I pray. I meditate. I’ve always prayed but meditating is new to me and I am admittedly bad at it. I’m learning to control my thoughts and forgive myself.
I barely meditated while I read this portion of Eat Pray Love. I would be inspired to meditate but I related so much to her struggle in the beginning when she couldn’t focus and it felt annoying at times. I knew she got over it and I wanted to know how. I kind of read it as a how-to manual.
I am getting better at meditation. But I can not quiet my mind and focus on, well, anything really. When my mind wanders during meditation, I forgive myself and keep trying.
I think that’s all we can really do in this life. Do your best, forgive yourself, keep trying.
Here are some of the things Elizabeth Gilbert said during this section that spoke the loudest to me.
“The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I’m going to over-simplify here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment…Freudians say that unhappiness is the inevitable result of the clash between our natural drives and civilization’s needs.” -Page 134
“We’re miserable because we think we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and morality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. The supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine. Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will always be in despair, a notion nicely expressed in this exasperated line from the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: “You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.” –Page. 135
There was a lot that I underlined and annotated on while reading this section. I enjoyed it so much. While there is a lot I could share, I’m only sharing my top three. This next one comes towards the end of her journey in India and it is profound. Because God has no religion. He sees no gender or race. We are all included.
“But doesn’t it make sense? That the infinite would be indeed…infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a store about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone?” -Page 230.
If you read it, comment and let me know what you think! Also, if you meditate I would love to talk about that, too! Follow me on Instagram @booksandabrunette for constant updates.
Do your best, forgive yourself, keep trying,