A Guru’s Tale

A disciple told his guru that he was going to a far place to meditate and hopefully attain enlightenment. So he sent the guru a note every six months to report the progress he was making. The first report said, “Now I understand what it means to lose the self.” The guru tore up the note and threw it in the waste- paper basket. After six months, he got another report, which said, “Now I…

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A Hasidic’s Tale

The Jews of a small town in Russia were eagerly awaiting the arrival of a rabbi. It was going to be a rare event, so they spent a lot of time preparing the questions they were going to put to the holy man. When he finally arrived and they met with him in the town hall, he could sense the tension in the atmosphere as all prepared to listen to the answers he had for…

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A Sufi’s Tale

The sufi Bayazid said this about himself: I was a revolutionary when I was young, and all my prayer to God was, “Lord, give me the energy to change the world.” As I approached middle age and realized that half my life was gone without my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to “Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come in contact with me—just my family and friends—and I…

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A Worshiper’s Tale

There was once a woman who was religious and devout and filled with love for God. Each morning she would go to church and, on her way, children would call out to her, beggars would accost her, but so immersed was she in her devotions that she did not even see them. Now one day she walked down the street in her customary manner and arrived at the church just in time for service. She…

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A Great Paradox

from Rediscovering Life by Anthony DeMello The Japanese have a powerful tale about a man running away from a tiger, who comes to a precipice. Unable to stop his momentum, he stumbles and goes over the edge, sliding down helplessly, until he slides into a bush and manages to grab hold of one of its branch . When he looks up through the bush, he sees the tiger waiting for him at the top. When…

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A Free Person

from A Way to God for Today by Anthony DeMello This a story about a free person.  It concerns a unwed girl in a Japanese fishing village who became pregnant and was beaten by her parents until the girl confessed who the father was. “It was the Zen master,” she said. “The one living in the temple outside the village.” The parents were indignant and so were all the villagers and they marched up to…

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Peace for Busy People

from A Way to God for Today by Anthony DeMello There is no formula for instant peace. You have to find the time for it. If you tell me you don’t have the time, I’ll compromise with you.  I recommend that you do something during the day. Let’s suppose you’re driving your car, get the feel of the steering wheel, get the feel of the seat of the car, get the feel of your feet touching…

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If You Wish to See

If we really dropped illusions for what they can give us or deprive us of, we would be alert. The consequences of not doing this is terrifying and inescapable. We lose our capacity to love. If you wish to love, you must learn to see again. And if you wish to see, you must learn to give up your drug. It’s as simple as that. Give up your dependency. Tear away the tentacles of society…

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The Philosopher’s Tale

The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, “If you would learn to be subservient to the king, you would not have to live on lentils.” Said Diogenes, “Learn to live on lentils, and you will not have to cultivate the king.”

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Gone Fishing

A rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find the Southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe. “Why aren’t you out fishing?” said the industrialist. “Because I have caught enough fish for the day,” said the fisherman. “Why don’t you catch some more?” “What would I do with it?” “You could earn more money,” was the reply. “With that, you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into…

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