Wednesday, June 13, 2007

come on and shine!

I was cleaning my pc of files to discard and chanced upon this prayer I used for Hangad practice. I guess I'd better post it here so I won't lose it if my system breaks down...

I’ve recently been reading Anthony De Mello’s compilation of “story meditations” entitled Taking Flight. The appeal of this book to me is a cross between “Laughter, The Best Medicine” and a short Richard Bach novel. Let me share with you a story taken from this book’s section on “Awareness”.

“An oyster saw a loose pearl that had fallen into the crevice of a rock on the ocean bed. After great effort she managed to retrieve the pearl and place it just beside her on a leaf. She knew that humans searched for pearls and thought, ‘ This pearl will tempt them, so they will take it and let me be.’

When a pearl diver showed up, however, his eyes were conditioned to look for oysters and not for pearls resting on leaves.

So he grabbed the oyster, which did not happen to have a pearl, and allowed the real pearl to roll back into the crevice in the rock.

You know exactly where to look. That is the reason why you fail to find God.”(De Mello, 1988, pp 45-46)

For those who don’t know who Anthony De Mello is, he was a Jesuit priest from India and the director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counselling in Poona, India, as well as a member of the Jesuit province of Bombay. In the words of his friend, Francis Stroud, his work was about "waking people up to the reality of their greatness, proclaiming the message of 'awareness' - seeing the light we are to ourselves and to others, recognising we are better than we knew." He challenged people to encounter the God behind all the words, concepts and religious formulas. Though he was a Jesuit, he even went so far as to point out the capacity of 'religion' to interfere with our relationship with God. This brought him considerable criticism from various quarters, including the Vatican.

His retreats, workshops, seminars on prayer and therapy courses and work which he was involved with globally for 18 years is widely known in many English and Spanish speaking countries. He died suddenly in 1987, in New York, where he was giving one of his Sadhana Courses.

This thought is, again, about awareness.

"Is salvation obtained through action or through meditation?"

"Through neither. Salvation comes from seeing."

"Seeing what?"

"That the gold necklace you wish to acquire is hanging round your neck. That the snake you are so frightened of is only a rope on the ground."


titopao said...

Don't know if you were aware of this, but the Vatican did come out with an official statement regarding Fr. de Mello's writings---specifically, his early writings.

Here's the link to the Vatican statement:

But honestly, I do enjoy reading his stories ;-)

titopao =)

titopao said...

Argh! Truncated! Anyway, here it is :)