Culture of Imagination

connecting spirituality to everyday life

Month: October, 2015

Our Own False Self – 5 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – New Seeds of Contemplation

download (9)1. Not just the affair of a passive and quiet temperament

“Obviously contemplation is not just the affair of a passive and quiet temperament.  It is not mere inertia, a tendency to inactivity, to psychic peace.  The contemplative is not merely a man who likes to sit and think, still less one who sits around with a vacant stare.  Contemplation is much more than thoughtfulness or a taste for reflection.  Certainly, a thoughtful and reflective disposition is nothing to be despised in our world of inanity and automatism – and it can very well dispose a man for contemplation.”

2. Escape the prison of our own false self

“The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls…  And thus we go about the world, everything we meet and everything we see and hear and touch, far from defiling, purifies us and plants in us something more of contemplation…”

3. Unity and solitude

“Man seeks unity because he is the image of the One God.  Unity implies solitude, and hence the need to be physically alone.  But unity and solitude are not metaphysical isolation.  He who isolates himself in order to enjoy a kind of independence in his egotistic and exterior self does not find unity at all, for he disintegrates into a multiplicity of conflicting passions and finally ends in confusion and total unreality.  Solitude is not and can never be a narcissistic dialogue of the ego with itself.  Such self-contemplation is a futile attempt to establish the finite self as infinite, to make it permanently independent of all other beings.  And this is madness.  Note, however, that it is not a madness peculiar to solitaries – it is much more common to those who try to assert their own unique excellence by dominating others…”

4. A society of salesmen, advertisers and consumers

“The contemplative life certainly does not demand a self-righteous contempt for the habits and diversions of ordinary people.  But nevertheless, no man who seeks liberation and light in solitude, no man who seeks spiritual freedom, can afford to yield passively to all the appeals of a society of salesmen, advertisers and consumers.  There is no doubt that life cannot be lived on a human level without certain legitimate pleasures.  But to say that all the pleasures which offer themselves to us as necessities are now ‘legitimate’ is quite another story.  A natural pleasure is one thing: an unnatural pleasure, forced upon the satiated mind by the importunity of a salesman is quite another.”   

5. See if you can accept poverty as God’s will for yourself

“It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God’s will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent.  But if you want them to believe you – try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God’s will yourself.”

What quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

 

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Love and Collaboration – 9 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. A certain superficial uniformity

“We live in a world of chaotic and revolutionary change.  The development of rapid communications and of mass media has insured a certain superficial uniformity in the thinking of ‘the common man’ all over the world.  And yet can we say precisely who is this ‘common man’?  He has an enormous variety of ideas and influences acting upon him, and often his mentality is an extraordinary mixture of mental clichés that he has picked up at random without knowing where they come from or what they imply.  Yet his mind often remains shallow, dissatisfied, frustrated – unless by chance it becomes simply complacent and passive, habitually reacting to mental stimuli without real thought and without mature response.”

2. The refusal of solitude

“One of the most characteristic American ways of evading the identity problem is conformism, running with the herd, the refusal of solitude, the flight from loneliness…”

3. A basic self-respect and mature identity

“Togetherness is not ‘community.’  To love our brother we must first respect him in his own authentic reality, and we cannot do this if we have not attained to a basic self-respect and mature identity ourselves.” 

4. We think we have the answer

“…we are so obsessed with the idea that we are supposed to possess ‘answers’ and ‘solutions’ for everything that we evade the difficult problems, which are all too real, by raising other less real problems to which we think we have the answer.”

5. Honesty, humility and courage

“There are some problems in life which are not to be solved except by being lived with all the honesty, humility and courage that grace and nature can provide for us.”

6. Where questions are not asked

“To choose a value that is questioned and doubted is to place oneself in the position of being doubted.  The mature person is able to assume this risk.  He can embrace an unpopular idea, commit himself to it and to its consequences, and accept the fact that it means becoming a problem and even in some way a ‘scandal’ to others.  It is in this way that most people today have to establish and affirm their identity.  But it takes courage to do this.  Hence all values are questioned, or can be: to embrace any of them is to become an object of questioning and doubt.  Those who shrink from personal responsibility shrink from this also.  They seek to rest on an infallible authority or else take refuge in an area where questions are not asked.”

