Various teachings use different terminology to describe the process of surrendering the ego. They may suggest that you "kill, disidentify, soften, relax, drop, let go of" ego, but they all point toward a similar result, that which we call self realization.
The instruction to surrender appears in the Vedic Isa Upanishad (original date is disputed but possibly during or prior to the 1st millennium BCE)
All is perfect, so perfectly perfect! Whatever being lives, moves and breathes on earth, at every level from atom to galaxy is absolutely perfect in its place, precise and choreographed, because "That" flows from the Glory of God, The Lord, The Self, Consciousness, The Source, Awareness, Peace and Love, and is therefore perfect. When you have surrendered your ego to "That" you will find true happiness.
And we also appreciate the poking words of the Persian poet Hafiz (14th century) who wrote:
"What is the difference Between your experience of Existence And that of a saint? The saint knows That the spiritual path Is a sublime chess game with God And that the Beloved Has just made such a Fantastic Move That the saint is now continually Tripping over Joy And bursting out in Laughter And saying, 'I Surrender!' Whereas, my dear, I'm afraid you still think You have a thousand serious moves." ~ Hafiz
So, it's the ego that persists in resisting, and is unwilling to surrender. A.H. Almaas writes:
"Surrender is not resignation. It is very important to distinguish between them. Resignation means that you are admitting that you cannot get your own way. You are taking yourself to be a separate self with a separate will that is being thwarted by reality. This is very different from true surrender, which is neither acceptance nor rejection, but ceasing to separate one's own will from reality. To learn to surrender means to expose your willfulness -- the belief that you have a will separate from reality's and that you can have it your way."
Everything is in God's hands, and you are His tool to be used by Him as He pleases. Try to grasp the significance of 'all is His', and you will immediately feel free from all burdens. What will be the result of your surrender to Him? None will seem alien, all will be your very own Self.
~ Sri Anandamayi Ma
Life is a mystery. You cannot understand it unless you surrender, for your intellect cannot grasp its expansive and infinite nature, its real meaning and fullness. Bow down low and be humble; then you will know life's meaning.
Seeing that you are not in control of your life, you start to see that life takes care of itself without you needing to be in charge of it. This is what I mean by truly coming alive. Surrender control and fall into the abyss that is your true nature. Risk losing whatever you think you have. Let life take you. Step out of the way and see that life doesn't need 'you' to control it. See for yourself that it is all already taken care of. It is a leap into the unknown. It is a free-fall into not knowing and not finding. An absolute willingness to die and keep dying to what is real right now. This is what it is to be alive.
Deep down you would like to move in a total surrender where all your worries are dissolved and you can simply rest. But you are afraid; everybody is afraid of surrendering. Ordinarily we think we are somebody--and we are nothing! What have you got to surrender?-- just a bogus ego, just an idea that you are somebody. It is just a fiction. When you surrender the fiction, you become the real. When you surrender that which you don't really have, you become that which you are.
Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in - or don't, as the case may be. It makes no difference. Not until you surrender does it become a living reality in your life.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Ultimately surrender only seems like something we do. In truth itÕs something that happens. It's a spontaneous, internal shift that automatically occurs when we accept and acknowledge the utter truth of our powerlessness. Far more than mere resignation is required. Resignation is just resistance in a nice hat. Surrender is agreeing to cooperate with the inevitable.
~ Fred Davis
The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is to surrender their self importance, and see the emptiness of their own personal story. It is your personal story that you need to awaken from in order to be free.
And I surrender to the mystery In the lap of God I rest my case The force that bore this world can carry me Who am I to question grace?
The sense of duality, which is a barrier to true love, must prevail so long as the apperception of Truth has not occurred. Once individuality is surrendered, there is only total Love.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
There are never any guaranteed pathways to enlightenment. However, you'll still be compelled to walk some of them anyway until you're finally convinced that, in the end, they'll all have to be abandoned, too. The great awakening lies in discovering that, all along, you've only been "marching in place." And then...you just stop marching. And stay perfectly still. And surrender...to your Self.
~ Chuck Hillig
Regret is the longing to change the past. Fear is the desire to control the future. Peace is the surrender to Now.
~ Jeff Foster
While all great mystical teachings agree on the importance of surrender, it is not a thing to be done, but a compassionate relaxation of the learned tendencies of mind. In the same way that your body knows how to heal and repair itself - so your soul is homeostatic. It contains the inherent intelligence to know its own nature.
~ Miranda Macpherson
To feel and experience real happiness, causeless happiness, requires a conscious or unconscious surrendering of your interest in your thoughts.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
There's only one way to become liberated, and that is to awaken, just to awaken, just wake up, just as you do in the morning when you wake up from sleep. You were in a dream world and you woke up. In the same way you awaken to your Self. The way to do this is to be at satsang, to surrender to the Self. When you surrender to the Self you're surrendering to life. You're no longer thinking "This has to work out this way. This has to work out that way. This has to be improved. I've got to read this book. I've got to go see this teacher."
True surrender is allowing your heart, your spiritual heart, to take over and you have nothing to do and nothing to say. All of the practices are incidental.
The word "surrender" is used, where there is duality between "me" and God. When this surrender happens, this 'will' which we think of as ours, drops off and there is total acceptance, that all that prevails is His Will.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Surrender is not a weakness, it is strength. It takes tremendous strength to surrender life to the supreme - to the cosmic unfolding.