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Praying Naked: The Spirituality of Anthony de Mello [Kindle Edition]

J. Francis Stroud Sj.
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $3.15 (21%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In his books Awareness and The Way to Love, among others, the internationally acclaimed spiritual guide Anthony de Mello presented an approach to spirituality that integrated the ancient traditions of the East with the psychological and philosophical perspectives of the West. Twenty years after his death, de Mello’s books continue to attract readers and his work remains a powerful influence on contemporary spiritual thought and practices. J. Francis Stroud, S.J., who helped de Mello with his hugely successful lectures, seminars, and books, has dedicated himself to keeping de Mello’s teachings alive through the de Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University. In Praying Naked, Father Stroud draws on his peerless understanding of de Mello’s works to help readers keep their lives on track and navigate their own spiritual journeys. In clear, simple language, he explains how to master de Mello’s approach to meditation and shows that meditating for even as little as three minutes a day can resolve the problems caused by difficult life conditions and guide us on the quest for spiritual happiness, self-discovery, and self-awareness.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although the title suggests clothing-optional spirituality, this small book of quotes, stories and how-to lists is really about praying and living just as we are before God. Stroud—director of the Anthony de Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University and a protégé of the late Jesuit spiritual guide—continues Mello's dedication to spiritual practices of meditation, healthy self-esteem and the pursuit of happiness. Stroud invites readers to slow down and savor life through a variety of spiritual practices designed to increase awareness of God. The book is a stew pot of interesting stories and bold proclamations, such as, "meditation alleviates all addictions." The illustrations on themes of happiness, suffering, emotions and change come from de Mello and Stroud's teachings as well as from traditions as diverse as Buddhism, modern psychology and even contemporary motivational writers and speakers like Tony Robbins, John Bradshaw and Deepak Chopra. The advice devolves at times into banality as Stroud shares aphorisms like "Real people in life don't get hurt. They thrive on everything that happens to them" and "[Y]ou cannot be grateful and fail at the same time." Still, if you're looking for a self-help book informed by a cheery, eclectic spirituality, this is for you. (Sept. 20)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“It was with great excitement that I read Father Francis Stroud’s book, Praying Naked. The book is insightful, inspirational, and healing. I hope everyone will benefit from it as I did.” —Deepak Chopra

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 297 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Image (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XU4T0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,201 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EASY READING, BUT SPIRITUALITY-LITE December 4, 2006

There are lots of quotations in this book; in fact almost half of its pages are blank except for single quotations. The quotes are pretty good too, but their relationship to the text is not always evident. There are lots of good stories, most of them familiar, especially if you've read de Mello. And then there is the teaching. The author says he wishes to give the reader "as much pure de Mello as possible," but he has no trouble fitting in principles from Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Joan Borysenko, John Bradshaw, Eric Berne, Stephen Covey, et al. The important question addressed is not "Who is God," but "Who am I?" And the heart and soul of this book, according to the author (p. 121), is found in three stories that say freedom from inflexibility, rigidity and external pressure will lead to a breakthrough where we will get rid of our programming, wake up to who we are, and experience things making sense. There's a lot more good advice as well: admit you are asleep, become able to listen, stay alert, get rid of illusions about yourself and others, be grateful, be intimate with nature, be non-judgmental, focus, surround yourself with happy people, think positively, learn to correct self-created emotions, etc. All of this is good mental hygiene and much good psychological advice gathered together in one place, but is it spirituality? And, in particular, is this really a summary of the spirituality of a recognized Christian spiritual master, Catholic priest, and vowed Jesuit religious? There is little about God, Christ, or a relationship with either, little that could not be espoused and taught by an atheist. It's an easy book to get through and a good one to practice, but thin soup for someone who is expecting a more hearty meal.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The work stands on its on. January 4, 2007
By L. Long
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anthony de Mello is such an awesome writer that he doesn't need someone piggy-backing on his work. Read de Mello's original works rather than this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What was the point of this? July 28, 2009
I'm a great admirer of Fr. De Mello's work, and picked this up without giving it much of a look. I don't often regret buying books, but this was an exception.

Fr. Stroud, who has otherwise done a good job of editing and promoting Fr. De Mello's work, here simply rehashes some of De Mello's ideas and stories, often without attribution, and provides some rather unhelpful commentary.

Almost half the book is nearly blank, with brief (and frequently rather inane) quotations on the left pages, quotations that often have little or nothing to do with the material on the facing pages. It's very bizarre. It's hard to shake the suspicion that he didn't have enough material for a book, and had to use the quotations to take up some of the space.

I don't know what this book is for. It might introduce De Mello to new readers, but it might actually turn them off, which would be a shame.

If you've read De Mello's work, you will find nothing of value here that you're not already familiar with. If you haven't, do yourself a favour and read his words directly. I recommend starting with Awareness, which was a life-changer for me.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and Encouraging August 4, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A marvellous presentation of de Mello's approach -- I think better for today's readers than de Mello's books themselves. The aim is to bring the reader into contact way down deep with himself where alone he can find God as He wishes to be found. I profited greatly and recommend this to all and not only to christians.
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