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Rituals

January 16, 2008

“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you’re craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of generous plumber/poet. If you bring the right earnestness to your homemade ceremony, God will provide the grace. And that is why we need God.

So I stood up and did a handstand on my Guru’s roof, to celebrate the notion of liberation. I felt the dusty tiles under my hands. I felt my won strength and balance. I felt the easy night breeze on the palms of my bare feet. This kind of thing – a spontaneous handstand isn’t something a disembodied cool blue soul can do, but a human being can do it. We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That’s our privilege. That’s the joy of a mortal body. And that’s why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands.”

From “Eat, Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

4 Comments
  1. Sara permalink
    January 16, 2008 11:51 PM

    Are you me?

    I just read that page last night!!!

    What do you think of the book?

  2. Allison permalink*
    January 17, 2008 8:01 AM

    Sara: I love it! I just finished India last night. I’m hoping to finish the book by the end of the weekend.

  3. January 17, 2008 10:15 AM

    OMG! I’m almost done with it, most of the way through Indonesia at the moment. Isn’t it awesome? I love it. There’ve been a few things that I really related to, noted the page of so I could go back and reread. And that part was one of them.

  4. Sara permalink
    January 17, 2008 5:13 PM

    I finished India last night too.

    There are quite a few parts that I don’t agree with but it is interesting anyway. It frustrates me when people throw out books like that as a whole when they do not agree with a part. I prefer to digest it slowly and find the good parts.

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