In the end, I've come to believe in something I call "The Physics of the Quest." A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.
Dear friends and loved ones: My birthday's coming up soon. If I were home, I'd be planning a stupid, expensive birthday party and you'd all be buying me gifts and bottles of wine. A cheaper, more lovely way to celebrate would be to make a donation to help a healer named Wayan Nuriyasih buy a house in Indonesia. She's a single mother. ln Bali, after a divorce, a woman gets nothing, not even her children. To gain custody of her daughter, Tutti, Wayan had to sell everything, even her bath mat, to pay for a lawyer. For years, they've moved from place to place. Each time, Wayan loses clientele and Tutti has to change schools. This little group of people in Bali have become my family. And we must take care of our families, wherever we find them. Today l saw Tutti playing with a blue tile she'd found in the road near a hotel construction site. She told me: Maybe if we have a house someday, it can have a pretty blue floor like this. When I was in Italy, I learned a word - It's "tutti" with double T, which in ltalian means "everybody." So that's the lesson, isn't it? When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping Tutti.
Hadn't I wanted this? I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life. So why didn't I see myself in any of it? The only thing more impossible than staying... was leaving. I didn't want to hurt anybody, I wanted to slip quietly out the back door and not stop running until I reached Greenland.
You feel guilty because you're American. You don't know how to enjoy yourself!.
[looking a bit taken aback] I beg your pardon?
It's true. Americans know entertainment, but don't know pleasure.
This is Luca Spaghetti, by the way, you know.
Your name is Luca Spaghetti?
Yes, that's what our family is called. We invented it. I'm serious. Listen to me. You want to know your problem? Americans! You work too hard. You get burned out. Then you come home and spend the whole weekend... in your pajamas in front of the TV.
That's not far off, actually.
But you don't know pleasure. You have to be told you've earned it. You see a commercial that says, "It's Miller time"... and you say, "That's right. Now I will go to buy a six-pack". And drink the whole thing and wake up the next morning and you feel terrible. But an Italian doesn't need to be told. Ha walks by a sign that says, "You deserve a break today"... and he says, "Yeah, I know. That's why I'm planning on taking a break at noon... to go over to your house and sleep with your wife".
Sharon in Seva Office:
[Liz has been called to the seva office] We're taking you off the floor-scrubbing team. There are about 50 devotees arriving tomorrow from all over the world for a 10-day retreat, and we'd like you to be the key hostess. We ask that you don't take part during the meditations. We need you to watch over the flock, make sure everyone is all right
Sharon in Seva Office:
[continues, as Liz remains silent] We call the person who does this job, "Little Suzy Cream Cheese." You need to be social and bubbly and smiling all the time.
[breaking into a big smile] Madam... I'm your girl!
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