Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ready... Set... Merton Binge!

Last week I ordered four - count 'em - four Thomas Merton books from Amazon. I've been dabbling in his writings for some time, but now I've just decided to go for it and actually dive in.

1.) New Seeds of Contemplation
2.) Contemplative Prayer
3.) Thoughts in Solitude
4.) Zen and the Birds of Appetite

"A man cannot enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty himself and give himself to other people in the purity of a selfless love."
(Merton, "New Seeds of Contemplation")

6 comments:

isaiah said...

"A man cannot enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty himself and give himself to other people in the purity of a selfless love."

There is no shame, no less love from Spirit when one cannot find this path- in the 'search', and it should be a gracious learning experience...the meandering into this Center- (for, when all confusion is cleared away...our being cannot not be anyplace elsewhere but with God- at all times.)

Instead, we should be kind to ourselves as we 'live into the answer'- live into the center of being, fully. There are reasons we think we are separate...and these must be lived, fully, as well...until the realization comes that we've been hiding from our Self all this time.

Instead of being frustrated with not living the life we aspire to- we should take Merton's advice and simply give- give ourselves away in purity and in selfless love (in all that we do) and watch as the unavoidable happens; watch and witness the inevitable return of Love, back to its origination.

Trev Diesel said...

Wow, Tommy, such a good comment.

Most of the time our search IS a meandering... and you're right, there's no less love for those who aren't fully on the straight-and-narrow path. Kindness and patience with ourselves and others as we 'live into the answer' is key. Otherwise it's just one more damn requirement that we'll never live up to.

You're a great example of one who's given of himself - that's for that, pal.

Renegade Buddha said...

Nice. Hope we'll see some reviews.

Trev Diesel said...

I'll try to give some sort of review!

Glad you're back to blogging, RB!

kev said...

reminds me of old testament david - running a kingdom, debauching at every turn, killing, and so on; but still, crying out to God for help, guidance, forgiveness, direction. and in the midst of it all, what seems in human terms to be an easily judged life, God saw him as a man after God's own heart. brilliant, considering my own version of life.

the merton really is groovy stuff - i've enjoyed new seeds and another called writings on nature [a compilation of his nature thoughts by someone else after his death]. looking forward to your reviews as well.

Trev Diesel said...

Good thoughts, dude. I think you'd really dig these other Merton books as well. May have to pass them on your way when I'm done with them...