Book Reviews

Wellsprings

I discovered this book when I was doing the Spiritual Exercises* of St. Ignatius. A big piece of doing those spiritual exercises is using your imagination to contemplate and meditate. This is a perfect book to start that practice of meditative contemplation. I return to this book time and time again and cannot say enough about what it has done for me!

As we move into the dark, cold winter season, why not take this time to turn inward and meditate?

The Breakdown:

Anthony de Mello writes a collection of 2-3 page meditations that read almost like poetry. They are meant to be read slowly, and then imagined in your mind and pondered in your heart. The ultimate goal is to bring you to a place of silence. That is where you are totally in the present moment and at peace. Anthony’s letter to the reader says, “This book is meant to lead from mind to sense, from thought to fantasy and feeling–then, I hope, through feeling, fantasy, and sense to silence. So use it like a staircase to get up to the terrace. Once there, be sure to leave the stairs, or you will never see the sky.”

What I like about this book:

  1. You can flip to any page and find a fruitful meditation. But the meditations are grouped by topic if there is a particular area you want to meditate on. Reality, Restoration, Christ, Life, Love, and Silence
  2. Meditations can be revisited over and over and keep taking you to something deeper. These insights gained still linger with me today.
  3. This led to great journaling and reflection for me at key moments in my life.
  4. The writing style is beautiful and succinct and grouped in bite-sized stanzas packed with a punch!
  5. Although this was written by a Catholic priest who studied in Spain, he grew up in India and is heavily influenced by Eastern thought. These elements combine to make this a book that appeals to both the East and the West, the traditional and nontraditional.
  6. These meditation exercises incorporate mind, body, and spirit…truly working on the whole person.
  7. In the back of the book are Seedlings– 1 line mantras pulled from the different meditations. These are great to write on your mirror and hold in your heart to give it time to germinate and let truth slowly unfold.

Fair Warning:

  1. You need to set aside the time to really sit with a meditation. If you just read the words, you are likely to get little out of it. And it is suggested to only do one meditation in each sitting.
  2. Anthony invites you to go wherever the meditation leads you. If you only want to meditate on one line and ignore the rest, then do it. And he says in the introduction: “When you are brought to silence this book will be your enemy. Get rid of it.

Try a sample meditation with The Discovery below:

*If you are interested in being led through the Spiritual Exercises, e-mail me to set up a free consultation to learn more.

About the Author: Julie Glaser is a healer who creates sacred spaces for people to share, release, and grow. She’s in the habit of being in awe and wonder and writes to share her own experiences and curiosities with other inquisitive souls in the process of transforming.

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