Monday, May 21, 2012

Kiss the Ground

"Today like every other day you wake up joyless and feeling unsafe. Don’t open the door to the study and start reading again. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we DO.
There are hundreds of ways to kiss the ground.”
- Rumi    (Coleman Barks' translations)

I'm wondering if today's version of the study is not the computer, the cell phone.  So often when I turn off and away from my computer, I sense a new and different world opening itself up to me.  Even the way of movement through this world becomes a source of awe.  Just breathing, moving, just seeing and listening and being here.


  1. i find myself going through withdrawal when i'm offline

    a book next to me, the internet often wins out

    rumi woke up feeling the same as i do in the morning

  2. Yeah, I know what you mean, Marc. Sometimes I have to turn off the wireless internet connection so that I can be free of its constant "pull".

    I love the Rumi's invitation, though ... "let the beauty we love be what we DO". It's comforting to me knowing that Rumi too had to tell himself that, and pull himself out of his distractions. For some reason I think that I'm the only one with this problem.

  3. Thank you for sharing your awe, Beth :-)

  4. thanks for stopping by, Claire! :-)

  5. The enticements which pull us away from "being" are truly legion - and so beguiling..

  6. Yeah - it's a wonder we even have an inkling of anything other than constant distraction. Yet there it is, always and everywhere.

  7. Hi Beth !

    Nice quote from Rumi. I met Coleman Barks a number of years ago at the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival at Waterloo Village in New Jersey. Very interesting writer/translater of Rumi.

    Yes - turning away from the computer is a "breath of fresh air."

    What do you think Merton would have thought about the "net" ??

    Best rgds

  8. Nice to hear from you Brian!

    Merton had a pretty deep distrust of technology, at least as regards to the farming at Gethsemane- but he also had a great slew of correspondence to deal with. I rather think he would have enjoyed a word processor. Email might have driven him crazy, but so did the daily bag of mail. As for the glut of information on the Internet, I think he would have likened it to the daily newspaper, and done without it.

  9. You have a great site here Beth--perhaps the finest and most varied one I've seen on Thomas Merton.
    I am an Anglican priest who has for a long time read the works of Thomas Merton and been inspired and educated by what he wrote.
    I have been giving much consideration to the formation of an Order that would encompass non-violence,social activism, contemplation and interreligious dialogue.There is not a concerned person, clergy or lay,that cannot be touched and motivated to action by what Thomas Merton had to say.
    Brother David

  10. Thanks, Dave. louie is rather an eclectic mix of things, and can seem to go dormant at times, but every so often something comes my way and I know that it is louie material. I guess that's why this site still gathers material, even after 6 years.

    Your ideas for a contemplative order sound good - the combining of social activism and contemplative prayer is trick-y, but one that Merton's life and writings seem to embody.

  11. You make a good point, combining contemplative prayer and social activism is an odd fit.Perhaps the non-violence and activism, coupled with the ongoing quest to deepen one's faith chronicled so well by Merton would be more appropriate.Include with this his recognition that there are things to learn from other faiths that can deepen our own.

  12. Contemplative prayer and activism may seem like an odd fit, Dave, but I think they go together. Both are grounded in nonviolence--or, as A.J. Muste said "pacificism is built on the central truth that God is love."

    I agree that there is much in other religions that can deepen our journey within our own faith. Everything belongs!

  13. Greetings

    i staid in a Tibetan monastery
    for about 3 mounts it was chaos
    to the most, perhaps the only cure
    for distraction is mindfulness
    of which one has full control
    what ever be the tradition -
    what is more social than being mindful ?


    1. I sure am glad that the Western monks have re-discovered Centering Prayer. I don't know how you can grab this monkey/chaos by the tail without some regular form of meditation.

      That's a good insight about mindfulness being the most social thing, Bob. Being present IS about as available (and social) as you can get!


From Dorothy Day’s editorial in the Catholic Worker on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.