Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eat Pray Love~Goes Hollywood

A couple of year ago I read "Eat Pray Love" and was impressed by it. I wrote a few blog posts on it and here is one of them. Since the movie premieres tomorrow (I am going!) I thought I'd share some of them.

I wrote four posts on it because there were just things in it I wanted to remember. So now if someone brings it up at a gathering, we'll be covered! (just kidding!) This quote comes from a time when Liz was in Bali (toward the end of the book) and she learns a lot about prayer and meditation.

"I keep remembering one of my guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that is not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment. It is easy enough to pray when you are in distress but continuing to pray when your crisis is passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments. Recalling these teachings as I ride my bike so freely in the sunset through Bali, I keep making prayers that are really vows, presenting my state to God and saying,'This is what I would like to hold on to. Please help me memorize this feeling of contentment and help me always support it.' I'm putting this happiness in a bank somewhere, not merely FDIC protected, but guarded; held there as insurance against future trials in life. This is a practice I have come to call 'Diligent Joy.' I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend told me once---that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. Not only in the big global Hitler 'n Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level. Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is therefore, not merely a self-preserving a self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people."

I really like that! I guess what has made this a good read for me is that the story is enjoyable enough but the things that it has made me think about are intriguing..from pizza to prayer she hooked me!

This is a picture I took one day near our home. It was beautiful outside and it was a great day for contemplating things of the spirit. I felt very grateful for all the good things in our lives. I think that is what she meant by continuing to pray after the crisis has passed. What I feel seals happiness in our heart is gratitude to God for his continual loving kindness to us as individuals. We will see His tender mercies every single day if we just look. It is pretty hard to be grateful and unhappy at the same time. What do you think?


Caroline Craven said...

I don't know anything about this movie, except that I usually like whatever Julia Roberts is in (not always though, and Steel Magnolias is my fav). After reading this post, I think I must get the book and read it. I'll be interested to see if you like the movie after reading the book. Sometimes the movies seem lame after reading the book. Can't wait to get to the bookstore today to get said book!