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The Song of the Bird

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,530 ratings  ·  143 reviews
"Every one of these stories is about YOU." --Anthony de Mello

Everyone loves stories; and in this book the bestselling author of Sadhana: A Way to God shares 124 stories and parables from a variety of traditions both ancient and modern. Each story resonates with life lessons that can teach us inescapable truths about ourselves and our world.

De Mello's international acclaim
Paperback, 174 pages
Published August 21st 1984 by Image Books
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  1,530 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Sanjay Gautam
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THEOLOGY : The art of telling stories about the Divine. Also the art of listening to them.

A disciple once complained:
"You tell us stories, but you never
reveal their meaning to us."

Said the Master:
"How would you like it if someone
offered you fruit and masticated it
before giving it you?"

It is interesting to note that if something is hard to grasp (or too simple to make sense of) can be understood if told in a form of a story. Similar are spiritual teachings, which are hard to make sense
Lynne King
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a gem of a book! Am I glad that I read Sanjay’s review or else it would have been another of those books that would never have seen the light of day, well with me anyway.

This book comprises 161 pages of stories, tales and parables that all in their own way leave an explicit message. They are written for everyone regardless of whether or not they are religious and they certainly encourage one’s own dreams and choice of direction in life, and even more importantly a spiritual search.

The autho
Mar 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Religious and non-religious alike.
If I could find this book anywhere but online I'd be handing it out to everyone I know. Full of stories and lessons from religions all around the world-- none of which you are likely to have ever heard. Most are very short and can be read in a minute's time. A great "coffee table book" without having the lack of substance that most coffee table books come with. ...more
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
These little parables -- I guess that's the best way to describe them -- each with a little bit of reflection following, have a lot of depth. This isn't a book to just read through quickly, but to savor and think about. My favorite stories were the ones about the irony of self-sacrifice becoming a pleasure, about the flaw of enjoying your own high and mighty righteousness.

Huh, I just realized that this is a great book to read and re-read. I'm not much of a re-reader, but I could see this being
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I often come back to this gem, especially during Lent.

My favorite passage:

In the gospel according to Luke we read:

But Peter said, “Man I do not know what you are talking about.” At that moment, while he was still speaking, a cock crew; and the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter…and Peter went outside and wept.

I related well with the Lord. I would converse with him, thank him, ask for help.

But always I had this uneasy feeling that he wanted me to look at him…And I would not. I would talk, b
Jun 09, 2012 added it
Love his spin on the golden goose story, how some priests insist that golden eggs did exist and how belief in golden egg laying goose becomes mandatory in going to heaven!! I can very well imagine how some atheists will start arguing about how golden eggs cant exist!! :D Its a dig at anti-evolutionists :D
Him being Christian priest and all must have been really inconvenient, pope etc must really hate him ;-)
Loved all the stories I got, I didnt get a lot of them...the stories are not easy to get
Renée Paule
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent little book
Jenny Xu
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fairly long list of good parables!
Haitrieu Nguyen
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is one of those books that I reread. As I get older, the parables have a deeper meaning. My eldest likes this book a lot too. I leave it in the bathroom because each parable is only a page long and my kids pick it up while they are in there.
Aug 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
'a booklover never turns back any of his/her borrowed books' definitely talks about me considering i always 'forget' to turn this book back (sorry, Ndrey). i'm so fucking in love with what de Mello wrote. i've been force to have a deeply contemplative moment right after reading its first story. a well done job by him, built a crossing bridge through many religions around the world. ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Found this book on my daughter's shelf when I was cleaning and started reading it. It is an assortment of poems and thoughts and not just a quick read but a great deal of wisdom and food for thought. ...more
S. Shinta
Nov 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiration
the meaning of each stories are great, but the pictures are too standard and the text adaptation--i think--should be better. still, i love the author's wisdom so much! one more great man that inspired me! ...more
Sue Flanagan
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book, written by a Catholic priest, will blow your mind. Includes many short stories from many different faiths. Will be a book i come back to again and again.
Harumichi Mizuki
Surprisingly, this book talks more about Christianity! Whoa. Well it's a good loose reference I think. Anthony de Mello himself is a Jesuit priest who was loved for his intelligence and his teaching approach.

