Navigating Life's Journey: The Power of Surrender in Spirituality

Discover the transformative essence of surrender in spiritual journeys, a key to unlocking profound growth and self-awareness.

In the realm of spiritual growth, the concept of surrender emerges as a powerful catalyst for transformation and enlightenment.

In an evocative passage from the Gospel of Luke 2:28, the narrative of Jesus' birth unfolds, beginning with an angelic visitation. The angel's message to Mary, a young woman described as highly favored, initiates a journey of profound spiritual significance. Mary, rather than yielding passively, engages with the angel's proclamation, expressing both astonishment and skepticism.



The Spiritual Significance of Surrender

In a contemplative examination of this biblical account, one finds a reflection of the unexpected turns life can take. Mary, facing a future markedly different from what she had envisioned with her fiancé Joseph, is confronted with a decision that would alter the course of her existence. The story reveals that, even amidst uncertainty, there is an opportunity for growth and spiritual awakening.

"In the temple of silence, in the temple of peace, I will meet Thee, I will touch Thee, I will love Thee, and coax Thee to my altar of peace."

—chant by Paramahansa Yogananda

Embracing the Unexpected: A Path to Awakening

Mary's response to the angel's announcement exemplifies the principle of surrender, as outlined in the Kriya Yoga teachings. This surrender is not about resignation but about embracing the flow of divine inspiration. It signifies a profound shift from resistance to acceptance, a readiness to serve the higher purpose that life presents.

The Role of Surrender in Kriya Yoga

This narrative demonstrates that true surrender involves an active engagement with one's circumstances, leading to a higher state of consciousness. When Mary visits her relative Elizabeth, the encounter exemplifies the ripple effect of spiritual awakening. The mere presence of someone aligned with their spiritual truth can inspire and elevate those around them.

Surrender as Active Engagement

The act of surrender, pivotal in Kriya Yoga practice, is about releasing the notion of the separate self and opening oneself to divine support. It is about recognizing that, in moments of challenge, the most profound support one can find is rooted in the divine.

The Ripple Effect of Spiritual Awakening

Mary's declaration of herself as the "servant of the Lord" signifies a new spiritual identity and a conscious collaboration with the divine. It is a moment of recognizing that our true essence is intertwined with the cosmic fabric, and in acknowledging this, we allow for a divine transformation to occur within and through us.

A Meditator’s Guide to Advent, pt.3: New Identity

Bliss is the joy of Self-knowing, recognizing the light of God that reveals our spiritual nature.


Embodying Surrender in Daily Life

This story's essence is captured in the serene and harmonious tableau of the Nativity scene, where each figure is positioned in reverence around the Christ child. It presents a vision of unity and meditation, where all aspects of the self are attuned to the divine presence at the center. This image is a poignant metaphor for the meditative state, where the mind and soul are in complete harmony, focused on the divine.

In the broader context of Kriya Yoga, this harmonious state relates to the concept of Samadhi, the ultimate experience of unity in Consciousness. It is a state where the ego, represented by King Herod in the biblical story, dissolves in the face of divine totality.

Awakening to the Sacred: The Path of Sadhana

The journey to this state of awareness, while seemingly paradoxical, is an intrinsic aspect of sadhana, the spiritual practice that guides one back to remembrance of their innate connection to the divine. It is a reminder that despite external distractions and the complexity of life, one's spiritual practice remains a beacon, guiding towards the ultimate realization of one's true nature.

Reflecting on the Nativity, we are reminded of the universal pilgrimage each figure undertakes to be present at this divine revelation. The question arises: Why must we journey to attain an awareness that, in truth, we have never been without? The answer lies in our human propensity to forget, to become ensnared by distractions, and to be overwhelmed by fear. Our spiritual journey, our sadhana, is a process of reawakening to the ever-present divine consciousness that we are.

Yet, in the throes of life's tumult, we often find ourselves sidelining this essential practice. It is precisely during these periods of forgetfulness that our commitment to sadhana should be most fervent. Kriya Yoga sadhana offers a simple yet profound structure to realign with spiritual discipline. It prescribes three foundational practices: maintain discipline, adhere to a regular schedule, and meditate daily. Ensuring adequate rest, nourishing the body with healthy meals at consistent times, and introducing order into a seemingly chaotic existence are all aspects under our influence.

Daily meditation is not just a practice but a sanctuary, a return to inner balance and clarity. Studying spiritual texts serves as a reminder of our higher consciousness and the path of surrender. Leaning into divine support, we resolve to serve life in the immediacy of the present, committing to actions that uphold the greatest good in each moment.

In letting go of the futile endeavor to dictate the future, we immerse ourselves in the present — the sacred presence — where life in all its magnificence unfolds. Here, in the direct experience of being, we discover a love and a vitality that are ceaselessly overflowing, a testament to the boundless nature of the divine within and all around us.


Practice flexing your “inspiration muscles” by acting on insights that you recognize are in harmony with the highest good. Sometimes it is the inspiration to offer a kind word, give a gift of support or service, or to enter the temple of silent meditation. Many times, we are prone to ignore such inspiration. We recognize it as good, but tell ourselves we will get to it later. We then discover that “later” has passed, and we have not acted upon the good we were inspired to do. Then the inspiration and its energy passes, and we are left with a sense of regret, or missed opportunity.

Don’t let the opportunity for a blessing pass you by. Decide to act on at least one inspiration today.


Be quick to do good.

If you are slow,

The mind, delighting in mischief,

Will catch you…

Set your heart on doing good.

Do it over and over again,

And you will be filled with joy.

sayings of the Buddha from The Dhammapada (T. Byrom, trans.)


What am I inspired to do?


Path of Wonder: A Meditator's Guide to Advent

Intentional, spiritual contemplation during Advent offers a remedy for the holidays’ overly materialistic focus that can leave us feeling empty in more ways than one. Instead, it gives us a soul-nourishing way to open our hearts and minds to the healing light within.

This daily guide for contemplation will support mindful awareness each day of Advent. The inspirational readings, scriptures, practices, and questions for reflection serve as an asana—a steady seat for that day.

May this season welcome the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance, the light that brings peace to all the world.

More on the Spiritual Journey of Advent:

the spiritual journey of advent represented by 4 lit candles

The Spiritual Journey of Advent

The Cosmic Christ

Where Divine Love Enters

Awakening in this Lifetime

Related Content

Living in Divine Love: Steps to Cultivate Higher Love

Explores how to live in divine love through prayer, spiritual practice, and presence, leading to higher love and harmonious relationships.

Advent Reflections: Awakening to Divinity Within in This Lifetime

Discover the journey of awakening to inner divinity during the reflective season of Advent.

Navigating Life's Journey: The Power of Surrender in Spirituality

Discover the transformative essence of surrender in spiritual journeys, a key to unlocking profound growth and self-awareness.

Embracing Divine Love in the Advent Season

Discover the profound spiritual journey of Advent, embracing divine love and Christ Consciousness in our daily lives.

Stay Connected

Enter your email below to receive Illumination – inspirations, insights, and more from Yogacharya O’Brian to support you on your path of awakened living!

Questions? Comments?

We'd love to hear from you! Contact Us.

© 2023 Ellen Grace O’Brian