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The recent release of Elizabeth Gilbert’s heralded memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, in the form of a critically acclaimed movie has people all over the world delighting in self-discovery, most notably, in the form of meditation. The phenomenon surrounding Eat, Pray, Love is a force to be reckoned with in recent pop culture. With a movie deal and a bestselling book topping the charts 158 weeks consecutively, Gilbert’s journey today is anything but homely. However, the root of her journey finds itself in the spiritual realm, similar to that of Ludmila Goretsky’s own meditative work.

In the book, Gilbert abandons a painful divorce, an emotional affair, and debilitating depression in an effort to transcend body, mind, and spirit in a trip across continents. Gilbert’s book itself is structured using japa mala, the beads used as an aid in many forms of Eastern meditation. The book, like the beads, is told using 108 tales divided into three groups of 36. The second cluster of beads denotes the second leg of Gilbert’s travels, and the time spent focusing most on meditation, and freeing the mind, in India.

Meditation is a holistic discipline focused on training the mind in order invoke or cultivate a calm internal state. Meditation is largely a personal experience, however, guidance from masters and experts largely increases the positive affects of the art. We are not bound by our anxieties, instead we can set them free by training ourselves in meditation.  Meditation is simply the act of engaging with one’s mind in order to cleanse the spirit and free the soul, or, as Gilbert puts it, truly finding oneself at the core of their being.

In a recent interview, Gilbert explained that, “sincere self-exploration requires the insight of everyone. One of my guru’s most helpful instructions is to ‘become a scientist of your own experience,’ which I take as an invitation to explore every possible line of human spiritual thinking. The world has been blessed with some extraordinary teachers over history—use them! At some point… hope that your mind has actually absorbed some wisdom, and just sit there in silence, letting your soul ascend to its own leadership.”

Teachers such as Ludmila Goretsky can assist in synchronizing the mind with the body, in allowing the anxiety of every day life to lift and float away with the calm of burrowing into ones own soul in order to calm their body.  The easiest way to achieve a state of meditation is to be aware of the body, particularly in terms of a person’s health. Reducing stress through meditation is a way to help patients of several illnesses naturally deal with pain, and even the illness itself. Doctors have found that even the most difficult illnesses today are often stress induced. Stress makes us miserable and, sadly, ill. Meditation is the easiest way to confront our stresses head on and move forward with our lives.

Imagine, for a moment, a candle flame flickering in the breeze. Compare this candle to the human mind, constantly affected by the conditions surrounding it, flung by the wind, conflicting emotions, and stress. Meditation is akin to placing a glass chimney over the flame and allowing it to burn fully, gloriously, without distraction from wind, weather, or, in the case of meditation, every day life.

Unbiased awareness of this kind leads to appropriate action, which in turn leads to the reduction of stress and a calm mind. During meditation, one’s mind combines with the body, allowing one to perceive situations as they truly are. Detangling from our internal soap operas and allowing thought processes without cognitive identification largely leads to this appropriate action, making our daily life effective and positive.

Perhaps, this is the reason for the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon. It proves to a world of movers and shakers that taking the time to live fully, to examine the mind, and to release the body from the physical world, if only for a moment, can heal any wound. Gilbert’s journey, at the end of the day, is an inspiration to anyone who has ever let their emotions and every day stresses get the best of them.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a trip to India to discover who we are or who we must be. Instead, it starts with a good teacher and a clear mind close to home. Ludmila Goretsky offers individual and group meditation sessions and guidance to suit every goal and need. Let today be the first day of your own journey into the depths of your spirit through meditation, and let that be a journey worth reading about.

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