Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) is known worldwide as an extraordinary spiritual teacher. What may be less known to his international audience is what a brilliant psychotherapist he was, too. There are a large number of people who would attribute significant and even life-saving changes that enabled them to find happiness and peace in life because of de Mello. Not only did he found an institute in India that has trained a large number of therapists, he also made powerful interventions in the lives of people through his practice of what he called spiritual counselling.
What accounted for the profound changes in people was his ability to combine the skills of psychotherapy with the power of Awareness or Mindfulness. The practical manner in which Anthony de Mello integrated the skills of psychology with the transforming wisdom of Awareness was both innovative and ground-breaking.
De Mello recognized Awareness as the essence of spirituality and the key to transforming our lives. He proposed Awareness as the way to freedom from all that binds us – the attachments that fetter us, the conditioning that prevents us from seeing with clarity, the barriers of beliefs and ideas that obstruct our vision, and the fears that prevent us from loving. He did not invent Awareness, it was already taught from ancient times and in diverse ways, especially by the Buddha. All he did was to experience its power, embody it in his life, and communicate it to a worldwide audience in a way that they could understand.
Through all these works, as in his live conferences, de Mello continues to ease and tease his listeners, and challenge and inspire them along a path of humour and wisdom, obvious jokes and sudden depths. It is no wonder then that three decades after his death, as in his life time, his work on Awareness has continued to inspire millions of people across the world and invites them to wake up and live in the freedom and freshness of the Now.
After Tony’s death, I continued his work in India as the director of Sadhana Institute for 14 years, while also taking it back to Ireland and America. Following his approach to human suffering and transformation, I offer psychotherapy, learning experiences and growth opportunities to individuals and groups with a variety of problems and life issues.
“You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. ”