Some people like to keep their new books pristine so that whenever they come back to them they are still new. I’m the person who invites my books into my life. They share my bed and my bathtub, and when they speak to me in a powerful way, I fold the corner over at the top of the page so that I can come back to our conversation later and it’s like we’ve never been apart.
I was going through books this week to donate to the Slave Lake library and I came across my copy of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, well loved and corner marked. Here are a few things Elizabeth Gilbert said to me that I am glad I came back to. If you take these words and turn them over in your mind a few times, I know you will be able to apply them to your journey – no matter how far along the road you find yourself today…
from Eat Pray Love…
The great Sufi poet & philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the 3 things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single pointed focus.
There are only 2 questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? and Who’s in charge?
What I’m alarmed to find in meditation is that my mind is actually not that interesting a place, after all. In actuality I really only think about a few things, and I think about them constantly.
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 unkowing 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. Happy thoughts make me happy but – whoop!- how quickly I swing again into obsessive worry, blowing the mood; and then its the remembrance of an angry moment and I start to get hot and pissed off all over again; and then my mind decides it might be a good time to start feeling sorry for itself, and loneliness follows promptly. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are.
have a great day,