Archive | October, 2014

“You are never in love with anyone. You’re only in love with your prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person,”

27 Oct

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

“My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine; if you don’t, too bad!”

27 Oct

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

“That, ladies and gentleman, is faith! An openness to the truth, no matter the consequences, no matter where it leads you and when you don’t even know where it’s going to lead you. That’s faith. Not belief, but faith.”

26 Oct

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

“Learning is all about where spirituality is concerned: unlearning, unlearning almost everything you’ve been taught. A willingness to unlearn, to listen.”

26 Oct

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

“Agreement and disagreement have to do with words and concepts and theories. They don’t have anything to do with truth. Truth is never expressed in words. Truth is sighted suddenly, as a result of a certain attitude…an attitude of openness, of willingness to discover something new. I cannot describe the truth. No one can. All I can do is give you a description of your falsehoods so you can drop them.”

26 Oct

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

“Anytime you renounce something, you are tied forever to the thing you renounce. – As long as you are fighting it, you are giving it power. – When you renounce something you are tied to it. The only way to get out of this is to see through it. Don’t renounce it, see through it.”

26 Oct

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

Awareness – by Anthony de Mello

25 Oct

Awareness, Anthony de Mello, Spirituality, Ph-Me

By far one of the most impactful books I have ever read, is “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello.  I was first introduced to it on a car-ride back from SLC airport to company head quarters by a dear colleague, and now a best friend, Josh.  I don’t know how it came up, but he mentioned the book and I recall him saying “when we renounce something, we are permanently attached to it.”  “Yeah,” I thought.  “That sounds so Fing right.”  Anyone who has dieted, knows what I am talking about.

Over the course of the following months, I saw Josh completely change, not in his persona, but in his relationship to himself.  It was insane and awesome.  Somewhere along the way, I picked up the book.

The book itself is not written by Anthony de Mello, but by a colleague of his, J. Francis Stroud, who faced the task of “maintaining the spirit of [de Mello’s] live words and sustaining his spontaneity with a responsive audience on the printed page,” after his death.

Anthony himself, was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist. Stroud was also a Jesuit priest. Eleven years after de Mello died the Catholic church reviewed his work and found some of his theological teaching to be ‘incompatible with the Catholic faith.’  Somehow, this makes me like him even more.

Fun fact: Jesuits are members of a male, christian congregation of the Catholic Church called the “The Society of Jesus.”  Founded by Ignatius of Loyola, who had a strong military background, the members have a willingness to accept orders anywhere in the world and to live in extreme conditions where required.  They are sometimes called “God’s Soldiers” or “God’s Marines.”


We are asleep.  We don’t want to wake up because it is painful.  In awareness is healing; in awareness is truth; in awareness is salvation; in awareness is spirituality; in awareness is growth; in awareness is love; in awareness is awakening.

In order to wake up:

  1. Realize that you don’t want to wake up.
  2. Unlearn, listen and challenge your whole belief system. Find truth, not from words, but from an attitude of openness and willingness. Suffering points to an area of growth.
  3. Don’t try to change things, try to understand them.  What you judge you cannot understand.
  4. Practice self-observation (watching everything around you as if it were happening to someone else) and become aware.  Step outside of yourself and observe. Awareness means to watch, to observe what is going on within you and around you.  First, we become aware of things, then we become aware of thoughts, and finally we get to the awareness of the thinker.
  5. Drop your illusions.  When your illusions drop, you are in touch with reality.

Comments on waking up

  • The chances of waking up are in direct proportion to the amount of truth you can take without running away.
  • When you’re waking up, you experience a great deal of pain.

When you wake up:

  1. You will fear no one and you will fear nothing because you are perfectly content to be nobody.
  2. When you awaken, when you understand, when you see, the world becomes right.


  1. There is no such thing as charity; it is all self interest
  2. Things don’t need to be fixed. They need to be understood.  If you understood them, they’d change.
  3. Your illusions of other people will constantly crash against reality.  See through people and start by seeing through yourself.
  4. Who am I? What is I?  Who is living inside of me?  When you identify “I” with the “me” suffering begins.
  5. Anytime you have a negative feeling towards anyone, you are living in an illusion. There is something seriously wrong with you.
  6. Loneliness is not cured by human company.  Loneliness is cured by dropping illusions and coming into contact with reality.
  7. No situation in the world justifies a negative feeling.
  8. We see people not as they are, but as we are.
  9. The one who knows, does not say; the one who says, does not know.
  10. Happiness is not the same as excitement; it’s not the same as thrills.

Four steps to wisdom:

  1. Get in touch with negative feelings that you are not even aware of.
  2. Understand that the feeling is in you, not in external reality.
  3. Never identify with that feeling.  It has nothing to do with the “I”.  These things come and go.
  4. Rather than ask “How do you change things?” ask “How do I change myself?”  When you change , everything changes.


Like Buddhism, de Mello says often “Life is always changing” and talks often about how our inability to understand that causes suffering.  Also like Buddhism, de Mello highlights the suffering caused by clinging.  He says “When you cling, life is destroyed. When you hold onto anything, you cease to live.” And again, “there’s another demon too, who’s doing the filtering.  It’s called attachment, desire, craving.  The root of sorrow is craving.”


Like “Atlas Shrugged” and “Fountainhead”, de Mello believes that there is no such thing as charity – that it is all self-interest, at its best, it is enlightened self interest.


24 Oct

Whether it is seasonal, or timing or life, there are times when you just feel a change taking place.

For the last year or so, I have been going through a beautiful phase.  An experience of opening, of death, of full-blooded woman-ness (ultimate vulnerability, love, desire, care-taking, nurturing, neediness, non-self-importance, insecurity and of course drama).  The goal, seemed unable to reveal itself, as if stillness was the only thing to move towards, as if nothing was the only things to seek.  This is the phase that gave birth to this blog.  This phase was, very clearly, more about life inside of myself than about anything outside.

Part of the energy of this phase felt passive.  I was waiting, as still as I could be, listening for clues, expecting nothing, but present for anything that move me in a direction – any direction.  It was an experience that was precious, fragile, tending to ‘little-girl’ me.  I am so grateful for it.  I was not the hunter; I was the ultimate recipient – waiting patiently (okay… as patiently as I could).

And as everything, it changes. I change. We change.  And, so has my perspective on life.  This phase has happened to serve me, and now, it no longer does.

I said one week ago, to a friend, “I am ready… ready to be ready.”  And so it begins, a return to a less passive version of myself, and a more focused, proactive builder/artist/entrepreneur/who-knows.  I feel like I have the “eye of the tiger” again (go Katy Perry … And Stallone!)

Thank you, Life, for introducing me to the little girl and the woman in me. For letting me love her, understand her and not judge her..  Thank you for my husband, who held space for me as life unfolded, and I changed.  He allowed it, and watched with intrigue, love and a lot of laughter.

I’d like to write more about the death I experienced in another post at another time, but more than anything, I am focused on tying up all of the loose ends from of my ending phase.  Id like the closure of finishing my Ph-Me project.  So here comes a slushy of book reports and insights.

With love and sighs and acceptance,

~ Me

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

3 Oct

Quote by Anais Nin, emailed from Melissa, to me Audrey and Megan.