Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I may have posted this quote from one of Tony's books before. Nevertheless, I find it so beautiful and meaningful that I can't resist posting it again(if I have done so before)

Once upon a time there was a forest where the birds sang by day and the insects by night. Trees flourished, flowers bloomed and all manner of creatures roamed about in freedom.

And all who entered there were led to Solitude which is the home of God who dwells in Nature’s silence and Nature’s beauty.

But then the Age of Unconsciousness arrived when it became possible for people to construct buildings a thousand feet high and to destroy rivers and forests and mountains in a month. So houses of worship were built from the wood of the forest trees and from the stone under the forest soil. Pinnacle, spire and minaret pointed towards the sky; the air was filled with the sound of bells, with prayer and chant and exhortation.

And God was suddenly without a home.

God hides things by putting them before our eyes!
Anthony deMello. Prayer of the Frog Vol I.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dorothy's Story.
I have studied Anthony de Mello since 1991 and have offered video presentations on him in Hawaii over the past couple of years, as well as book studies.  I have seen Tony and his teachings make a difference in the lives of a number of people who have attended these offerings.  I would like to briefly share the story of one woman, Dorothy.

 Dorothy, who attended the video presentations and two concurrent book studies for almost two years, recently passed away.  She was in her 70's and resolutely independent.  Not being a meditator she was never one to get into the mindfulness meditations which I routinely included in the presentations and book studies.  I did this as Vipassana meditation; it was something Tony encouraged without actually saying so directly, at least in his U.S. presentations.  In one of the book studies when we would silently meditate, Dorothy would turn her chair from the group and just look out the window appreciating the beauty of nature.  This I would say was her own meditation, and actually appreciation of nature is something Tony encouraged.  In the first year or so during the book study discussions Dorothy would often say things like, “What's he talking about?  I don't get it.”  Then when myself or another group member would explain to the best of our ability what Tony was talking about, Dorothy might say, “Well, okay, but I still don't get it.”

Then a little over a year ago Dorothy surprisingly gave an informal testimonial to a group viewing "A Rediscovery of Life" for the first time.  She told the audience how much her life had changed in the past year due to Tony's teachings.  Dorothy stated how she felt "at peace,” then added, “But I'm scared....I don't know who I am anymore!"  When asked what she meant, Dorothy gave an example: “I used to fight on the board of the condo association for what I believed was right, but now I speak up without fighting.  This isn't the 'me' I used to know."  When asked if she liked being “at peace,” Dorothy promptly said: “Oh, yeah!” and smiled.  Dorothy clearly was embodying Tony's teaching about the “me” and the “I”.  She clearly did “get it.”

A couple months later Dorothy was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. When I called her in the hospital, she was very calm.  I was impressed by this and said her so.  Again Dorothy simply said she was “at peace” and added: "My family and friends don't know what to make of me anymore.  So I just tell them, 'It's the new Dorothy.'  I feel at peace....and I owe it all to Tony." 

Dorothy lived out her last year very much “at peace.”  She truly has been an inspiration to all who knew her and continues to be so even now.  Her spirit indeed lives on.  Dorothy's name means “God's gift,” and she has certainly been, and still is, “a gift of God” to us all.

With much love and Aloha,

Richard Hennessey.