Monday, September 28, 2009
Great song, by Europe...don't really know them too well, but VERY catchy tune.
And I can't take credit for it, Rachel thought of it when I mentioned that the countdown begins this week. =Þ
Monday, September 21, 2009
On one of her last nights in the Ashram in India, a plumber gave her these instructions for freedom. I wonder if it's really this easy?
1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out – on the outside and on the inside.
5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of the day pass into the cool night. Let go.
9. When the karma is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.
Indonesia – unearthing of how to build a life of balance (equilibrium of worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence)
Gili Meno - "The island itself is tiny, pristine, sandy, blue water, palm trees. It's a perfect circle with a single path that goes around it, and you can walk the whole circumference in about an hour. It's located almost exactly on the equator and so there's a changelessness about its daily cycles."
The island is remote and pretty, romantic only a crazy person would go there alone. Two years before, the author had visited Bali and Gili Meno (alone), then went there again with the Brazilian she met during her journey. From the sounds of it, this might be a place I would want to visit and put on my list of things to do.
"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, you strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your should hold tight to its good attainments."
I really like this. Often times I do get caught up in only praying when something bad is happening. I'd like to incorporate some of the thoughts of this book into my own life.
During the author's original trip to Gili Meno, her goal was to be silent and meditate. On the ninth day of silent meditation, she had a breakthrough. Elizabeth invited everything that had caused her sorrow and didn't hold anything back. Thoughts and memories of sadness, sorrow, grief. She would regard it, experience it, bless it, and invite it into her heart and accept it.
Next up was anger - her life's every incident of anger rose and made itself known. Injustice, betrayal, loss, rage. These things came to rest and gave up fighting. It was over.
Most difficult part - shame. A pitiful parade of all her failings, lies, selfishness, jealousy, arrogance. When all this was finished, she was empty. Nothing was fighting in her mind anymore. "I looked into my heart, at my own goodness, and I saw its capacity. I saw that my heart was not even nearly full, not even after having taken in and tended to all those calamitous urchins of sorrow and anger and shame. My heart could easily have received and forgiven even more. Its love was infinite.
I knew then that this is how God loves us all and receives us all and that there is no such thing in this universe as hell, except maybe in our own terrified minds. "
She wrote in an empty notebook - "I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you."
"And that notebook, steeped through with that promise of love, was quite simply the only reason I survived the next years of my life."
I just find all of this to be quite powerful. These practices of meditation seem to be easy. Again, I say that I'd like to incorporate some of this ideals of this book into my own life. I want to develop some type of mantra to clear out all the crap I tell myself on a daily basis. That's all, I just wanted to share what I learned. I apologize for two long and boring posts.
Friday, September 18, 2009
By Elizabeth Gilbert
Apparently, lately all I have to blog about is the books I read. I started this one a long time ago and since the school year and sports seasons have started, it’s taken me awhile to finish it. This is the story of Elizabeth Gilbert and her yearlong travels to Italy, India and Indonesia to examine one area of her nature in each place. I really got a lot out of this book and as much as this post is to let you know how enjoyable this was to read, it’s just for my own notes as well.
Hindus and Buddhists – have a string of 108 beads (japa malas), this tradition was eventually brought to Europe as rosary. People carry and rub the beads as their mantra and symbol of faith. Elizabeth divides her story into 108 tales, or beads. The book is divided into three sections of 36 tales each. She wrote the story during her 36th year (how symbolic!).
Italy – discovery of pleasure (Italian language and cuisine)
Wrote to herself in recognition of herself as a friend:
“I'm here. I love you. I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it. I will love you through that, as well. I f you don't need the medication, I will love you, too. There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will STILL protect you. I am strong that Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and neither will ever exhaust me.”
India – examination of devotion faith (stayed in the Ashram of her Guru)
An excerpt from story #49
“I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many different ways, and all these acquisitions and accomplishments – they run you down in the end. Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. … Time when pursued like a bandit will behave like one. … At some point, you have to stop because it won’t. You have to admit that you can’t catch it. That you’re not supposed to catch it. … You gotta sit still and let contentment come to you.”
"So I've started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all days, and monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: "I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore." Every time a diminishing thought arises, I repeat the vow. I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. The first time I heard myself say this, my inner ear perked up at the word "harbor," which is a noun as well as a verb. A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind - a little beat-up, perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self (which is a young and volcanic island, yes, but fertile and promising). This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now - let the word go out across the seven seas - there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.
You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts - all these will be turned away. Likewise, any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimp and seditious stowaways - you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened careful, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind - otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from when you came.
That is my mission, and it will never end.”
...to be continued...