CHANGE OR ILLUSION? In ‘Awareness’, deMello has already told us that to be happy, to reach awareness, we need to change ourselves; not the world, not our partners, not our colleagues, just ourselves.  Yes, we think, we can do that, that’s easy.


We write out our ‘changeourselves’ list, maybe in time for the New Year!  What do we include, – exercise more, – read more, – learn a foreign language,  – visit the family more,  – write a blog. I always did that, bought myself a diary for the new year, wrote out all my resolutions at the beginning and looked forward to filling in my achievements, accomplishments and successes in the blank pages as the year progressed. All those blank pages, so much promise, so many opportunities awaiting.


Of course, I was totally wrong, placing my hopes of happiness in the future. Often, maybe usually, we fail and that brings more unhappiness.  So we think, ‘OK, I’ll wait til next year and start again’ – living in the future.  Even if we succeed in our intentions, we are astounded to find that the success doesn’t make us happy, or certainly not for long.  So we set a new, more ambitious target.  You see what we are doing, we keep pushing happiness off into the future.  We are denying ourselves happiness.  How strange is that?

This kind of change is an illusion.  It is not what deMello refers to.  He asks the question for us, “That still leaves us with a big question: Do I do anything to change myself?”  And he answers with a broad smile that you can feel coming at you off the pages,


I’ve got a big surprise for you, lots of good news!  You don’t have to do anything. The more you do, the worse it gets.  All you have to do is understand”.  

You see why I love this guy!  “The only way to change is by changing your understanding”, deMello tells us again and he gives the example of a small fish in the ocean who spent his life swimming from shore to shore.  ‘Excuse me’, the little fish asks, ‘I’m looking for the ocean, Can you tell me where to find it?’


Understand, understand, open your eyes and understand.



  1. I agree, De Mello is de man! A few months back I attended a De mello conference in NYC organized by the De Mello institute. At 34 yrs of age I was the youngest person there by far. I really hope that the work of this great teacher is not lost to future generations.


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