But in some parts, this book also talk about Islam and that is the time when I have frown on my forehead. For the simple thing is like the illustration accuracy. In the story of Malik bin Dinar, the clothes look modern, while so far as I know, Malik bin Dinar lived around 700's CE. His cloth
David Poltorak
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Anthony de Mello does it again, this time in the form of short-story/parable. A mystic for our modern day.
A reservoir of spiritual enrichment.


A disciple once complained, “You tell us stories, but you never reveal their meaning to us.” Said the master, “How would you like it if someone offered you fruit and masticated it before giving it to you?” No one can find your meaning for you. Not even the master.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Collection of stories that contain layers of meaning to contemplate of in this beautiful life we live. It is beyond religion. Good to have this book, and just re read any parable randomly anytime. You may just need only 1 minute to read one of the story, and end up contemplating on it the whole day..
Florentino  Hidalgo
This book has been with me my entire life. As a child I loved the easy to read stories and teachings we can find here. My phisical copy came with drawings that always called for my attention and I found myself revisiting its pages again and again. To this day it is one of my favorite books, and still have a copy with me.
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Many of the stories really made me think, pray and have a good long hard look at myself. I love Anthony de Mellos's books and this doesn't disappoint.
A book to be read and savoured again and again.
Cristina Boggs
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short wise stories from all the common religions

The most interesting thing about reading this book, beyond the wisdom to be gleaned, is seeing the religions and philosophies together in one place.
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been savoring this book over the last year. Each poem is about you. Depending on my current mood and surroundings, I find a different insight that I didn’t see before. DeMello is a gift from God.
David Hurley
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book for comtemplation. Well suited for brief browsing.
Katrina McCrea
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Super little book that I will refer to again and again8
Anna S.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Savage. But not for everyone..

Not quite fond of the translation from English to Bahasa.
Marsha Fort-Herren
DeMello’s books are both soothing and comforting and told in believable short scenarios.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bill Herod
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful for daily meditation.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a bizarre little volume of collected stories, parables, and sayings from mostly Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist cultures. I like several of the stories highlighted here and am happy to be introduced to some of the Eastern wisdom, but de Mello's insistence on interpreting them for me was just awful. They felt like the heavy-handed and didactic explanations often attached to Aesop's "Fables" in kids' books and every bit as constraining. Some of de Mello's additions were also downright inco ...more
Stephanie Pasaribu
Mar 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is actually a 'summary' version of several books of de Mello, but now it is in a comic version. In the beginning I thought it will be the same with the ones that I have read (I have read ALL Tony's books!), but I found it is so refreshing! With the pictures that so vivid and expressive, I didn't feel bore at all to read it again and again. I think the idea to 're-write' it in visual way is brilliant! Many of the stories in this book are about religions and human relations. However, Ton ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Aug 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spirituality
This book was recommended to me by an agnostic Iraqi brother. I was so eager to read the book and see how much I can learn from it and apply. To begin with, I I didn't see a correlation between the "parables" of Mello and his commentary on them. They didn't make sense. Everything felt dense and boring. I am astonished. I really wanted to like this book but I can't force-feed myself. The author seems to be "too Hindu" for my taste. Could it be that? But aren't I supposedly an open-minded person a ...more
Ancilla Irwan
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-bahasa
This book consists a lot of short stories, philosophical ones from all over the world I guess.

One of my favorite is the story of religiosity market. All the sellers say that they offer the best religion among others. The one who will save the followers to a better after-life. The one who will save the followers from suffers. They just keep on shouting each others, to give proofs.
Meanwhile, GOD Himself walks by... And HE feels embarrass with the situation.
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Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who became widely known for his books on spirituality. An internationally acclaimed spiritual guide, writer and public speaker, de Mello hosted many spiritual conferences.

The few talks which he allowed to be filmed, such as "A Rediscovery of Life" and "A Way to God for Today," have inspired many viewers and audiences throughout the United St

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4 likes · 3 comments
“EAT YOUR OWN FRUIT A disciple once complained, “You tell us stories, but you never reveal their meaning to us.” Said the master, “How would you like it if someone offered you fruit and masticated it before giving it to you?” No one can find your meaning for you. Not even the master.” 4 likes

The Jewish mystic Baal Shem had a
curious way of praying to God.
“Remember, Lord,” he would say,
“you need me just as much as I
need you. If you did not exist,
whom would I pray to? If I did
not exist, who would do the praying?”

It brought me joy to think that if I had not sinned God would have had no occasion to be forgiving.”
More quotes…