7. A more authentic and honest way

“The question remains: can we adjust our life and our view of our life in such a way that it will be capable of being lived in a more authentic and honest way…”

8. Love and collaboration

“It is the person who has fully realized his identity and accepted it that is able not only to face God in solitude but also to meet his brother in love and collaboration.”

9. The immature person

“The immature person, when forced to be silent, tends to experience his inauthenticity and has no escape from it…”

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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The Attitude of Openness – 7 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Seeds of Destruction

41pOurJW4eL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_1. The attitude of openness

“It is the attitude of openness… that must form our thinking… in time of crisis, and not the closed and fanatical myths of nationalism or racial paranoia…”

2. Peace demands the most heroic labor

“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice.  It demands greater heroism than war.  It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience…”

3. A sign of the Divine Presence in the world

“…peace is in fact a fruit of the Spirit… and a sign of the Divine Presence in the world.”

4. Truth, justice, love and liberty

“The individual can be considered as an isolated human unit functioning and acting for himself and by himself.  The person can never be properly understood outside of the framework of social relationships and obligations, for the person exists not merely in order to fight for survival: not only to function efficiently, and overcome others in competition for the goods of this earth which are thought to guarantee happiness.  The person finds his reason for existence in the realm of truth, justice, love and liberty.  He fulfils himself not by closing himself within the narrow confines of his own individual interests and those of his family, but by his openness to other men, to the civil society in which he lives and to the society of nations in which he is called to collaborate with others…”

5. The ethic of the Gospel

“Gandhi certainly spoke often of Jesus, whom he had learned to know through Tolstoy.  And Gandhi knew the New Testament thoroughly.  Whether or not Gandhi ‘believed in’ Jesus in the sense that he had genuine Christian faith in the Gospel would be very difficult to demonstrate, and it is not my business to prove it or disprove it.  I think that the effort to do so would be irrelevant in any case.  What is certainly true is that Gandhi not only understood the ethic of the Gospel as well, if not in some ways better, than many Christians, but he is one of the very few men of our time who applied Gospel principles to the problems of a political and social existence…”

6. If love is not the law of our being

“Gandhi believed that the central problem of our time was the acceptance or the rejection of a basic law of love and truth which had been made known to the world in traditional religions and most clearly by Jesus Christ.  Gandhi himself expressly and very clearly declared himself as adherent of this one law.  His whole life, his political action, finally even his death, were nothing but a witness to his commitment. ‘IF LOVE IS NOT THE LAW OF OUR BEING THE WHOLE OF MY ARGUMENT FALLS TO PIECES.’”

7. Too much trust in the mass media

“We of the U.S. have unfortunately placed too much trust in our mass media and we have the most fabulously unreal image of ourselves.  We are living in illusion.  We have no concept of how we look to other people, and we do not know how to swallow their exaggerations about us, which go the other extreme.  Nor can we get them to respond to a reality in ourselves which we are passionately engaged in hiding, without realizing it.”

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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Detached From Detachment – 9 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – The Road to Joy: Letters to New and Old Friends edited by Robert E. Daggy  

512NQR36S9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Life is a real unity

“But the whole unity of the life is tremendous.  That is because the life is a real unity, because the foundation of its unity is God’s unity: the ontological basis of our life is the simplicity & the purity of God…”

2. I have my own special, particular destiny

“I can no longer see the ultimate meaning of a man’s life in terms of either ‘being a poet’ or ‘being a contemplative’ or even in a certain sense in ‘being a saint’ (although that is the only thing to be).  It must be something much more immediate than that.  I – and every other person in the world – must say: ‘I have my own special, peculiar destiny which no one else ever has had or ever will have.  There exists for me a particular goal, a fulfillment which must be all my own – nobody else’s – & it does not really identify that destiny to put it under some category – ‘poet,’ ‘monk,’ ‘hermit’…”

