ContemplAgeing

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A USEFUL CONCEPT OF SPIRITUALITY

My search for a concept of spirituality that truly spoke to me took me to the work of Anthony de Mello, SJ.  De Mello was a Jesuit priest from India and a member of the Jesuit Province of Bombay.  He directed the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling in Poona, India and the Pastoral and Formation Center in Lonavla, India.

 One of de Mello’s better known books is entitled Sadhana—A Way to God: Christian Exercises in Eastern Form (1978).  The Indian word “sadhana” has a variety of meanings, for example, a discipline, a technique, spiritual exercises, and one’s own personal means of approaching God.

 For eighteen years, during his brief life (1931-1987), de Mello gave retreats, workshops, seminars on prayer, and therapy courses around the world.  His legacy is kept alive at The De Mello Spirituality Center which was founded in New York City and is affiliated with Fordham University (www.demello.org).

 In his book, Walking on Water (1998), de Mello wrote (pp. 83-84):

 Spirituality is being awake.  Getting rid of illusions.  Spirituality is never being at the mercy of any event, thing, or person.  Spirituality means having found the diamond mine inside yourself.  Religion is intended to lead you there.”

 In the next several blob postings I will say more about my understanding of de Mello’s concept of spirituality and begin to draw connections with aging and spiritual opportunities.

Posted in agingreligionspirituality on 23 January 2010
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