It's funny how books are 100 times more descriptive and yet so simple. For instance, I read Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert a few weeks ago and I just finished watching the movie tonight. The movie moved so fast that you didn't get to take in all she actually experienced. The Ashram, in my mind when I pictured it, was so delicate and open...spacious. There was no ladder on the roof top where she forgave herself, there was just a beautiful white building with a deep blue sky and God. The movie added too many distractions and was missing all the little stories that made the book a novel.
So to re-live a few moments from the book I thought I would type-out some of my favorite quotes/stories from the printed version of Eat. Pray. Love. I'll have to add a disclaimer here. I do follow a Christian belief and that is my personal God. No, I am not going to visit a Ashram or become a Yogi. I like these quotes because it either made me think, laugh or I just simply enjoyed her writing.
"Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today... Alarming statistics show that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes... Americans don't really know how to do nothing. This is the cause of the great sad American stereotype- the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax. Italians are the masters of 'il bel far niente.' This is a sweet expression. Il bel far niente means "the beauty of doing nothing."
" Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. Time- when pursued like a bandit- will behave like one; always remaining one county or one room ahead of you, changing it's name and hair color to elude you, slipping out the back door of the motel just as you're banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you. At some point you have to stop because it won't. You have to admit that you can't catch it. That your not supposed to catch it. At some point, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you."
(There was a story about how people at this Ashram had to tie a Saint's cat to a pole while they meditated because it was so loud and annoying. After it died they didn't know what to do or how to pray because they thought they needed to tie a cat to the pole first in order to meditate.) ...
"Be careful, warns this tale, not to get too obsessed with the repetition of religious ritual just for it's own sake. Especially in this divided world, where the Taliban and the Christian Coalition continue to fight out their international trademark war over who owns the rights to the word God and who has the proper rituals to reach that God, it may be useful to remember that it is not the tying of the cat to the pole that has ever brought anyone transcendence, but only the constant desire of an individual seeker to experience the eternal compassion of the divine. Flexibility is just as essential for divinity as is discipline."
"The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras 'I'm a failure... I'm lonely... I'm a failure...I'm lonely... and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from suffocation mantras."