3. Detached from detachment

“Actually, I think the only valid step that has come out of the whole thing is that I am detached from detachment.  And from ideals, I no longer want to know, or to think, what I am or what I’ve got or where I’m going…”

4. Unless we know we are wrong we cannot be right

“The thing is to see that unless we know we are wrong we cannot be right, because the only thing we can successfully be right about is the fact that we are all wrong.  The one incontrovertible fact of human life.  When one starts from that one, however, the rest begins to make sense…”

5. The misunderstandings that come your way

“Bear with the misunderstandings that come your way…”

6. So terribly much is completely unknown

“The basic truth is our dependence on God in a realm where so terribly much is completely unknown and in a way unknowable…”

7. The true significance of my life

“People often ask why I am here in the first place, and what the contemplative life means to me. It means to me the search for truth and for God.  It means finding the true significance of my life, and my right place in creation…”

8. Solitude and silence

“I think solitude and silence are very important elements which are sadly neglected…”

9. A passive reflection of a television screen

“I think that we citizens of the United States, as a nation, ought to make more serious efforts to act our age and think in proportion to our size.  For this, a whole lot of people who never thought about anything serious in their lives are going to have to wake up and start thinking about their moral and political responsibilities.  It is no good going on emotions and prejudices and slogans and feelings of righteous indignation.  It is no good simply letting our minds become a passive reflection of a television screen.  It is no good going around shouting something that someone else has suggested that we shout, no matter what it may be.  If we want to become a seriously political nation, the people have got to do something for themselves.”

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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New Areas of Thought – 13 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Witness to Freedom: Letters in Times of Crisis edited by William H. Shannon

download (14)1. The power of silence

“And I do not underestimate the power of silence…”

2. To be true to our conscience in everything

“We have to be true to our conscience in everything, and true to humanity, for man is the image of God.  This image cannot be defaced or destroyed.  It must not.  To defend it is to defend that which is most dear to God…”

3. Deep humble sincerity

“Have courage to follow your conscience.  Seek the truth with deep humble sincerity…”

4. Opening up new areas of thought

“Every slightest effort at opening up new areas of thought, every attempt to perceive new aspects of truth, or just a little truth, is of inestimable value in preparing the way for the light we cannot yet see.”

5. Man is at once a part of nature

“…man is at once a part of nature and he transcends it.  In maintaining this delicate balance, he must make use of nature wisely, and understand his position, ultimately relating both himself and visible nature to the invisible – in my terms the Creator, in any case, to the source and exemplar of all being and all life.”

6. Learn to be wide open

“…we have got to learn to be wide open, and not get closed up in little tight systems and cliques…”

7. One of the crucial thresholds

“There can be no question whatever that mankind now stands at one of the crucial thresholds of his existence.  In some sense it is the most crucial since his entire future is to a great extent in his own hands.  In the sense that he can determine that future, but not in the sense that he knows entirely what he is doing since he cannot foresee all the results of his decision.  And also it will do him no good to hang back or try to avoid the decision, because even not deciding is a decision and will have its own (I think unfortunate) results.”

8. Strength, patience, light, love

“May God give you strength, patience, light and love…”

9. Hate and violence

“Everybody is wrong when he lives by hate and violence…”

10. In the depths of your soul

“In the depths of your soul you will have peace but on the surface you will have restlessness and conflict…”

11. Healing and renewal

“…your love will now be, in this life, a blessed force for healing and renewal…”

12. Restored to every part of the world

“…one must still hope that peace and justice and order will be restored to every part of the world…  How tragic it is that everywhere men fall victims to the tyranny of absurd ideologies and empty slogans, which have awful far-reaching consequences.”

