When you attain, when you are aware, increasingly you will not be bothered about labels like “awake” or “asleep.” One of my difficulties here is to arouse your curiosity but not your spiritual greed. Let’s come awake, it’s going to be wonderful. After a while, it doesn’t matter; one is aware, because one lives. The unaware life is not worth living. And you will leave pain to take care of itself. ~Anthony De Mello
|This is the story of the first meeting between two brothers, their last meeting, and of family events that took place in the interval.
THE FIRST MEETING
On the afternoon of the 29th of July 1944, a 13-year-old boy ran from his home to visit his mother in a maternity hospital in Bombay, India. His thoughts ran faster than his legs, for the hour of destiny had arrived. The boy’s future would be golden as he planned—if the newborn sibling were male. But the boy’s future would be of iron—the iron of an apprenticeship in the railways—if the sibling were female. The 13-year-old boy was Tony deMello, and I was the newborn infant. When Tony saw me, he said with joy: “… So now I can become a Jesuit priest!”
THE LAST MEETING
He was in the United States to conduct seminars on spirituality via a satellite linkup with 600 colleges in the US and Canada, and I was in Manhattan, sent by my Australian employers to work on a particularly interesting global project. In a telephone conversation earlier that day Tony had assured me that he had recovered from jet lag after the long flight from India.
But as the evening progressed Tony complained of stomach unease. This should have rung warning bells in me…Tony NEVER complained…he was always at peace with whatever fate dealt him.
After dinner we sat in a room to chat, and he left me briefly to take some medication. It did not help. What was planned as a few precious hours spent together was cut short by his increasing discomfort. He said he was tired and wished to retire early.
© Copyright Bill deMello
Before parting, we agreed to meet later in the year at his Retreat House in India. Our last minute was spent in a big hug and we farewelled each other with choked emotion.
The next morning Tony was found dead on the floor of his room.
A day later Tony’s body was laid out in the chapel of Fordham University. He looked so vibrantly alive that I could neither believe nor accept that he was dead. I broke down and sobbed … we had much unfinished spiritual business left unresolved. I went through the usual feelings of anger …
Why did he have to die? Of sadness … I will never see him again. Of pain and guilt … I should have guessed he was going in for a heart attack and done something about it. Mostly of shock and disbelief … How could a seemingly healthy man, who had been given a clean bill of health by an eminent US heart specialist only months earlier, die of a heart attack? Should we call it fate, destiny, or God’s will? Those questions will remain unanswered till we brothers meet again; who knows where, who knows when.
Until his sudden death on June 2, 1987, Fr. Tony de Mello was the director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling near Poona, India. Author of five best selling books, renowned worldwide for his workshops, retreats, and prayer courses, he aimed simply to teach people how to pray, how to wake up and live.
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, sensations.
For more information on the Anthony De Mello and his teachings, please visit www.demellospirituality.com. The site contains spiritual themes and exercises that can enrich and transform your life.
by Michelle Maynard Koenig
Gives me a
Freedom to expand
My soul’s lungs
Breathe it all in
And exhale in love
My gratitude is indescribable
My life is a sacred gift
It is well with my Soul
(Artwork, “It Is Well With My Soul,” by Janelle Bradshaw.)
by Michelle Maynard Koenig
There’s so much to observe, experience, and see
amid the vast Universe of diverse land, people and sea.
When I open my mind, respecting it all,
the horizons of my existence expands wide and tall.
In my possession is a coin of life only I can spend.
Determining the path of my journey’s stipend.
How I spend my coin can result is sadness, joy,
chaos, bliss, truth, or even manipulative ploys.
It’s up to me to get to living or get to dying,
time waits for no one, time’s momentum is flying.
The choice is mine, and only mine to make,
regardless if the time I have remaining is years or only today.
written by danaadmin at Purpose Fairy
What is the difference between happy people and unhappy people? Of course, it may be very obvious, happy people are happy while unhappy people are unhappy, right? Well, that is correct, but we want to know what are the things that these people do differently and that is why, I have put together a list of things that HAPPY people do differently than UNHAPPY people.
1. LOVE vs. FEAR. Well, I can tell you for sure that those people who are really happy, FEAR less and LOVE a lot more.They see each moment, each challenge, each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them.
2. ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE. Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can definitely change it by accepting that it is there and by understanding that there might be a reason for its existence. When something unpleasant happens to them, they don’t try to fight it, knowing that this will make the situation even worse, but rather, they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? and they go from there, focusing on the positive rather than on the negative. They always seem to see the glass half full no matter what happens to them.
3. FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS. Really happy people know that it’s not healthy to hold on to anger. They choose to FORGIVE and FORGET, understanding that FORGIVENESS is a gift they give to themselves first and foremost.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.~Buddha
4. TRUST vs. DOUBT. They trust themselves and they trust the people around them. No matter if they talk to the cleaning lady or the C.E.O. of a multi billion company, somehow they always seem make the person they are interacting with feel like there is something unique and special about them.
They understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity and respect, making no distinctions between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race. These are the great men that Mark Twain was talking about.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~Mark Twain
5. MEANING vs. AMBITION. They do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives and because they get a sense of purpose by doing so. They understand that “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life” like Wayne Dyer puts it, and they care more about living a life full of meaning rather than, what in our modern society we would call, living a successful life.
The irony here is that most of the time they get both, success and meaning, just because they choose to focus on doing the things they love the most and they always pursue their heart desires. They are not motivated by money; they want to make a difference in the lives of those around them and in the world.
6. PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. Happy people would probably agree with Carl’s Jung theory on resistance: “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” They don’t criticize the absence of the behavior they want to reinforce, but rather, every time the behavior is present, even if it’s not that often, they know that by praising the person and the behavior, they will actually reinforce the positive behavior.
When a parent wants to make sure that his 7 years old boy will learn to always put the toys back in the box after he’s done playing with them, he will make sure not to focus on the many times the child won’t do it, criticizing him and his behavior, but rather, every time the little boy does put the toys back, the parent will praise him and his behavior and that is exactly how he will reinforce the positive behavior, and in the end geting the wanted results.
7. CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. Happy people will see PROBLEMS as CHALLENGES, as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things, expressing their gratitude for them, understanding that underneath them all lies many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.
8. SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS. They do what they do not for themselves, but for the good of others, making sure that they bring meaning, empowerment and happiness in the lives of many. They look for ways to give and to share the best of themselves with the world and to make other people happy.
Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.~Buddha
9. ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. They have an abundant mindset living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.
10. DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. These people don’t really care about being realistic. They love and dare to dream big, they always listen to their heart and intuition and the greatness of their accomplishments scares many of us.
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.~Goethe
11. KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self love, self forgiveness and self acceptance.
12. GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. No no matter where they look, no matter where they are or with who, they have this capacity of seeing beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities, where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and they express their gratitude for them all.
13. PRESENCE/ ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. They know how to live in the present moment, appreciating what they have and where they are, while still having big dreams about the future.
When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are.~Eckhart Tolle
14. POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.
15. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMING. They take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. Happy people understand that the moment you choose to blame some outside forces for whatever it is that happens to you, you are in fact giving all your power away, and they choose to keep the power for themselves and taking responsibility for everything that happens to them.
accord – agreement – peace – symmetry – unity
Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous.~Yehudi Menuhin
I recently read an article by Rev. Marty Troyer regarding facing conflict in your day to day life in a harmonious way. I cringe at facing conflict. I truly do feel I am allergic to it. The more I evolve the easier it gets, but I still would rather bungee off a cliff than face conflict!
What do I classify as conflict? Conflict for me is going against the natural grain of my existence and all that entails. I strive to live a life of integrity (not perfection) and to speak my truth. Sometimes doing so creates conflict or tension. If I stay centered in harmony, and not allow fear of conflict throw me off balance, I am able to behave in ways that are congruent with my thoughts, words and actions. I am able to own and take responsibility for my choices. To make choices based on my own beliefs and reasoning, and not on what others believe I should think, say, or do.
Yes, conflict certainly is challenging, and often it is tempting to deny it, run away from it, elude it, bury it, stuff it., etc. As Rev. Troyer further states in his article, “Nothing about dealing with conflict comes natural … but conflict itself is remarkably normal, ordinary, and natural. It’s everywhere, because I suppose, we’re everywhere.”
What I have found, however, is that the most substantial lessons I have learned in life come of, about, or through conflict. I also realize that conflict can be faced with harmony as long as my thoughts, words and actions are aligned.
noun. educator – mentor – tutor
verb. educate – teach – tutor
I don’t need to spend a large amount of money for someone to instruct me on life. Life, in and of itself, is a free mentor. From Life, I receive excellent instruction on Happiness, Gratitude and Serenity, as well as Greed, Gluttony and Guise.
