Anthony de Mello biography:
Anthony de Mello (4 September 1931 – 2 June 1987) was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist. A spiritual teacher, writer and public speaker.
He was ordained into the priesthood in March 1961.
His first published book Sadhana – A way to God was released in 1978. It outlined a number of spiritual principles and exercises inspired by the teachings of Saint Ignatius.
Other books published during his lifetime include The Song of the Bird, One Minute Wisdom and Wellsprings. The first two were collections of stories and the last a collection of exercises similar to Sadhana.
In 1972, he founded the Institute of Pastoral Counselling, later renamed the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling, in Poona, India.
Most people, he maintained, are asleep. They need to wake up, open up their eyes, see what is real, both inside and outside of themselves. The greatest human gift is to be aware, to be in touch with oneself, one’s body, mind, feelings, thoughts, and sensations.
Here are some of his typical challenges: “Come home yourself!Come back to your senses! Do you hear that bird sing?
How can you hear the song and not hear the singer?
How can you see the wave and not see the ocean?
How can you see the dance and not see the dancer?”
The thousands of people who attended Fr. de Mello’s workshops, and the thousands more who did not attend but who wished they could have, will surely consider it a great blessing that full-length conferences of this superbly gifted and eloquent speaker have been preserved. It is just the way he was, uninhibited by a TV studio or time limits. It is a priceless final gift he has left his friends.
“Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up.
They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence.
You know — all mystics — Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well.
Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.” – Anthony de Mello’s quote.
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