I am reading, “Eat, Pray, Love.” It is fabulous. Elizabeth Gilbert is an excellent and engaging writer. I had heard wonderful things of this book, and with the movie coming out soon, I figured now would be a good time to read it.
I was intrigued by the book immediately when in the prologue she talks about her travels to India and about the beaded necklaces worn, called japa malas. The necklace is used during meditation, and one bead is touched for each time the mantra is said. There are 108 beads on the necklace, and, “the number 108 is held to be most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its component adding up to nine, which is three threes.” Gilbert separates the book into 108 tales, and divides it into three sections about Italy, India and Indonesia. She notes that there are 36 tales in each section, and that she is writing the book during her 36th year.
She sucked me in. Obviously the number three is very special to me (and any number divisible by three), and I am also in my 36th year. This encouraged me to get my tattoo.
So far the book has been awesome. I just read this passage, and it hit home with me. Like Gilbert, I have an over-active mind, which is not a lot of fun at night when I turn out my light and want to go to sleep. I thought her description of the over-active mind was spot-on and worth sharing:
“Like most humanoids, I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the “monkey mind” -the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping themselves only to scratch, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mood swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the problem is the emotional attachment that goes along with the thinking. Happy thoughts make me happy, but-whoop!-how quickly I swing again into obsessive worry, blowing the mood; and then it’s the remembrance of an angry moment and I start to get hot and pissed off all over again; and then my mind decides it might be a good time to start feeling sorry for itself, and loneliness follows promptly. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”