Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another Swansong review. Only available at

Swansong. Anthony deMello's Last Seminar.

I can see that you have done an excellent job, Bill, of transcribing the participants' notes from Tony's last retreat in India. I thank you for doing so. To me Swansong is a distillation of Tony's most poignant and powerful teachings. The book is jam-packed with Tony's wonderful wisdom, warmth and humour.
To me Swansong demonstrates how Tony was the best at succinctly arriving at the essence of the world's great spiritual teachings, especially those of Jesus and Buddha.
You convey in Swansong how Tony clearly practised what he preached, speaking with courage and conviction. I especially appreciate how you captured at the end of the retreat Tony putting forth the concepts of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness (suffering), and not-self, the three characteristics of all existence, how understanding these leads to insight and seeing clearly, in Tony's words: “In the one who sees – there is only love. And in that love there is great beauty. And you will find God.”
For the lucky reader Swansong brings forth the culmination of Tony's journey into and through the world's great spiritual truths. It contains the heart of Tony's wise and compassionate teachings, such a feast for those who know Tony's work, as well as for the newcomer to Tony wanting to know what this modern day mystic was all about.
A final note: the book title is perfect for Tony. It harkens back to his early story meditation books, Song of the Bird and Taking Flight, as well as to the wonderful compilation on Tony by Aurel Brys and Joseph Pulickal, We Heard the Bird Sing. I am sure Tony glides above smiling down at you and your wonderful accomplishment.
Thank you so much, Bill, for your painstaking effort, your labour of love, in bringing forth Tony's last retreat in India for the world to see.
Richard Hennessey.

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