Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Review - Walking on Water, by Anthony de Mello

De Mello was born in Bombay in 1931 and died in New York in 1987. He was a much sought-after spiritual guide and was director of the Pastoral and Formation Center in Lonalva, India. He has written many books on Christian wisdom blended with Eastern methods of meditation to help us experience the peace of God. His books have been translated into many languages, and are based on stories of monks and rabbis, legends, and Zen sayings.

De Mello is a man of few words. His first chapter is all of two pages! And all thirteen chapters in this book have titles of only a single word or at least of very few words:-- Sin - Peace - Happiness - Life - Freedom - Love - Prayer - Liberation - Spirituality - The Silence That Leads to God - Leave Your Boat on the Beach - Healing the Sufferings Created By the Mind - and Stated Feelings. He does add two longer sections, entitled "Exercises and Points For Consideration" and "Ideas For Meditation and Spiritual Growth." His writing style is conversational, consisting mainly of brief questions and answers between a seeker and a wise man. He often changes rapidly from one theme to another, and at times makes puzzling statements.

The conversations often include touches of humor, common sense, deep spirituality and wisdom. You will find his writings both delightful and full of insight. And you can easily see why he became so well known and popular. His photos show him with a broad smile, as a man who enjoyed life and his place in it. Walking on Water contains a rare treasure, all within 142 pages. You will find this book and others he has written to be delightfully refreshing and deeply spiritual. (Sister Ruth Nistler, OSF).

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