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Companion for Meditators
on March 9, 2004
This book, contrary to some of the criticism it has received through the years, is a classic resource for meditation and prayer for those of us on a spiritual journey; and if you ask me, it doesn't much matter what religion you happen to practice. The word "Sadhana" has a myriad of meanings, so it reminds me of Ludwig Wittgenstein's old slogan, "Don't give me the meaning, give me the use!" And the use, my dear friends, is esoteric for each and every one of us. Sadhana could be described as a personal understanding of God, or discipline-even spiritual practice.
In this book Anthony offers 47 exercises derived from Zen Buddhist sources, Christian scripture, modern psychology, and even yoga; de Mello's palate was always an eclectic one. He was a true master when it came time for him to speak to an audience, retaining this mysterious ability to completely captivate all those in the room. In some sense, what de Mello prescribes in this work is basically zazen meditation (Zen Buddhist form of meditation); even going so far as facing our corpse in order to live freely as though we were already dead. Wonderful advice. This book is much more than "cognized prayer"-no-this one talks about devoting your entire being into the act, not simply your words. An earlier reviewer remarked that Anthony would not recommend this book; I don't know of such information, and I certainly don't find him to be the type to make `claims of enlightenment.' I would have smacked him if he said, "I wrote this before my enlightenment." Such a naughty word - "BEFORE." Nora gives the fundamentalists side of the book, of which this work will never satisfy such folk. I'm sorry, but Anthony de Mello was a mystic, not a poisonous snake dancer. Nora demonstrates the Vatican's take in a nutshell, yet if you look at the early Gnostic texts, it's all right there; perfectly in line with what de Mello speaks about in here. We must knock inward, to realize there NEVER WAS AN INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. Anyway, I got off subject a bit. Great book!