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Posted August 9, 2011

Book: Awakening: Conversations with the Masters
Author: Anthony de Mello
Loyola Press. Chicago, IL. 1998. Pp. 365

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

The Master in these tales is not one single person. He is a Hindu guru, a Zen roshi, a Taoist sage, a Jewish rabbi, a Christian monk, a Sufi mystic. He is Lao Tzu and Socrates, Buddha and Jesus, Xarathustra and Muhammad.

You may find the Master’s language baffling, exasperating, even downright meaningless. This is not an easy book! It was written not to instruct, but to awaken.

Wednesday the 271 day

The activists were aggrieved that the Master thought they needed less action and more light.

“Light on what?” they wanted to know.

“On what life is all about,” said the Master.

“We certainly know that life is for others,” said the activists. “What more light do we need than that?”

“You need to understand what the preposition for means.”

Thursday the 272 Day

The Master had a parable for the preacher.

A centipede went to a wise old owl and complained of the gout. Each of its hundred legs ached. What could it do? After giving the matter serious thought, the owl advised the centipede to become a squirrel. With only four legs it would have 96 percent of its pain removed.

Said the centipede, “A splendid idea. Now tell me how I could go about becoming a squirrel.”

“Don’t bother me with that,” said the owl. “I only create policy around here.”

Saturday Day 365

“What’s so original about this man”? Asked a visitor. “All he gives you is a hash of stories, proverbs, and sayings from other masters.”

A female disciple smiled. She once had a cook, she said, who made the most wonderful hash in the world.

“How on earth do you make it, my dear? You must give me the recipe.”

The cook’s face glowed with pride. She said, “Well, ma’am. I’ll tell yer. Beef’s nothin, pepper’s nothin, onion’s nothin.’ But when I throw myself into the hash, that’s what makes it what it is.”

Table of Contents:

The 365 days of the year