Teresa of Avila: I just allow myself to be loved

When Teresa of Avila was asked what she did in prayer, she replied, “I just allow myself to be loved.”

– Anthony de Mello in Sadhana, a Way to God

This is the perfect answer. We allow our human self to be loved by Spirit, by Big Heart. And, in that, is a profound transformation.

When we open up for universal love, a love that loves all of us, we notice what in ourselves we feel is unlovable. I may feel unlovable. I may feel that parts of me are unlovable. And it can be uncomfortable at first to open to this universal love. And yet, to open to this universal love can be profoundly healing. It helps us find love for ourselves and all these parts of ourselves.

In a sense, it models the love we can find for ourselves. In another way, this universal love is what we already are. Allowing ourselves to be fully and deeply loved by the universal divine love is a step into discovering that we can love ourselves in the same way. And that’s a step into finding this same universal love for others and the world. And finding ourselves as that love.

There are many ways we can support this process. Allowing ourselves to be loved can help us see that we feel unlovable or that we feel some parts of us are unlovable. We can then get to know these parts of us. Listen to what they have to tell us. What they would like from us. How they experience us. We can identify beliefs and question them until we find what’s more true for us. We can invite in healing for the issues behind not feeling lovable, or not feeling that some parts of us are lovable. And so on.

This is an example of how a very simple practice – allowing ourselves to be loved by universal love – can be profoundly healing, can deeply shift our relationship with ourselves and others and the world, and can even invite us to notice what we are and what we are to notice itself as all there is.

I have only discovered a few simple practices that are so aligned with reality and can lead to such profound shifts: Allowing ourselves to be loved by universal love. Ho’oponopono. Tonglen. Heart Prayer. And basic meditation (notice + allow).

Anthony DeMello: They are simply accepting or rejecting their image of you

Nobody was mean to you. Somebody was mean to what he or she thought was you, but not you. Nobody ever rejects you; they’re only rejecting what they think you are. But that cuts both ways. Nobody ever accepts you either. Until people come awake, they are simply accepting or rejecting their image of you. They’ve fashioned an image of you, and they’re rejecting or accepting that. See how devastating it is to go deeply into that. It’s a bit too liberating. But how easy it is to love people when you understand this. How easy it is to love everyone when you don’t identify with what they imagine you are or they are, It becomes easy to love them, to love everybody.

– Anthony DeMello in Awareness: Conversations with the Masters

Yes, we relate to our images of ourselves, others, and the world. When we reject others, something in the world, a part of ourselves, or God, it’s from rejecting an image. We love images. We are attracted to images. We seek images. We avoid images. We create our own world of images and we live our lives based on how we relate to these images.

We struggle with images because they have a charge to them, and that charge comes from associating certain sensations with each of these images. We take these sensations as either attractive or aversive, and that makes us seek or avoid the corresponding images. And, ironically, experiencing sensations as good or bad comes from certain images and ideas about them. The whole process is circular and mind-created.

Anthony DeMello took this general principle and applied it to a specific topic. And we can do the same with just about any topic. I love cake because of my images of the cake and the feelings and sensations I associate with it. I avoid stubbing my toe because of the images and corresponding feelings that come up with then I consider it. I chose cake because of my images and sensations. I avoid stubbing toes (as far as I can) because of my images and the sensations that come up in me when I consider it.

To the extent we see through this – intellectually, viscerally, and through experience – we find love for ourselves, others, and the world. We uncover the love that’s here naturally.

We also find more freedom in how we practically relate to ourselves, others, and the world. Seeing through the dynamics, and perhaps having the charge reduced, we have more freedom in how we relate to anything. It tends to lessen our struggle and helps us find more ease in life.

It’s one thing to hear or intuit this and another to actually do it. So how do we do it? For me, the tools I find most attractive right now include forms of inquiry, heart practices, and Vortex Healing.

Anthony de Mello: Don’t change

Don’t change. Change is impossible, and even if it were possible, it is undesirable. Stay as you are. Love yourself as you are. And change, if it is at all possible, will take place by itself when and if it wants. Leave yourself alone. The only growth-promoting change is that which comes from self-acceptance.

– Anthony de Mello

Anthony De Mello: Loneliness is cured by contact with reality


Loneliness is not cured by human company. Loneliness is cured by contact with reality.

– Anthony De Mello

Yes, in a few different ways.

The reality of what that loneliness wants and needs.

The reality of how the loneliness is created by our mind.

The reality of what we are and what loneliness is.

And in more detail.

The loneliness may want to be met in presence, patience, and rest. When I shun it, it feels isolated and more lonely. When I am present with it, it can come home. I can find support in doing this through Natural Rest, ho’oponopono, tonglen, or just a simple gentle presence and kindness.

The experience of loneliness is created by sensations combined with imaginations. It’s created by beliefs. And I can explore these and see how my mind is creating it. I can explore this through different forms of inquiry.

When what I am notices itself, and notices loneliness as that too, there is a sense of relief and coming home. Presence (awakeness, love) recognizes itself as all there is, including loneliness and any other content of experience. Loneliness recognizes itself as presence, awakeness, love. This can come through natural rest and inquiry, and other forms of explorations as well.

As Jesus said, the truth will set you free. And the truth is found at several different levels. Another one, not mentioned above, is that loneliness is here to protect the (imagined) self and comes from love. Recognizing that in itself can be a relief.

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Alignment with reality

Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable.
– Anthony de Mello

Reality (God, Spirit, love) already allows and shows up as whatever is here.

So when reality awakens to itself, it awakens to itself as what is.

Life sometimes shows up as illness, poverty, loss of loved ones, war, torture, hunger, thirst, pain, death. How is it to align with what’s here? How is it to find willingness for this to happen? How is it to look forward to this to happen? Asking myself these questions, I may identify resistant beliefs which I then can take to inquiry.

As Byron Katie says, it may happen, so I may as well find that willingness. I may as well find where I look forward to it.

For me, it’s been quite sobering to realize that this is where the process goes. This is the invitation. This is where life invites me to go. And it can also be quite scary. I scare myself since I have beliefs – often at an emotional level – about good and bad, right and wrong, life and death, and who and what I am. And these ideas inevitably are at odds with life as it shows up. They are smaller and more exclusive than life itself, so they will sometimes be in opposition to reality.

One help here is to identify and inquire into (a) my stressful beliefs apparently in opposition to reality, and also (b) my beliefs about what’s real.

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Anthony de Mello on waking up and responsibility

That’s the reason why I told you the wise guru will not attempt to wake people up. I hope I am going to be wise one of these days and make no attempt whatsoever to wake you up if you are asleep. None of my business! My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine, if you don’t, too bad. As the Arabs say, the nature of the rain is the same but it grows thorns in the marshes and flowers in the garden.
– Anthony de Mello, 3:55 to 4:45

I am responsible for my my own choices, actions, words and how I relate to situations. All of that has infinite causes, but I am still responsible for it. And the more I take responsibility for my own life, the easier it is for me to see that we are all responsible for our own lives. I am responsible for what I do, you for how you receive it. You are responsible for what you do, I for how I receive it. There is a great relief in seeing this.

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