Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I Gained from EPL by Gilbert

This book was fascinating to read - to think that a woman in the 21st century actually did this on her own - quite amazing. Now I'm interested in reading her new book that should be out this year titled "Weddings and Evictions" to see how she and Felipe ended up.

EPL prompted me to ask myself, "What three things do I want most in life?" "What would you enjoy doing today?"

It gave me many thoughts to ponder. Here are a few:
1. p. 61 Americans don't know sheer pleasure - the beauty of doing nothing.
2. p. 178 Master your thinking.
3. pgs 196, 197, 198, 199, Being in the turiya state.
4. p. 231 Smile! Even smile in your liver.

And, the big one that I've been thinking most about:
Meditation is the act of listening to God ....

As Christians we ( I ) pray to God and am always wanting to draw closer to Him and know His will for me. I always do a lot of "talking to God" but usually don't take much time "trying to listen to Him". So I've been pondering this question: If the Indian people can meditate for hours on end, can't I, as a Christian, ponder and listen (meditate) for more than just a few minutes in my day???!

Good book. Lots of food for thought.


  1. That is an interesting thought! I always wondered why God talks to others and not to me. Maybe if I would let him get a word in edgewise . . .

  2. It seems like such a simple thing doesn't it? So why is it so hard to actually DO? At least it is for me. I get so busy, I forget to listen for the answers. I think a few moments of silence and still each day would do everyone some good!

  3. In my faith tradition (which I share with Pat) we have the story of a prophet named Enos. This is what Wikipedia has to say about him:

    Enos relates that, while hunting wild beasts in the forest, his "soul hungered" and he knelt and prayed for forgiveness. His prayer continued throughout the day and into the night, until he heard a voice, saying: "Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed".

    I know my own prayers have been no where close to that in either duration or focus.

    The thing that really impresses me about Enos is that after he obtained personal forgiveness, Enos CONTINUED to pray on behalf of his people.

    This was a guy who took prayer very seriously.

    Strengthening my prayer life is something I have been giving some deep thought to recently. I would like to be more mindful BOTH in what I say to my creator and the degree to which I listen in return.

    I think I get hung up on the ominicience of God. He ALREADY KNOWS everything I think, feel and need. Still, I believe He wants me to submit in faith and prayer, and if I give Him the chance I believe He WILL communicate in return.

    Rozel made a comment earlier about Gilbert having totally different ideas about who/what God is than her own beliefs. I would concur.

    Still, reading about this author's spiritual quest helped me re-examine my own ideas and to ask myself these questoins:

    What am I willing to do to get closer to God? What am I willing to NO LONGER do in order to get closer to God?
    What does spirituality mean to me?

    All questions worth pondering...

  4. I just finished the book last night. I am sad it is over! I also really liked the line about smiling with your liver. Another passage that resonated for me was what she said about Diligent Joy (p260).

    I thought a lot about "Pretty Power", and the fact that when Liz first arrived in Bali, Ketut did not recognize her. When he had seen her on her previous visit her life had been wracked with pain, she radiated sadness. When she returned she was emotionally and spiritually in a far healthier place, and her entire countenance showed it, seeming to be a whole different person.

    What thoughts and feelings do I hold on to the most? Do they allow me to experience and radiate joy?

    Great read...made all that much better by being able to share with you about it. Rozel, THANK YOU for the inspiration to start this book group!