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Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

Last post 01-01-2007, 12:31 PM by pattye. 21 replies.
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  •  12-17-2006, 2:49 AM 16716 in reply to 16459

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 01-27-2007, 5:16 PM maryw
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    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

    I've been kind of digging around for this particular passage of Merton's and I finally found it. It's about a profound awakening of sympathy and compassion for the world that he experienced in 1958:

    In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. The whole illusion of a separate holy existence is a dream .... This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. And I suppose my happiness could have taken form in the words: "Thank God, thank God that I am like other men, that I am only a man among others." To think that for sixteen or seventeen years [as a Trappist] I have been taking seriously this pure illusion that is implicit in so much of our monastic thinking.

    --Merton, from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  12-24-2006, 11:56 AM 17128 in reply to 16716

    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

    wow i have just discovered this thread .. and experience it as a christmas present to be savoured

    thanks i love you guys !!

     

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  •  12-25-2006, 9:04 AM 17161 in reply to 17128

    • perera is not online. Last active: 01-04-2007, 5:15 PM perera
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    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

    I like this picture of a Conversation at Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky, USA.Buddhist Monk and Thomas Merton from Manadala.

    "The things I thought were so important - because of the effort I put into them - have turned out to be of small value. And the things I never thought about, the things I was never able to either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered."

    Thomas Merton

    Nomali @ ISC


    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate!

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  •  12-25-2006, 10:36 AM 17164 in reply to 17161

    • perera is not online. Last active: 01-04-2007, 5:15 PM perera
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    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

     A few weeks before Thomas Merton’s death, he visited the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in my motherland, Sri Lanka. The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton quotes Merton to have said something like, ‘This was the greatest aesthetic experience I’ve ever had in my life,’ speaking of the great Buddha statutes of Polonnaruwa. I thought of sharing here some pictures of those great Buddhas that Merton so enjoyed…

     

    Polonnaruwa Buddha 


    Nomali @ ISC


    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate!

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  •  12-25-2006, 12:26 PM 17166 in reply to 17164

    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

    Hi, Nomali, you may have missed it, but my eighth post to this thread contained his description of his experience at Polonnaruwa.  Thanks for posting pictures of the actual Buddhas!

    B.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  12-26-2006, 8:35 AM 17195 in reply to 17166

    • perera is not online. Last active: 01-04-2007, 5:15 PM perera
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    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

    Oops! guilty as charged. You are right, I totally missed it! Confused [8-)]

    Thanks so much for posting his Polonnaruwa description. Wonderful! Smile [:)]

    Noms


    Nomali @ ISC


    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate!

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  •  01-01-2007, 12:31 PM 17531 in reply to 17195

    Re: Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

    This site has meant a lot to me also.  I have read so many of these quotes from Thomas Merton and like many of you, he was one of my teachers after reading

    Seven Story Mountain.    I am from Bowling Green,Ky not too far from Gethsemani

    where he was a monk for years before leaving to study and write about the Eastern religions.  We visited the monastary but in those days, there was not much to see.  You could feel the Spirit there.  Ihave kept up with him since and was so sad when he died.  We thought he was "ours" in Ky.  The catholics.  So much has changed since then.  Thank all of you for your Posts.  I had to pick and choose during Christmas and wanted to get to this one but had started others.  It is not to

     

    late to celebrate this wonderful Teacher and all he stood for.  Gratitude for those who went before us.  Thanks Again and Happy New Year to All.   Pattye

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