I’m sure many of you already know who wrote buddhacharita. It’s author and yoga teacher, Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s best known for her book, The New York Times best seller, Eat, Pray, Love, and is a sought-after speaker for yoga and meditation sessions.
The book was published in 2003, but you can tell it has a lot of influence in modern day yoga. A lot of the books that have influenced me, and I think the ideas I have on how to become more present and attentive to my thoughts and feelings, is what I learned from Elizabeth Gilbert. I know because she was a big influence on my life and I think a lot of the ideas I have now are her ideas.
In her own words Eat, Pray, Love is “a book that helps readers to find their way and to think about their lives in a more thoughtful way.” Like many of the books we list on our website, Eat, Pray, Love has a lot to offer. The idea of “thinking” in a more thoughtful way is one that Gilbert makes very clear.
We found it helpful to use her quote to explore how we should think about the way we live. Gilbert points to the word “think” many times in the book and she has a great way to think about how to think about our lives. If we’re talking about our daily activities, for example, we can all relate to thinking about getting up in the morning. Gilbert’s idea of “thinking in a more thoughtful way” is about being more mindful of how we live our lives.
Gilbert’s point is that we should be more thoughtful with our actions and thinking more carefully about what we do and how we do it. The very act of taking a step and then not doing it is the act of being mindful.
So we can relate to this concept, and a way to practice it is to think more carefully about our daily lives. When you wake up in the morning, you can think about how you want your day to go. You can think about how you want your day to go if you’re going to do your work, and then get yourself ready to go. When you go to bed, you can think about how it’s going to go if you get out of bed.
We are all about being mindful, and that’s what we do. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then you shouldn’t be doing it. But if you want to be mindful now, then you should be doing it.
The first time I read about buddhacharita, I instantly thought of the fact that it was a movie based on, and about, a book by the same name. I also liked the fact that it was about the power of meditation and the Buddhist concept of “emptiness.” That the whole movie was about meditating was a nice touch and also the fact that it was about a Buddhist monk.
The original buddhacharita, written by a monk named Asanga, was written in the late 60s, and was considered a classic among Buddhist monks. The book was first translated into English in the 90s, but by that time it was considered “a bit of an academic exercise.” In fact, the monks who compiled the book had some pretty negative opinions about the book, and decided to try to improve it a bit.
Some monks were really against the book, and would try to make it clear that it was about a lay person, not a monk. The fact that so many monks tried to make it clear that it was a lay person only made these monks more angry and they decided to try to make it about a monk, and thus the novel became buddhacharita.