Tara talks of a time when she felt superior to the people around her. The way she handled the feelings was through surrender and when they surfaced again, she would surrender again and again.
In other words, like the monsters of Milarepa, she would tell them they are welcome and proceed to show they had no power over her.Surrendering also worked for Buddha’s great disciple Ananda
. Ananda had tried everything in an attempt to gain enlightenment and after going at it for an entire night, he only attained enlightenment after letting go of all striving.
Tara writes:“We can’t will surrendering. Our wisdom knows that the pathway is surrender; our mind can be quiet and present, and our heart can be willing and prayerful. And yet, it is awareness that does the work. In the light and tenderness of awareness, thoughts naturally dissolve, bodily resistance softens, emotional fears and grasping unwind and release.”
Here Tara implies that awareness is always present and the key to effective surrendering is to let it shine and not try to control it like Ananda had done for an entire night.
Through the book, Tara stops to offer moments of reflection. The one that stood out for me is
The RAIN meditation technique. It has the following steps:
- Recognize. Whisper whatever is happening in your mind. If it's fear, anger, hurt, or shame, name it.
- Allow. Let whatever you are feeling be. Don’t judge it, don't try to fix it, or ignore it. Whisper ‘this too belongs’
- Investigate. Out of curiosity, feel into your body. Touch the part of your body where it hurts, or where the emotion is based. Look into what is being asked of you. Is it love? Forgiveness? Acceptance? Understanding?
- Nurture. Offer care to any feelings of vulnerability. Your touch should be tender as you send the message that offers the most healing.
After a RAIN session, take moments of stillness and sense the quality of presence that has unfolded. Notice how your emotions have changed since you started. The goal is to cultivate a compassionate awareness that is always there.