The third section of Gilbert’s book might be the most challenging. Rather than discussing nebulous spiritual ideas, there’s quite a bit of mention of Hindu teaching and tradition. By now, Gilbert has moved to Bali, Indonesia and spends her time there helping a local medicine man practice his English speaking skills and make copies of his ancient, hand-written book of cures.
It’s also during this time that Gilbert finally makes peace with her very bitter divorce. I don’t understand those who feel that Eat, Pray, Love somehow glamorizes divorce, because Gilbert’s heartache over the her failed relationship shows up repeatedly. She doesn’t give a lot of details about the dynamics of her marriage, but I respect her for that. It isn’t my role or responsibility to figure out whether or not she should have gotten a divorce. The fact is that she did and her caused her great sorrow and grief.
- What is love? It’s easy to see Liz Gilbert falling in love with a Brazilian and say, “ah — l’amour! I wish I had that in my life!” How often do I use my resources to help someone who can’t afford to take care of their family?
- Once again, I’m challenged by the amount of time Gilbert is able to spend in meditation and in exploring her spiritual life. I realize I have more responsibilities than Gilbert — I’m a wife, a mom of five, a librarian, a teacher, a social club sponsor, a daughter, a friend . . .but surely somewhere in there, I can carve out time for prayer and meditation if it’s really important to me. How do I do that? How do YOU do that?
- If I could spend 4 months of life anywhere, doing anything, where would I do and what would I do? Where would you go and what would you do?
- Branch it out even bigger: If you could design your own version of Eat, Pray, Love, where would you spend your pursuit of pleasure? Spirituality? Balance?