I find there is more to life than money, prestige and narcissistic power. May I always embrace its pureness of truth, trust and respect in the guidance of greatest COACH of all: Life. Taking ownership for my own life and responsibility for my own thoughts, words and actions is simply empowering!
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(from Robert Frost’s ”The Road Not Taken”)
Life is not something that is done to us, it is something that we do. It is called Living. When we greet another day of life, we appear at a crossroad in Mind, Body and Essence. The degree may vary from person to person. Some may be present in one, two … or serenely present in all three. We are all unique in that aspect. It is at the crossroad where we choose our path, based upon the wholeness of our thoughts, words and actions.
The beauty of volition is that we are afforded the opportunity to change paths on our journey, or start over, so long as we have Life. Always. However, choices are not always easy and not always without confusion. From birth we are nurtured to travel paths prejudiced by the choices of our parents, ancestors, society, cultures, environments, religions, education, and governments. The awakening is when we become aware that we cannot live another person’s life; we can only live our own.
There are an endless number of side roads that branch off the path called Life, yet all of them lead to the same destination. There are no perfect journeys and there are more than one “right” path. The paths of volition. Below are several paths that I have experienced. You may have traveled along some, all, or quite possibly, none of them. Let’s take a look!
When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it.
(Charles de Lint)
Strong belief in a power greater than ourselves. Faith creates a beginning, middle and end in any journey. And the opportunity to start over when needed.
Honest dialogue and consistent caring solidify inner strength that makes getting through tough times possible and rewarding, such as confronting a difficult history and making amends.
Optimism is like a flashlight in a dark room. Don’t underestimate the power within that cultivate the possibilities of what can be.
Helping others is intoxicating and requires no invitation. Charity is the nourishment of gratitude.
Stubborn might be a more accurate word here, but launching into a determined mission is not for the meek. What was originally a short-term project could become a lifelong pursuit. You just don’t know at the outset.
A positive view fostered by empathy cures a lot of ills. When Love is shared, it grows. Love is also the source of the essence within.
Remaining in the present with our eyes focused on the illuminated horizon of possibilities.
How many times have you been told: “No, that won’t work”? “Why bother, it can’t be done”? I have heard both plenty of times; mostly from myself. Do you achieve what you set out to do? Does cultivated self-doubt and negativity of others stop you before you take the first step towards an attempt? Courage goes hand in hand with learning. We can’t test the waters of the unknown until we find the courage to step away from the shore that we know.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
The paths discussed above may or may not be for you. You possibly have discovered paths that I have yet to experience. We have to choose for ourselves which path or paths help us develop or progress along our journey. Choosing the appropriate path may require seeing things a bit differently. For me, it requires keeping an open mind and an open heart. I try to not make it complicated. I trust that each and every experience expands my awareness. An awareness to use when I find myself at the crossroad again. Don’t be surprised if the path you choose leads you to an unexpected place. Enjoy life—live it while you have it!
bliss – felicity – happiness – peace – serenity
A little drowsing cat is an image of a perfect beatitude. ~Jules Champfleury
AFFIRMATION: Today, I take my Best and my Attitude and live a life of BEATITUDE. Best + Attitude = BEATITUDE!
The Gift of a Smile brings …
- Art of Balance
Bliss from Learning
Compassion amid Courage
Ego behind Faith
Freedom among Friendship
Good News concerning Gratitude
Happiness within Harmony
Heart with Honesty
Humanity considering Hope
Inspiration on Journey
Joy around Kindness
Life amid Love
Mankind at Meditation
Music underneath Namaste
Peace inside Photography
Poetry alongside Growth
Respect toward Serenity
Soul beyond Spirituality
Spunk in Strength
- the Trust
- the Truth
- the Universe.
boost – cherish – cultivate – nurture – stimulate
Warm weather fosters growth: cold weather destroys it. Thus a man with an unsympathetic temperament has a scant joy: but a man with a warm and friendly heart overflowing blessings, and his beneficence will extend to posterity ~Hung Tzu-Cheng
AFFIRMATION: Today is made up of a collection of moments of life filled with faith, hope, and love. I will use each moment to be motivated and empowered by the heart and soul. May my existence leave a residue within the Universe that FOSTERS love and peace.