The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Eating, Praying & Loving Every Bit Of It!

Every once in a while, you find in your hands, a book that you never planned on reading...perhaps never even heard of....but which you know, with the same certainty that your car will stall on the country's busiest highway if you continue ignoring that little flashing red light, that you are meant to immerse yourself in its pages. So when I found myself asking the salesgirl for Eat, Pray, Love, instead of the book I had originally come for, I knew the universe had something up its sleeve.

I adore a good book. Who doesn't! One that makes you forget time and space as you turn each page with great rapture. One that has you shedding your own identity and slipping on that of the main character. One that brings tears to your eyes and laughter to your lips. One that has you reading at one-tenth of your usual speed when there are only five pages left before the end. And one that has you closing the book and clasping it to your chest, feeling like your new best friend just died.

EPL unleashed those reactions and emotions...and more. Every few pages, I would close the book and my eyes and soak myself in Gilbert's words. Words that were stunning simple yet powerful enough to create miniature earthquakes in my core.

This exquisite book is Gilbert's memoir. Freshly bruised from a divorce, she seeks pleasure, spirituality and a balance between both in three different countries - Italy, India and Indonesia. And in each country, her experiences, self-reflection and willingness to surrender to a higher power leads her closer and closer to her essential self. What I love most about Gilbert's journey, is that she never once pretends that it was easy. Each time she falls on her face, she tells you exactly how, where and why. Her honesty is jarringly refreshing, her mistakes are oddly comforting and her view on life makes you want to rush out to buy the same pair of glasses - or contact lenses - she's wearing.

EPL found me exactly at the time when I was scrabbling around in my dark tunnel, trying to find the light at its end. And I found it in Gilbert's words. Within those pages were lightning flashes of illumination, thick warm blankets, icy cold showers, sturdy crutches, an irrepresible sense of humour and passports to each emotionally healing pitstop.

My favourite line is still, 'You gotta' stop wearing your wishbone where your back bone oughtta' be."

Even now, after the storm has passed, I still find myself reaching out to dip into it, knowing that a sentence that my eyes skipped over before could very well strike me like a hot poker this time round. EPL has become my spiritual bible for this year. As dramatic as it may sound, this book saved my life. It helped me look at my dark tunnel and laugh right in its face. Four of my girlfriends have picked it up already and have felt its magic too. So thank you Mentor, for first mentioning this book to me.

Read it if you have the chance. And tell me what you think.


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