13. Complete detachment from results

“So we are reminded of the necessity for complete ‘purity’ in our non-violent action: complete detachment from results.  We must act only because the act itself is true, and expresses the truth.  We must not even demand that the truth be immediately recognized.  Still less must we expect to be congratulated…”

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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World Peace – 3 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – The Nonviolent Alternative

22847301. The great question of responsibility

“…it is certainly necessary that we study and clarify the great question of responsibility.  We have to make up our minds and form our conscience in regard to participation in the effort that threatens to lead us to universal destruction.  We have to be convinced that there are certain things already clearly forbidden to all men, such as the use of torture, the killing of hostages, genocide (or the mass extermination of racial, national or other groups for no reason than that they belong to an ‘undesirable’ category).  We have to become aware of the poisonous effect of the mass media that keep violence, cruelty and sadism constantly present to the minds of  unformed and irresponsible people.  We have to recognize the danger of the whole world in the fact that today the economic life of the more highly developed nations is centered largely on the production of weapons, missiles and other engines of destruction.  We have to consider that hate propaganda, and the consistent nagging and baiting of one government by another, have always inevitably led to violent conflict.  These are activities which, in view of their possible consequences, are so dangerous and absurd as to be morally intolerable.  We have still time to do something about it, but the time is rapidly running out.” 

2. Love might be more meaningful and powerful than force

“Freedom does not operate in a void.  It is guided, or should be guided, by the light of intelligence.  It should conform to a rational estimate of reality.  It should not be simply an arbitrary exercise of choice.  Blind affirmation of will is irrational and tends to destroy freedom.  In any case, however, whether rational or not, freedom depends necessarily on man’s concept of himself and of the situation in which he finds himself.  If he is able to grasp clearly and realistically the truth of his plight, even though that plight may be desperate or extremely perilous, he can make good use of his freedom and can transcend even the most tragic injustices and be more truly a man because of them.  He can turn defeat into victory.  On the other hand, the will that is obsessed with power can refuse to see and to assess vitally important realities.  It can remain obdurate and closed in the presence of human facts that contradict its obsessions.  It is often precisely the will to power that is most stubborn in refusing to accept evidence of goodness and hope.  The blind drive to self-assertion rejects indications that love might be more meaningful and more powerful than force.”  

3. Collaboration in building world peace

“One of the most important tasks today is to clear the atmosphere so that men can understand their plight without hatred, without fury, without desperation, and with the minimum of good will.  A humble and objective seriousness is necessary for the long task of restoring mutual confidence and preparing the way for the necessary work of collaboration in building world peace…”

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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Living Together With Wisdom – 8 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master edited by Lawrence S. Cunningham

97808091331471. The more I am able to affirm others

“…the more I am able to affirm others, to say ‘yes’ to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them the more real I am.  I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone.”

2. Beats in our very blood

“The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomenon of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair.  But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.  Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.”

3. Living together with wisdom

“What more do I seek than this silence, this simplicity, this ‘living together with wisdom’?  For me, there is nothing else, and to think that I have had the grace to taste a little of what all men really seek without realizing it!…”

4. Nasty dissatisfaction with everything

“…there is my rebellious and nasty dissatisfaction with everything…”

5. Impersonating a shadow

“In an age where there is much talk about ‘being yourself’ I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else.  Rather it seems to me that when one is too intent on ‘being himself’ he runs the risk of impersonating a shadow.”

6. An ecological balance

“I exist under trees.  I walk in the woods out of necessity.  I am both a prisoner and an escaped prisoner.  I cannot tell you why, born in France, my journey ended here in Kentucky.  I have considered going further, but it is not practical.  It makes no difference.  Do I have a ‘day’?  Do I spend my ‘day’ in a ‘place’?  I know there are trees here.  I know there are birds here.  I know the birds in fact very well, for there are precise pairs of birds (two each of fifteen or twenty species) living in the immediate area of my cabin.  I share this particular place with them: we form an ecological balance.  This harmony gives the idea of ‘place’ a new configuration.”    

7. Openness to gift

“God lives and dwells in us…  Consequently, the kind of life that I represent is a life that is openness to gift; gift from God and gift from others.”

