Tuesday, May 25, 2010

compassion as a meeting point

The Dalai Lama is one of the true spiritual teachers of our time.  This article, in today's NY Times, mentions the significance of his meeting with Merton in India in 1968.

More discussion of Merton's meetings with the Dalai Lama is here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the news

"Nine-tenths of the news, as printed in the papers, is pseudo-news, manufactured events. Some days ten-tenths. The ritual morning trance, in which one scans columns of newsprint, creates a peculiar form of generalized pseudo-attention to a pseudo-reality. This experience is taken seriously. It is one's daily immersion in "reality." One's orientation to the rest of the world. One's way of reassuring himself that he has not fallen behind. That he is still there. That he still counts!

"My own experience has been that renunciation of this self-hypnosis, of this participation in the unquiet universal trance, is no sacrifice of reality at all. To "fall behind" in this sense is to get out of the big cloud of dust that everybody is kicking up, to breathe and to see a little more clearly."

- Thomas Merton, p151, Faith and Violence. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968

Thursday, May 6, 2010

you do not need to leave your room ...

"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Franz Kafka