Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eat Pray Love

I just caught onto this thread on Trevor's blog, and found it engrossing. I think that as a fellow blogger I am supposed to weigh in with my opinion about this, maybe stick up for one of my dharma cousins, even if I am trying not to be so interested in my own opinions these days.
What I feel like saying is something I think I said at the Beginners' Sitting on Sunday: that practising has made me much less judgemental about other people, and that is something that hopefully decreases the suffering of all, not least my own. When I was at Tassajara, I remember clearly that Leslie would tell us residents not to think we were better than the guests who came in the summer, whatever their motivation might be - or whatever we thought it might be; in the first summer I was there, I did resent them somewhat, and then after I had been a monk (following the discussion on the link, I would say, yes, at the monastery I was a monk, but I am not now), I did not feel the same way. And I also noticed that the last summer I was there, 2008, there were a lot of people reading the book. I read it myself, and enjoyed it, as I had enjoyed her previous book, The Last American Man, both of which I found in the Tassajara goodwill, for her wry self-awareness. What did surprise me about the whole phenomenon, though, was to read that any number of people were retracing the author's steps, supposedly in order to have that same experience for themselves. And maybe that's where the crux of the argument is.

1 comment:

Lee Lipp, Ph.D. said...

I laugh at myself when I notice my own judgements about other's judgements. I also feel the pain of loneliness when I stand on top of a mountain of truth that I constructed myself. I find that when these thoughts come to me it helps me to ask if I'm sure that I know more then someone else or if my view of the truth is the only valid view. Having just returned from a Diversity Conference where difference is valued and embraced, I had much practice time to notice judgements as a wake up bell- a note to pause and widen my view on the ground of many different ways of experiencing life.

I enjoyed Eat Pray Love, not so much for the writing I need to say. I read it because so many others I know had read it and liked it and because I already had a judgement that I wouldn't. I was putting it down without even reading it- oy vey! condemnation of something I knew nothing about. So I was surprised that I enjoyed it as a way to hear one woman's path towards liberation. Her path, different than mine, seems like it's just right for her. May she continue to thrive, to fully engage with her life, and bring joy to all she encounters. Lee