Anthony de Mello was born in Bombay in 1931 and died in New York in 1987. A much sought-after spiritual guide, he was director of the Pastoral and Formation Center in Lonavla, India. His books have been translated into many languages, and they continue to be bestsellers today.
This book is a collection of short meditations on spiritual topics: sin, silence, peace, happiness, life, freedom, love, prayer, liberation, and spirituality. In the style for which he is famous, de Mello illustrates his themes with a mix of stories, legends, Zen sayings, humorous ditties, fairy tales, and other insights.
The second part of the book includes practical advice and exercises for "Healing the Suffering Created by the Mind" and "Stating Feelings." He also provides "Exercises and Points for Consideration," many of which are helpful for use in your relationships. Finally, in a section titled "Ideas for Meditation and Spiritual Growth," he offers questions for discussion or journaling. Here are a few examples:
- "An angel appears to you and says, 'You can have anything you want.' What would you ask for? Why?"
- "All the barriers preventing us from attaining happiness are self-imposed. Are you aware that for all these years you have been responsible for your own happiness? Have you let yourself be controlled by another person for some time? What false belief led you to do that?"
- "The more you love others, the more you can do without them. The more you love others, the more you can do with them."
- "The best examination of conscience that you can perform is to ask, 'How have I lived the past hour?' "