8. To live with our loneliness

“It is not that we go out into the world with a capacity to love others greatly.  This too we know in ourselves, that our capacity for love is limited.  And it has to be completed with the capacity to be loved, to accept love from others, to want to be loved by others, to admit our loneliness and to live with our loneliness because everybody is lonely…”

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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Corporately Organized Murder – 5 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Faith and Violence: Christian Teaching and Christian Practice

download (12)1. The crucial problem of violence

“Theology today needs to focus carefully upon the crucial problem of violence.  The commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill’ is more than a mere matter of academic or sentimental interest in an age when man not only is more frustrated, more crowded, more subject to psychotic and hostile delusion than ever, but also has at its disposal an arsenal of weapons that make global suicide an easy possibility… “

2. Outwardly ordered and respectable

“The population of the affluent world is nourished on a steady diet of brutal mythology and hallucination, kept at a constant pitch of high tension by a life that is intrinsically violent in that it forces a large part of the population to submit to an existence which is humanly intolerable.  Hence murder, mugging, rape, crime, corruption.  But it must be remembered that the crime that breaks out of the ghetto is only the fruit of a greater and more pervasive violence: the injustice which forces people to live in the ghetto in the first place.  The problem of violence, then, is not the problem of a few rioters and rebels, but the problem of a whole social structure which is outwardly ordered and respectable, and inwardly ridden by psychopathic obsessions and delusions.”

3. White-collar violence

“We tend to judge violence in terms of the individual, the messy, the physically disturbing, the personally frightening.  The violence we want to see restrained is the violence of the hood waiting for us in the subway or the elevator.  That is reasonable, but it tends to influence us too much.  It makes us think that the problem of violence is limited to this very small scale, and it makes us unable to appreciate the far greater problem of the more abstract, more global, more organized presence of violence on a massive and corporate pattern.  Violence today is white-collar violence, the systematically organized bureaucratic and technological destruction of man.”

4. Death and even genocide as big business

“The theology of violence must not lose sight of the real problem which is not the individual with a revolver but death and even genocide as big business.  But this big business of death is all the more innocent and effective because it involves a long chain of individuals, each of whom can feel himself absolved from responsibility, and each of whom can perhaps salve his conscience by contributing with a more meticulous efficiency to his part in the massive operation.”

5. Corporately organized murder

“Modern technological mass murder is not directly visible, like individual murder.  It is abstract, corporate, businesslike, cool, free of guilt-feelings, and therefore a thousand times more deadly and effective than the eruption of violence out of individual hate.  It is this polite, massively organized white-collar murder machine that threatens the world with destruction, not the violence of a few desperate teen-agers in a slum.  But our antiquated theology myopically focused on individual violence alone fails to see this.  It shudders at the phantasm of muggings and killings where a mess is made on our own doorstep, but blesses and canonizes the antiseptic violence of corporately organized murder because it is respectable, efficient, clean, and above all profitable.” 

Which quote do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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Growing Out of Humility – 17 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – The Sign of Jonas

41sdg2pPluL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. The desire for solitude

“I have only one desire and that is the desire for solitude…”

2. More than anything else

“More than anything else, more than ever before I beg You, my God, to kindle in my heart the love of Christ and teach me how to give myself to You…”

3. Whatever work God wants to perform in me and through me

“My intention is to give myself entirely and without compromise to whatever work God wants to perform in me and through me.  But this gift is not something absolutely blind and without definition.  It is already defined by the fact that God has given me a contemplative vocation…”

4. Not really the same person, except in appearance

“If I were the same person I was ten years ago, I certainly would be astonished.  But I am not really the same person, except in appearance…”

5. Growing out of humility

“It is not hard to be frivolous and cheap, in this matter of contemplation.  If it does not grow out of humility, our contemplation will necessarily be superficial…”

6. To find God alone in everything

“I ought to know, by now, that God uses everything that happens as a means to lead me into solitude.  Every creature that enters my life, every instant of my days, will be designed to wound me with the realization of the world’s insufficiency, until I become so detached that I will be able to find God alone in everything.  Only then will all things bring me joy.”

