MY BEST PARTS OF EAT, PRAY & LOVE ...THE BOOK Part Two India
I continue enjoying the exploration of Liz and India is where the human and spirit really battle for dominance. Oh the errors of what feels good vs what is really good. Like in part one, please read the paragraphs just as quotes in prose form.
“Desire is the design flaw.”
“You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.” (We are gods, if only we understood that, I have always maintained.)
“the mind is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding. I consider it as difficult to subdue as the wind.”
And this is what it roared: YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW STRONG MY LOVE IS!!!!!!!!!
I’ve heard it said that prayer is the act of talking to God, while meditation is the act of listening. Take a wild guess as to which comes easier for me.
Like most humanoids, I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the “monkey mind”—the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the problem is the emotional attachment that goes along with the thinking. The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment.
There’s a reason they call God a presence—because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time
He kept begging God, “Please, please, please open my heart.” That was all he wanted—an open heart. And he would always finish the prayer for an open heart by asking God, “And please send me a sign when the event has occurred.”
After a few months of praying constantly for an open heart, what do you think Richard got? That’s right—emergency open-heart surgery. His chest was literally cracked open, his ribs cleaved away from each other to allow some daylight to finally reach into his heart, as though God were saying, “How’s that for a sign?” So now Richard is always cautious with his prayers, he tells me. “Whenever I pray for anything these days, I always wrap it up by saying, ‘Oh, and God? Please be gentle with me, OK?”
“It doesn’t serve you. Your ego’s job isn’t to serve you. Its only job is to keep itself in power. And right now, your ego’s scared to death cuz it’s about to get downsized. You keep up this spiritual path, baby, and that bad boy’s days are numbered. Pretty soon your ego will be out of work, and your heart’ll be making all the decisions. So your ego’s fighting for its life, playing with your mind, trying to assert its authority, trying to keep you cornered off in a holding pen away from the rest of the universe. Don’t listen to it.”
The other day a monk told me, “The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.”
“Listen to me. Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing and you were in the best possible place in the world for it—in a beautiful place of worship, surrounded by grace. Take this time, every minute of it. Let things work themselves out here in India.”
“He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.”
“See, now that’s your problem. You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”
“Listen, you’re a powerful woman and you’re used to getting what you want out of life, and you didn’t get what you wanted in your last few relationships and it’s got you all jammed up. Your husband didn’t behave the way you wanted him to and David didn’t either. Life didn’t go your way for once. And nothing pisses off a control freak more than life not goin’ her way.”
I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water.
Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship—a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence.
“What I mean is—find somebody new to love someday. Take the time you need to heal, but don’t forget to eventually share your heart with someone. Don’t make your life a monument to David or to your ex-husband.”
Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.
“Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine,” he said. “You want to stay near the core of the thing—right in the hub of the wheel—not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you get can frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness—that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace.”
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW STRONG MY LOVE IS