Awareness by Anthony De Mello – A Tim Ferriss’ Must-Read Book

Awareness Anthony De Mello

Awareness by Anthony De Mello came to our life after Tim Ferriss’ multiple referrals. Indeed, we have read “Awareness” and find it to be of great value.

The book was originally published in June 1990, 3 years after the sudden death of Anthony De Mello. It was edited and published by J. Francis Stroud, a Jesuit priest who worked closely with Anthony de Mello.

Awareness by Anthony De Mello: A Review!

  • Rating (Goodreads): 4.3⭐ (~5k votes)
  • Authors: Anthony De Mello (Author), J. Francis Stroud (Editor)
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publication Date: June 1990
  • Available at: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Who is Anthony De Mello?

Anthony de Mello was an influential figure in the fields of spirituality, psychology, and personal development. Born on September 4, 1931, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, he later became widely recognized for his thought-provoking teachings that seamlessly combined insights from Eastern and Western philosophies.

De Mello belonged to the Jesuit order and was not only a gifted priest but also a trained psychotherapist, giving him a unique perspective on spiritual matters and human psychology. His ability to bridge these disciplines allowed him to offer profound insights into the pursuit of inner peace.

Anthony De Mello

Throughout his life, de Mello conducted numerous workshops, wrote books, and delivered lectures that touched on themes such as mindfulness, self-awareness, and the search for genuine happiness. He encouraged individuals to question their beliefs, detach from ego-driven attachments, and embrace a more conscious and authentic way of living.

His work gained significant recognition, attracting a diverse audience seeking spiritual growth and self-realization. Despite his passing in 1987, Anthony de Mello’s legacy endures through his teachings, which still inspire people around the world.

Anthony De Mello Books

Other than his most famous work, namely Awareness, Anthony de Mello authored several books. Each book offers profound insights into spirituality, personal growth, and self-awareness. His works are characterized by a unique blend of Eastern and Western philosophies, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking teachings.

Here are some of his notable books:

  1. The Way to Love: In this book, de Mello explores the true meaning of love and relationships. He emphasizes the importance of self-love and letting go of unrealistic expectations, ultimately leading to more fulfilling connections with others.
  2. Sadhana: A Way to God: “Sadhana” means spiritual practice, and in this book, de Mello provides practical guidance on various spiritual exercises, meditations, and reflections. It serves as a roadmap for those seeking to deepen their spiritual journey.
  3. One Minute Wisdom: This book is a collection of brief, insightful stories, parables, and reflections that offer profound wisdom in just a few sentences. It’s a great introduction to de Mello’s teachings, providing thought-provoking insights into various aspects of life.
  4. The Prayer of the Frog: Another collection of short, meaningful stories that explore spiritual themes. Each story serves as a powerful metaphor, inviting readers to reflect on deeper truths and gain a fresh perspective on life’s challenges.
  5. A Rediscovery of Life: In this work, de Mello encourages readers to break free from societal conditioning. It’s a call to let go of self-imposed limitations and awaken to the beauty of existence.

“No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy”

Anhony De Mello

Indeed, De Mello’s books have touched the lives of countless individuals, offering a path to self-discovery, mindfulness, and a more profound understanding of the human experience. His ability to communicate complex spiritual concepts in an accessible and relatable manner has made his works timeless sources of inspiration for people seeking meaning and growth in their lives.

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Awareness by Anthony De Mello – A Brief Summary

Every so often, a book emerges that transcends mere words on paper, becoming a transformative guide to unravel the mysteries of life, love, and self-discovery. Anthony De Mello’s “Awareness” is one such gem, a beacon of wisdom that pierces the veils of illusion and delves into the core of our existence. If you are going to read “Awareness”, prepare to challenge your preconceptions, question your beliefs, and unlock the profound truths that lie within.

Breaking Free from Attachments

One of the most poignant lessons from “Awareness” is the concept of detachment. De Mello reveals that we’re often attached to our possessions, our roles, and even our suffering. He, also, reminds us that true freedom comes from letting go.

break free from attachments

Release the attachments that restrict your growth. Confront your fears, face your emotions, and let go of what no longer contributes to your development. Detachment is the pathway to healing, growth, and a more profound sense of liberation.

