Tantra is sometimes defined as the meeting of, and transcendance of, apparent opposites.
Recently, the circumstances in my life have made it clear that I have been carrying a split between surrender and control. As I observed this, I began to ask the question “where do surrender and control meet?”
The first thing to look at, in exploring a split, is which apparent opposite is preferred…the split is only preserved by judging and rejecting one option and choosing the opposite.
Perhaps for many in the modern world, control is the preference. In American culture, one likes to think one is “in control” of their life. We have phrases like being on top if it, having it all under control and so on. Feeling in control brings a feeling of power. However, control without any surrender becomes rigidity and stress.
In the new age culture we tend to swing the other way. Surrender is the key word, and control becomes the baddie. Anyone controlling their life may be judged whereas letting go and surrendering are seen as highly esteemed qualities. Phrases such as “chill out” and “let go” replace the motivational phrases of the modern world.
Yet there is still a split. Now surrender is chosen over control. Surrender without any control can create chaos, stagnancy and inner frustration.
It is this split that I began to observe in my life. I think that I want to be in surrender all the time, and sometimes I resent having to be in control, but I have to e on control to get things done…then I try hard to drop all the control and collapse into surrender again. When I am with a man, I want him to do all the “control” stuff so I can surrender. But this creates a huge pressure. This swinging from pole to pole, based on an apparent separation, creates a sense of contradiction and conflict. Upon looking inwards, I found the source of outer conflict to be a reflection of an inner split.
In Taoist terminology, control would be a yang quality, a masculine quality, where as surrender is the ultimate yin or feminine quality. So to create inner divine union, the question is how do these meet, merge and become one? How does this happen within me, my inner union?
The other day I was observing some friends in a couple, I saw them battle between who was surrendering and who was leading. I recognized this in my own relationships, but sometimes it is good to observe from the sidelines to gain another perspective.
At sunset, I climbed alone into the swimming pool and decided to do a simple meditation. I put out my right hand in front of me and visualized a time when I felt in control. I thought of a time when I was really on it, organizing a film trip, booking flights and hotels and getting stuff done. Then I felt into the inner feeling…it felt great: energizing, clarifying, strong and powerful.
I then put out the left hand and thought of a time of deep surrender. I thought of being blindfolded and having the senses awakened: sounds, perfumes of oils, juicy fruits fed to me, light feathery touch. Then I looked into the inner sensations: relaxed, melting, letting go, opening up, a delicious swooning feeling.
I moved awareness back to the right hand and felt into the sensations there, the energizing uplifting ones…then back to the melting relaxing feeling in my left hand. I moved between the two, feeling completely the sensations, and finding how to dance between them.
Finally I brought my two hands slowly together, meeting in the centre in front of my navel. I felt the two sensations meet and merge.
I stood for a moment like this, and then suddenly I felt an urge awaken in my belly, and urge to move. I began to dance in the water. Each movement seemed to come from my center, and I found myself whirling and swirling in the water. Each movement was control meeting surrender, action meeting receptivity. I must have danced like this for nearly an hour, as it was so blissful, so pleasurable, like being danced. My body in bliss: movement and yet effortlessness.
And this was my answer; this is how control and surrender meet. It is in the moments where the yin and the yang meet, action meets letting go. I realize that this is the sensation I have when I am dancing a belly dance choreography (control) but I relax completely into it and let the spirit of the dance move me (surrender). It is the sensation when driving my motorbike really fast (surrender) but yet I still feel completely in command of the bike (control). It is the feeling of sufi whirling, in which I lose myself (surrender) in the method of whirling (control). And in those moments when surrender and control really merge, there is something else created: trust. There is a trust, an instinct, a pure creativity…and it creates bliss.
So my intention now is to be aware of when I am splitting control and surrender, trying to choose one over the other. Casting a judgement on one in favour of the other…and in those times to ask again the question “how does surrender meet control?”
© 2021. Shashi Solluna. All rights reserved.