February 24, 2008

"Eat, Pray, Love"

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Description:
This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Memorable Quotes:

“Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit.” Catherine Gilbert

What a large number of factors constitute a single human being! How very many layers we operate on, and how very many influences we receive from our minds, our bodies, our histories, our families, our cities, our souls and our lunches!

When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.

“...it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.”
from The Bhagavad Gita

Devotion is diligence without assurance.

Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.

...my Guru once said – that you should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead.

...a monk told 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.”

...the rules of transcendence insist that you will not advance even one inch closer to divinity as long as you cling to even one last seductive thread of blame.

...we are the only species on the planet who have been given the gift – or curse, perhaps – of awareness about our own mortality.

Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. At some point...you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you. Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation.

Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship – a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence.

“Guild's just your ego's way of tricking you into thinking that you're making moral progress. Don't fall for it...” former Catholic nun

“Meditate on whatever causes a revolution in your mind.”

We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down.

He called silence the only true religion.

To know God, you need only to renounce one thing – your sense of division from God.

Your treasure – your perfection – is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.

Eat, Pray, Love available at Powells and Amazon

Other books by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Pilgrims
The Last American Man
Stern Men