7. Let me rest in Your will and be silent

“Let me rest in Your will and be silent.  Then the light of Your joy will warm my life…”

8. How good is it to be alone, in silence

“But even with your eyes aching and your head spinning, how good it is to be alone, in silence.”

9. The supreme luxuries of life

“To have nothing to do but abandon yourself to God and love God! Silence and solitude are the supreme luxuries of life!”

10. Come back for a moment

“How this silence keeps claiming you for itself!  As soon as you start anything it says: ‘Come back for a moment!’…”

11. Love surrounds me with peace

“…every day love corners me somewhere and surrounds me with peace without having to look very far or very hard or do anything special…”

12. Life begins all over again

“Every minute life begins all over again…”

13. I don’t want to do anything but love

“Love carries me all around.  I don’t want to do anything but love…”

14. Love is the only thing

“…love is the only thing that makes it possible for me to continue to tick.”

15. The atmosphere of contemplation

“The atmosphere of contemplation is the atmosphere of humility…”

16. Why do I desire things?

“Why do I desire things that are not God?”

17. To be led and moved by the love of God

“To be led and moved by the love of God: indifferent to everything except that.  This is the source of the only true joy…”

Which quote is your favorite?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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Verbal Formulas – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Zen and the Birds of Appetite

51U9ehoviBL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Mysterious signs and challenges

“There is no question that the Christian mystics, though repudiated by some Christians, remain mysterious signs and challenges to those who, though they remain outside the Church and are confirmed ‘unbelievers,’ nevertheless still seek a deeper dimension of consciousness…  They are attracted by the mystical consciousness but repelled equally by the triumphalist institution of the Church and by the activist and the aggressive noisiness of some progressives.”

2. An intuition of a ground of openness

“The metaphysical intuition of Being is an intuition of a ground of openness, indeed of a kind of ontological openness and an infinite generosity which communicates itself to everything that is…  Openness is not something to be acquired, but a radical gift that has been lost and must be recovered (though it is still in principle ‘there’ in the roots of our created being)…”

3. Summoning to community

“God is present not as the experienced transcendent presence which is ‘wholly other’ and reduces everything else to insignificance, but in an inscrutable word summoning to community with other men…”

4. Idealistic philosophy that removes all reality

“There is no longer any place for the kind of idealistic philosophy that removes all reality into the celestial realms and makes temporal existence meaningless…  Man needs to find ultimate sense here and now in the ordinary humble tasks and human problems of every day.”

5. The great obstacle to mutual understanding

“Now the great obstacle to mutual understanding between Christianity and Buddhism lies in the Western tendency to focus not on the Buddhist experience, which is essential, but on the explanation, which is accidental and which indeed Zen often regards as completely trivial and even misleading.”

6. To pay attention, to become aware, to be mindful

“Buddhist meditation, but above all that of Zen, seeks not to explain but to pay attention, to become aware, to be mindful, in other words to develop a certain kind of consciousness that is above and beyond deception by verbal formulas – or by emotional excitement.  Deception in what?  Deception in its grasp of itself as it really is.  Deception due to diversion and distraction from what is right there – consciousness itself.”

7. To neglect the experience

“It cannot be repeated too often: in understanding Buddhism it would be a great mistake to concentrate on the ‘doctrine,’ the formulated philosophy of life, and to neglect the experience, which is absolutely essential, the very heart of Buddhism…”

8. The great importance of experience

“…we must not neglect the great importance of experience in Christianity…”

9. We only need to wake up

“If one reaches the point where understanding fails, this is not a tragedy: it is simply a reminder to stop thinking and start looking.  Perhaps there is nothing to figure out after all: perhaps we only need to wake up.”

10. Verbal formulas and conceptual structures

“But when one has been freed from dependence on verbal formulas and conceptual structures, the Cross becomes a source of ‘power’…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.

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