COSMIC DANCE and THOMAS MERTON
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.