What does it mean to surrender?

In ordinary life, we surrender a little bit. Under greater pressure, we are willing to surrender more and realize that we do not have to put ourselves under catastrophic pressure in order to be willing to surrender at great depth. The transformation of personality, the whole shift in one’s spiritual position, traditionally comes from surrendering at great depth.

What does it mean to surrender at great depth? How can we surrender at great depth without having to put ourselves through a terrible emotional catastrophe in order to accomplish the same spiritual work? By seeing the essential nature of the process, we become educated. Our positions shift and we are different in the way we are. We are willing to be with life in all its expressions. The willingness is then experienced as an inner state of aliveness. Arising from that is the willingness to take the chance because we now know that we are accompanied by something greater than the personal self. It is not the personal self that has to handle what comes up in life. The Infinite Presence that is always with us is more powerful than the human will and ego. The self brings pain and suffering; the Self radiates healing and peace.

from Healing and Recovery, ch. 8, pg. 261