Literature Study GuidesEat Pray LoveBook 3 Chapters 79 81 Summary

Eat, Pray, Love | Study Guide

Elizabeth Gilbert

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Eat, Pray, Love | Book 3, Chapters 79–81 | Summary



Book 3, Chapter 79

Gilbert enjoys her relaxed days in Bali. Her schedule is loose. She meditates for an hour in the morning, using her guru's techniques, and then for a second hour in the evening, using Liyer's techniques. She visits Liyer for a few hours each afternoon. Other than that, she is free to walk around, ride her bike, read, and do whatever she wants. She especially likes to ride in the evenings, "high up into the hills and across the acres of rice terraces north of Ubud, with views so splendid and green." On one of these trips, she sees a sign: "Artist's House for Rent, with Kitchen." Three days later she moves in, with Mario's help.

The house is in a beautiful, quiet area, with enchanting gardens, a cat, and wonderful living spaces. In short, it is Gilbert's Eden, her paradise.

Book 3, Chapter 80

This chapter tells about Bali's violent history. It shocks Gilbert to learn that the paradise she experiences today "has had exactly as bloody and violent and oppressive a history as anywhere else on earth where human beings have ever lived." She wonders if this setting is the right place for her "search for the balance between worldly pleasure and spiritual devotion." She sees the corruption and wonders if the Balinese are truly as peacefully balanced as they appear, or if it is all just an "economically calculated" ruse. Ultimately, however, she decides that it is enough of "a nourishing climate," especially the house she has rented, for her pursuits.

Book 3, Chapter 81

Gilbert observes that whenever Liyer begins his treatment of a patient he asks which day of the week the person was born. She learns that the day of birth is very important to Balinese, who believe certain personality traits are linked to the day of the week on which one is born. She also learns about their belief in black magic, that "evil spirits come out rivers and hurt people," as Liyer explains in his broken English.

Gilbert and Liyer talk about how followers of different religions can live with each other peacefully. Liyer's suggestion is that people listen, say they agree with each other, and then proceed to go home and worship however they want. He encourages her to keep practicing her Indian yoga because it is good for her.

Gilbert is impressed with the overall atmosphere of patience that surrounds Liyer. People do not mind waiting long periods of time to receive his ministrations, and Liyer does not rush his dealings with anyone. He takes his time, and his work exhausts him, but he is always happy to spend time with Gilbert. She realizes that what her role in his life is to be good company for him: "I'm somebody he can talk to because he enjoys hearing about the world and he hasn't had much of a chance to see it."


Gilbert keeps reminding readers what her goal is in Bali: to find an inner balance that she can sustain. Even though on the surface she appears to be enjoying an idyllic vacation, she is working to have the sort of balance that she sees people searching for when they come to Liyer: "Everyone out of balance; everyone needing equilibrium restored."

Gilbert's days in Bali have a rhythm and a sort of balance. She does one type of yoga in the morning, another type in the evening. She engages in reading for pleasure, balanced by reading to learn. She visits with Liyer to learn from him, but also to teach him about the bigger world. She can sit lazily during the days, and then bicycle up hills in the evenings.

In Chapter 81 Gilbert wonders about Liyer's age. He does not know how old he is, and his estimates vary wildly. Is he 65 years old or 105? She continues to wonder how old he is, but it never becomes clear why this is so important to her. Perhaps it is important solely as a demonstration of her innate curiosity and desire to understand the intricacies of every person she interacts with.

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