The Path to Growth and Happiness

Admitting that we don’t want to grow up or be happy is a powerful starting point. So, De Mello challenges society’s conditioning that equates choosing personal happiness with selfishness. He introduces us to the idea that the true test of love is sacrifice, and the gauge of love is selflessness. This notion calls us to reevaluate our definitions of love.

Happiness is about being content! Seek happiness within the present moment and within yourself. Refrain from tethering your joy exclusively to external achievements or material possessions. Cultivate gratitude for the present and experience the innate contentment it offers.

The wisdom of “Awareness” reminds us that our happiness and authenticity stem from within, not from external circumstances or labels.

The Power of Self-Observation

De Mello underscores the importance of self-observation, a skill that allows us to witness our thoughts and actions as if happening to someone else. He suggests distancing ourselves from our anxieties, depressions, and limiting beliefs, to gain a clearer perspective on our inner landscape.

Moreover, he urges us to observe our thoughts, actions, and motives, leading to a life that is intentional and genuine. The realization that change begins with awareness is a profound revelation.

First, we have to transform ourselves and, in turn, we can contribute to the transformation of the world around us.

The Quest for Authenticity

The search for the answer to the question “Who am I?” lies at the heart of our existence. De Mello encourages us to peel away the layers of conditioning, past experiences, and programming that create our sense of self. By challenging the notion of “I,” we open ourselves to the possibility of a more genuine and liberating identity.

Detach from labels, roles, and external validations. Recognize that your identity is fluid, and continuously evolving. Free yourself from unnecessary attachments, and break the chains of suffering, paving the way for a more authentic life.

Embracing the Unknown

The fear of the unknown often holds us back from growth. De Mello reminds us that our fear is not of the unknown itself but of losing the familiar. By shifting our perspective and embracing the mystery of life, we find the courage to explore new horizons and invite transformative experiences.

Embrace the courage to unlearn and challenge your beliefs. Question the conditioning that no longer serves your growth. Cultivate a mindset receptive to change, fostering personal development and adaptability.

Seeing Love in a New Light

De Mello’s perspective on love is both revolutionary and sobering. He boldly declares that we’re never truly in love with someone; rather, we’re in love with the idealized image we’ve constructed. This notion compels us to reconsider the nature of our relationships, inviting us to transcend the confines of our prejudices and embrace a more authentic connection.

Tim Ferriss about Awareness

“[..]and then last but not least, and I know, I’ve mentioned this already in this episode and the fact that I will mention it again should tell you that I view it as valuable the book Awareness by Anthony De Mello. It is a Source of nourishment, with Incredible after-effects. I find myself really to be at peace for two to three weeks after reading “Awareness” with fresh eyes, and I always find a new nuance or a new takeaway from this book. Even though I’ve read it, probably 12 times at this point, something along, 10 to 12 times, I would say, minimum have an entire shelf in my guest bedroom at home, that is full of copies of “Awareness” to give to friends who come to visit. That is how strongly I feel about it. [..]”

Tim Ferriss Awareness

Buy it or Not?

Definitely yes, this book is a MUST-read!

In summary, “Awareness” is a book that offers practical guidance, spiritual insights, and a fresh perspective on life. Whether you’re interested in mindfulness, personal growth, spirituality, or simply looking for a source of inspiration, this book has the potential to be a transformative and enlightening read.

Awareness by Anthony De Mello should be on every bookshelf.

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Need more book recommendations? HERE!

If you’re anything like us and seeking for a better and happier life you should check our book recommendations. We have read and suggested many great books that can provide fascinating insights into complex and fascinating subjects. Apart from non-fiction books, you will find science books as well. From exploring the latest discoveries in brain science to delving into the mysteries of consciousness. Fortunately, there is something for everyone in literature. Therefore, we encourage you to continue your exploration and find out some of our book summaries here. Whether you’re a student, a researcher, or simply someone with a curious mind, these books are sure to deepen your understanding of many fields and lead you to a better life.


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