What does it mean to really LIVE?? To dance as though nobody’s watching (or maybe, as though everyone’s watching, for that matter??)

I mention this for a very direct reason. The great teachers / facilitators are those who have tasted the joy of life, and have the capacity to somehow share it with others.

I’ve watched several superb teachers in action over the past week or so, and while they each had specific characteristics that contributed to their efforts, they all had one thing in common: Each had a passion for what he / she was offering to the students.

Is it possible to somehow discover this deep passion during the course of your life, or are you perhaps born with it?? You can read thousands of books / articles / blogs about this concept, though it probably comes down to this: It’s what YOU choose to do in the everyday moments of your life.

I love books that challenge me to fully experience this joy of life. These texts do it for me. My shelves are full of them (including one that was written in 1692!).

And out of all of them, here is one of my all-time favourites. And I’ve even read it twice. For someone as time-poor as me, I can tell you that this is a significant effort.

It’s called Awareness. Written by a Jesuit priest called Anthony De Mello A fascinating character, I assure you. Died back in 1987. Yet his thinking was way beyond that of many people then (or perhaps even now). Especially within the Catholic hierarchy, bless their hearts. They essentially banned him, and I can see why. However, he didn’t just challenge only them. He challenged everyone.

In Awareness, he claims that most people are always asleep. They never really wake up to life. They sleep at night, and they sleep during the day.

So how do we wake up? According to de Mello, by developing a profound awareness and understanding of the various aspects of your life.

Just to give you a taste of this guy’s thinking, here are some excerpts from Awareness. Keep in mind that specific quotes such as this will invariably be out of context with the book’s flow of text. However, I still find magic in these words, even when I reread them in isolation.

If you teach some forward-thinking philosophical students, see how they respond to the first quote:

* There’s only one reason you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have.

* When you fight something, you are tied to it forever. As long as you’re fighting it, you are giving it power. You give it as much power as you are using to fight it.

* Negative feelings are in YOU. No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy.

* It’s only when you’re afraid of life that you fear death.

* We see things not as they are, but as we are.

Enjoy your week (that’s my comment!!).