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The Song of the Bird Paperback – August 21, 1984
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"Every one of these stories is about YOU." --Anthony de Mello
Everyone loves stories; and in this book the bestselling author of Sadhana: A Way to God shares 124 stories and parables from a variety of traditions both ancient and modern. Each story resonates with life lessons that can teach us inescapable truths about ourselves and our world.
De Mello's international acclaim rests on his unique approach to contemplation and ability to heighten self-awareness and self-discovery. His is a holistic approach, and in the words of one reviewer: "his mysticism cuts across all times and peoples and is truly a universal invitation." The Song of the Bird uses the familiar yet enduring medium of the story to illustrate profound realities that bring us in touch with the problems and concerns of daily life, as well as with our common spiritual quest. The aim is to develop the art of tasting and feeling the message of each story to the point that we are transformed. "Let the story speak to your heart, not to your brain," the author directs. "This may make something of a mystic out of you."
Enhanced by lovely ink drawings, this is indeed a volume to treasure, to share, and to read many times over, for it is everyone's best companion on the road to spiritual growth.
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- Publisher : Image; Reprint edition (August 21, 1984)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385196156
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385196154
- Item Weight : 6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #214,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #203 in Spiritual Meditations (Books)
- #875 in Inspiration & Spirituality
- #1,636 in Christian Self Help
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The author was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who also wrote several other books on spiritual topics and led retreats and conferences. According to his website, his books were once ruled theologically inconsistent with Catholic doctrine and banned from Catholic bookstores, although they ban was later lifted and books were sold with the following warning added: “The books of Father Anthony de Mello were written in a multi-religious context to help the followers of other religions, agnostics and atheists in their spiritual search, and they were not intended by the author as manuals of instruction of the Catholic faithful in Christian doctrine or dogma.” To me, the caution was an appealing advertisement.
I have three favorite stories from this book: “The Little Fish,” “The Contented Fisherman,” and “Domesticated Rebels.” “The Little Fish” has made its way into popular culture, and many have cited De Mello as its original source. You may recognize it from the Pixar and Disney movie Soul, the famous “This is Water” commencement speech by David Foster Wallace in 2005, or a reference in The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. Here it is.
“Excuse me,” said an ocean fish, “You are older than I so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the Ocean?”
“The Ocean,” said the older fish, “is the thing you are in now.”
“Oh, this? But this is water. What I’m seeking is the Ocean,” said the disappointed fish as he swam away to search elsewhere.
He came to the Master in sannyasi robes. And he spoke sannyasi language:
“For years I have been seeking God. I have sought Him everywhere that He is said to be: on mountain peaks, the vastness of the desert, and the silence of the cloister and the dwellings of the poor.”
“Have you found him?” the Master asked. “No. I have not. Have you?”
What could the Master say? The evening sun was sending shafts of golden light into the room. Hundreds of sparrows were twittering on a banyan tree. In the distance one could hear the sound of highway traffic. A mosquito droned a warning that it was going to strike… And yet this man could sit there and say he had not found Him.
After a while he left, disappointed, to search elsewhere.
Stop searching, little fish. There isn’t anything to look for. All you have to do is look.
I followed deMello's instruction and confined my reading to one parable or tale each morning. Throughout the day it would return to me, either to amuse, enlighten or both.. Interestingly, I was already familiar with many of the tales but viewed them differently in the past. deMello has generated a refreshing, sometimes novel, interpretation that always inspires.
Song of the Bird is a book that will be read again and again. The compilation is proof that although Truth has many ways of revealing itsself, it remains consistent and eventually reveals itself to all who seek it.
Top reviews from other countries
Anthony De Mello is a Catholic priest who has really listened to what other religions have to say, and allowed their truths and insights to enlighten his own religion too. He faithfully follows St. Ignatius' instruction to "find God in all things", including the lives and teachings of non-Catholics and non-Christians.
I am SO glad I bought another copy. It is a unique piece of writing and wisdom.
Wholly readable and VERY thought provoking.
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER !!!