In his book, Tantra of the Yoga Sutras, Alan Finger uses these words in his translation of the Niyama, Tapas: “Discipline without surrender only leads back to struggle.” At first, I took these words to be very specific to my asana and mediation practices, focusing the mind in order to surrender to the experience. But today, I am realizing these words in a much broader context.
Discipline is important in all aspects of our lives – physical activity, food, organization, commitment, time management, etc. – but within that discipline, that right action, we must also surrender to wisdom of instinct, aligning to our own rhythms, honoring our receptive side.
So how do we achieve this balance? We must be mindful not to overreach or excessively strive. Living in balance begins within. Filling our schedules and striving to achieve quickly is, unfortunately, what society is telling us…urging us…pushing us to do. But true success lies in your intuitive wisdom, in the ebb and flow that we realize when we are in alignment in all aspects of our lives.
Instead of struggling or fighting against the natural flow of your life experience, relinquish control. Align with your intuition, trusting your own direct experience…this takes both discipline and surrender…and leads to freedom.