Starry nihgt over a Northern Vancouver Island lake


When we are alone on a starlit night,





when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove

of junipers to rest and eat;




A little girl and boyd as an angel and a shepard at a christmas play


when we see children in a moment when they are really children . . .



Girl dancing in a colorful costume on day of the dead


. . . all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.


Thomas Merton – New Seeds of Contemplation


18 thoughts on “COSMIC DANCE and THOMAS MERTON

    • So true – there’s a few voices in the wilderness like Merton’s out there. Each of us needs to look carefully and take heed. People like Thomas Merton can help us to discern the way. Thanks for noticing and commenting.

      • Hi Cyndi –

        I’ve delved into and read only a handful of Merton’s many books (70 according to Widipedia!) Many were written essay style. My own interest has been with his writings on social justice, pacifism and contemplation. You may want to begin with one of his essays and I’ve found a couple links for you:

        1. This begins with a brief bio of Merton, and then scroll down to his essay entitled A Devout Meditation on the Memory of Adolf Eichmann. It is a brilliant essay questioning the meaning of sanity in our modern world.

        2. This reproduces an essay by Merton entitled Nhat Hanh is My Brother. It was written during the Vietnam War when Thay came to the U.S. to promote a cease fire.
        I hope you find these two essays an introduction into the theology of love that Merton spoke of.

        Sincerely – Bruce

  1. I have always wanted to learn more about Thomas Merton. Thanks for reminding me with this beautiful post πŸ™‚ The images of the children following the night sky full of stars is truly powerful. We lose so much of our spirit, our insight and compassionate perspectives as adults. It’s important to connect with children to reconnect with ourselves. Thanks again for this beautiful post!

    • Your welcome Kate. As part of the ‘Merton Centenary’ there will be a new film released this year called The Divine Comedy of Thomas Merton – from what I understand it is not a documentary – interesting indeed!

      It is so true of the power to connect with children which I’ve recently discovered as a grandparent. Children help us to live in the moment! And it’s true so much of our spirit is lost in adulthood.

      I wrote a poem about this during a retreat with Charles Brandt on Spirituality of the Environment. If you’re interested here’s the link

      May you enjoy learning more about Thomas Merton. Bye for now Kate. In peace and fellowship – Bruce

      • Thank you for the information on the film. I’m looking forward to it! Also, congratulations on your grandchild…how exciting. I hope the relationship brings you many, many moments of joy and discovery.

        Also looking forward to reading your poem. Much love. Kate

  2. Reblogged this on through the luminary lens and commented:

    My friend and mentor Charles Brandt recently suggested for me to blog about the pacifist Catholic monk Thomas Merton, who had originally been an inspiration to Charles – they corresponded in the 60’s. Tom advised Charles not to enter a monastery, but rather to pray and act amidst the world, living life as a hermit. Viewers and readers who are familiar with the Brandt series (here) will recognize – and so it goes for Charles. . . In regards to Thomas Merton, this post introduces an ongoing series that will highlight his incredible work and writings, as well.
    Thomas (Fr. Louis) is buried at the Abbey of Gethsemani and it was there in 1996 the Dalai Lama said: I always consider myself as one of [Thomas Merton’s] Buddhist brothers. So … I always remember him, and I always admire his activities and his life-style. Since my meeting with him … I really follow some of his examples … So for the rest of my life, the impact of meeting him will remain until my last breath. I really want to state that I make this commitment, and this will remain until my last breath.
    Thomas Merton died in 1968 at the age of 53 – January 31st would be his 100th birthday. 2015 will be a centenary of Merton activities. If one is to consider the present state of the world – human and ecological atrocities happening daily – Merton’s contemplative reflection, wisdom and love towards all of heaven and earth, has a more relevant urgency today, as it ever did.

    • Thanks Madelaine . It was one of the first photos after buying a new camera – the tripod was set up on our kitchen deck, if you can believe that. Gotta give credit to the earth and the stars!

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