In his books Awareness and The Way to Love, among others, the internationally acclaimed spiritual guide Anthony de Mello presented an approach to spirituality that integrated the ancient traditions of the East with the psychological and philosophical perspectives of the West. Twenty years after his death, de Mello's books continue to attract readers and his work remains a powerful influence on contemporary spiritual thought and practices. J. Francis Stroud, S.J., who helped de Mello with his hugely successful lectures, seminars, and books, has dedicated himself to keeping de Mello's teachings alive through the de Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University. In Praying Naked, Father Stroud draws on his peerless understanding of de Mello's works to help readers keep their lives on track and navigate their own spiritual journeys. In clear, simple language, he explains how to master de Mello's approach to meditation and shows that meditating for even as little as three minutes a day can resolve the problems caused by difficult life conditions and guide us on the quest for spiritual happiness, self-discovery, and self-awareness.
Although the title suggests clothing-optional spirituality, this small book of quotes, stories and how-to lists is really about praying and living just as we are before God. Stroud--director of the Anthony de Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University and a protege of the late Jesuit spiritual guide--continues Mello's dedication to spiritual practices of meditation, healthy self-esteem and the pursuit of happiness. Stroud invites readers to slow down and savor life through a variety of spiritual practices designed to increase awareness of God. The book is a stew pot of interesting stories and bold proclamations, such as, "meditation alleviates all addictions." The illustrations on themes of happiness, suffering, emotions and change come from de Mello and Stroud's teachings as well as from traditions as diverse as Buddhism, modern psychology and even contemporary motivational writers and speakers like Tony Robbins, John Bradshaw and Deepak Chopra. The advice devolves at times into banality as Stroud shares aphorisms like "Real people in life don't get hurt. They thrive on everything that happens to them" and "[Y]ou cannot be grateful and fail at the same time." Still, if you're looking for a self-help book informed by a cheery, eclectic spirituality, this is for you. (Sept. 20)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 19, 2005
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