Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Mind's Resting Place

I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love, which was mentioned to me by my friend Margaret a few weeks ago. The excerpts she included in an email to me were so compelling and spot on that I rushed to the public library to read the book in its entirety. It's been just what I've needed.

The following passages resonated most with 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" (p. 141).


"Instructions For Freedom

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. You 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 him 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 of a relationship 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. " (pp. 184-85)


Meditation Balinese Style

"You can do Yoga, but Yoga too hard. Why they always look so serious in Yoga? You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver. Practice tonight...Not to hurry, not to try too hard. Too serious, you make you sick. You can calling the good energy with a smile. All finish for today. Let your conscience be your guide" (Ketut Liyer to Elizabeth Gilbert, p. 231).


"He keeps his body strong, he says, by meditating every night before sleep and by pulling the healthy energy of the universe into his core. He says that the human body is made of nothing more or less than the five elements of all creation -- water (apa), fire (tejo), wind (bayu), sky (akasa) and earth (pritiwi) -- and all you have to do is concentrate on this reality during meditation and you will receive energy from all these sources and you will stay strong..."The microcosm becomes the macrocosm. You--microcosm--will become same as universe--macrocosm" (p. 242).


"The child is taught from earliest consciousness that she has these four brothers with her in the world wherever she goes, and that they will always look after her. The brothers inhabit the four virtues a person needs in order to be safe and happy in life: intelligence, friendship, strength and (I love this one) poetry. The brothers can be called upon in any critical situation for rescue and assistance. When you die, your four spirit brothers collect your soul and bring you to heaven" (p. 251).


"My thoughts turn to something I read once, something the Zen Buddhists believe. They say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. Obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well -- the future tree itself, which wants to badly to exist that it pulls the acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity. In this respect, say the Zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born" (p. 329).


So, I sit here this Monday afternoon asking myself what I really, really want out of life. I sit here, thinking about it and find myself growing so joyful I want to dance and jump and sing because I know that I am pulling these desires out of the void and into my life. I know that these future blessings are coming and I sit with anticipation, even through some lingering heartache, and smile.

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