Complete Surrender

Wednesday 9 May, 2001

06.10 E&M 80 mins. Despite feeling very sleepy this morning, within ten minutes of beginning the routine I felt very awake, and the exercises went well. I arrived at the house to discover that I needed to proof read a document. Although the text hasn’t changed since the last time I checked it, Karaj seems to have lost the final version. I felt annoyed at this because I have already done the work once and see it as a total waste of time to repeat the exercise. Fortunately, I checked my own files to see if I had saved the finished version and, to my delight, I had. This changed my mood completely. Not only was I spared the laborious task of proof reading a 30-page document for a second time, I also felt satisfied that I had saved the original file.

Karaj and I talked about this because there is no need for me to get down and become negative just because I have to repeat an exercise. As Karaj said, I should approach everything as new, and approach everything as a challenge. He went on to tell me the story of the third Sikh Guru choosing his successor from his three sons by way of asking them to build a platform for his forthcoming speech. Every time they finished, he told them it was wrong and asked them all to repeat the exercise. This happened six or seven times. The first two sons allowed their egos to interfere with their work, complaining to their father that they had followed his instructions every time and that maybe he was losing his mind. This was just as I had done – faced with the prospect of doing a job I had already done, I felt frustrated at Karaj’s mistake. My ego had taken over, ‘Why should I suffer because Karaj messed up?’.

The third son, however, repeatedly took the blame for having done an incorrect job, and every time he was asked to build a new platform, he indulged in the task completely, without complaint and without ego. I asked Karaj the difference between this attitude and subservience. Subservience is driven by the need to please others, whereas the attitude of the third son is complete surrender. Surrender to the task, surrender to the moment, surrender to life itself.

Back home in the evening I read a letter I received today from Francis – his letters get better and better. Karaj was due to pick me up at 22:00 to go to London, but phoned at 22.30 to say that he couldn’t find one of the books he needed for our work in Eastbourne. He eventually arrived at 23.30 – not exactly the start I had envisaged. Before leaving town we stopped to fill up with petrol only to find that Karaj had left his diary and money behind. I stayed behind as collateral and waited for half an hour for Karaj to return, during which time a car full of kids drove past and threw a water bomb at me. The bad start was getting worse. We finally set off at half past midnight.

On the way down to London we witnessed a wonderful display of lightening which entertained us and kept us awake for most of the journey. Thinking about it, we would have missed the storm had we left on time. Finally got to bed at 3am and I was convinced that my routine would suffer in the morning and that I would fail to find the motivation to do my exercises.


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