Tuesday, April 8, 2008

heart of silence

"Whatever one may think of the value of communal celebration with all kinds of song and self-expression--and these certainly have their place--the kind of prayer we here speak of as properly 'monastic' (though it may also fit into the life of any lay person who is attracted to it) is a prayer of silence, simplicity, contemplative and meditative unity, a deep personal integration in an attentive, watchful listening of 'the heart.' The response such prayer call forth is not usually one of jubilation or audible witness: it is a wordless and total surrender of the heart of silence."


[Note: this is today's AM WITH MERTON post from Wayne Burns. Thank you, Wayne.]


  1. Hi Beth,
    I call it contempraytation. (to myself)
    I hope you are having a great weekend.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Sean.
    I'm doing OK, hope you are contemprayting!

  3. at a loss for words
    for this post....

    constrasts w/
    sudden satori

  4. Interesting words, Marc.

    This whole business of "enlightenment" seems to be popular these days, and its curious to me that Merton never really makes too much of a big deal about it, other than to continually refer to silence, solitude, and surrender in the heart.

    I am reading now (after some coersion), "Eat, Pray, Love", and a friend and I are not quite sure what to make of the author (Elizabeth Gilbert)'s description of a unitive experience.

    Maybe we, in the West, are not geared that way. Maybe we're missing something. I don't know.

  5. This subject (enlightenment) came up w/friend (Bob, Prairie Sores Bob) Sunday. His zen master has not received the "big bang" only mini-enlightenments. His teachers told him not to worry about it: but it apparently troubles him (and Bob to some extent).

    Not to make a big deal out of enlightenment is very zen paradoxically.

    I had a mini-satori recently: which I don't know how to describe. Maybe I got it because I'd given up on being a buddhist.

  6. That sounds right to me, Marc - insights (enlightenments?) happen when we aren't specifically looking or reaching or trying for them.


The Merton Center

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