From page 11 of Anthony
deMello's book "The Song of the Bird" on True Spirituality
'The master was asked, "What
He said, "Spirituality
is that which succeeds in bringing one to inner transformation."
"But if I apply the
traditional methods handed down by the masters, is that not
"It is not spirituality
if it does not perform its function for you. A blanket is no
longer a blanket if it does not keep you warm."
"So spirituality does
"People change and
needs change. So what was spirituality once is spirituality
no more. What generally goes under the name of spirituality
is merely the record of past methods."
Anthony DeMello's comment: Don't cut
the person to fit the coat.'
From page 85 of
Anthony deMello's book "Taking Flight", Chapter on Religion
'In a desert country, trees were scarce
and fruit was hard to come by. It was said that God wanted to
make sure there was enough for everyone, so He appeared to a
prophet and said, "This is my commandment to the whole people
for now and for future generations: no one shall eat more than
one fruit a day. Record this in the Holy Book. Anyone who transgresses
this law will be considered to have sinned against God and against
The law was faithfully observed for
centuries until scientists discovered a means for turning the
desert into green land. The country became rich in grain and
livestock. And the trees bent down with the weight of unplucked
fruit. But the fruit law continued to be enforced by the civil
and religious authorities of the land.
Anyone who pointed to the sin against
humanity involved in allowing fruit to rot on the ground was
dubbed a blasphemer and an enemy of morality. These people who
questioned the wisdom of God's Holy Word, it was said, were
not being guided by the proud spirit of faith and submission
whereby alone the Truth can be received.
In the churches sermons were frequently
delivered in which those who broke the law were shown to have
come to a bad end. Never once was mention made of the equal
number of those who came to a bad end even though they faithfully
kept the law, or of the vast number of those who prospered even
though they broke it.
Nothing could be done to change the
law because the prophet who had claimed to have received it
from God was long since dead. He might have had the courage
and the sense to change the law as circumstances changed, for
he had taken God's Word, not as something to be revered, but
as something to be used for the welfare of the people.
As a result, some people openly scoffed
at the law and at God and religion. Others broke it secretly,
and always with a sense of wrongdoing. The vast majority adhered
rigorously to it and came to think of themselves as holy merely
because they held on to a senseless and outdated custom they
were too frightened to jettison.'
"Many paths lead
from the foot of the mountain,
but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon."
Ikkyu-Zen-monk poet, 1394-1481
1. Thou shall
not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
2. Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear
never come to pass.
3. Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for
no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
4. Thou shall face each problem as it comes. You can only handle
one at a time anyway.
5. Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make
very poor bedfellows.
6. Thou shall not borrow other people's problems. They can better
care for them than you can.
7. Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it
is forever gone.
on what is happening in your life and be happy now!
8. Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do
you hear ideas different from your own.
is hard to learn something new when you are talking, and some
people do know more than you do.
9. Thou shall not become "bogged down" by frustration,
for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere
10. Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small
ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to big ones.