Still in India...Story #60
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.