to do a lot of things that took surrender to get clean and sober. I had to surrender even more to make my way through homelessness to my new home. There's always another challenge coming. Running out of challenges would be the worst thing possible, a dead end. But there's no shortage of headroom in spiritual growth.
Right now. The only time I can surrender is right now. Surrender has to be immediate or it's not surrender. It can't be soon as I get this other job done or OK but after breakfast. Now it the only time I can surrender. Now is the only time there is.