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We must learn radical acceptance and surrender to develop a quiet presence in our lives. To avoid getting lost in suffering and releasing the ego’s attachment to the past saṁskāras (karmic imprints) and future projections, we must learn to stay in the present moment and let go.

Acceptance and surrender do not mean no action, do not mean giving up on your innate desires, dreams, or goals. On the contrary, through these practices, we learn to take wise and effective action. We become more present and mindful of our thoughts and feelings and learn to let go of what is no longer needed. 

Cultural and societal conditioning has taught us always to attempt to control life in order to survive. Our economic system, ideology, and mythology created a lonely, disconnected picture. Believing that we do not belong to the world, are aliens in this hostile material universe, and must fight for our existence or slip into passive despair. The tyrannic practices of modern civilization is the mentality of forcing ourselves upon life, creating illusory safety by mindlessly accumulating material possessions hoping they will make us happy, and slowly destroying our civilization in the process. 

Taoist sage Lao-tzu in his timeless Tao te Ching and essential teaching of Wu-Wei, illustrates the futility of our attempts to control life. He emphasizes that when we give up forcing and controlling anything, we begin to get the kind of control we always wanted but never knew existed.

Life always brings natural, unexpected, and spontaneous changes. Not resisting them creates a natural flow, a dance of an invisible realm that brings absolute joy rather than a fight against life. When we go with the flow, we are in harmony with life. Therefore, we are willing to stop forcing and allowing a state of intelligent spontaneity.

Letting go requires tremendous strength and courage. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. When we release control, we make room for new and better things to enter our lives. We open ourselves up to new possibilities and new ways of being.

The goal is not to become a dispassionate observer of your life but to develop a quiet presence within it. This presence is the source of true wisdom and compassion. From this place, we can act in genuinely beneficial ways to ourselves and others.

“Embracing Tao, you become embraced.

Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.

Clearing your vision, you become clear.

Nurturing your beloved, you become impartial.

Opening your heart, you become accepted.

Accepting the World, you embrace Tao.

Bearing and nurturing,

Creating but not owning,

Giving without demanding,

Controlling without authority,

This is love.

Lao- Tzu