North Saskatchewan River, Banff National Park Oct 27-2014- Bruce Witzel photo

North Saskatchewan River heading up to the Artic



Keep your eyes clean and your ears quiet and your mind serene.

Breathe God’s air.   Work, if you can, under God’s sky.


Thomas Merton  ~ New Seeds of Contemplation



Eastern Sierra Nevada's, California March 24-2015 - bruce witzel photo

Eastern Sierra Nevada’s in fall glory



Many of the Zen stories, which are almost always incomprehensible in rational terms, are simply the ringing of an alarm clock, and the reaction of the sleeper.

Usually the misguided sleeper makes a response which in effect turns off the alarm clock, so he (or she) can go back to sleep. Sometimes he or she jumps out of bed with a shout of astonishment that it is so late.

Sometimes he or she just sleeps and does not hear the alarm at all.


from ~ Zen and the Birds of Appetite



Fall Colour at Ronning Garden 3 - bruce witel photo


Ronnings Garden and San Josef Bay on Northern Vancouver Island


San Josef Bay2 at Cape Scott Provincial Park - bruce witzel photo


Reading Chuang Tzu, I wonder seriously if the wisest answer (on the human level, apart from the answer of faith) is not beyond ethics and politics. It is a hidden answer, it defies analysis and cannot be embodied in a program.  Ethics and politics, of course, but only in passing, only as a night’s lodging.

There is a time for action, a time for commitment, but never total involvement in the intricacies of the movement. There is a moment of innocence and kairos, when action makes a great deal of sense. But who can recognize such moments? Not he (or she) who is debauched of a sense of programs.

And when all action has become absurd, shall one continue to act simply because once, a long time ago, it made a great deal of sense? As if one were always getting somewhere.

There is a time to listen, in the active life as everywhere else, and the better part of action is waiting, not knowing what next, and not having a glib answer.


from ~ Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander



Fall colours edited at Ronnings Garden  Oct 26, 2019 - bruce witzel photo


Ronnings fall colour and reaching to the clear light


Tall trees at Ronnings Garden Oct 26, 2019 - bruce witzel photo


But I do have a past to break with, an accumulation of inertia, waste, wrong, foolishness, rot, junk, a great need of clarification of mindfulness, or rather of no mind  – a return to genuine practice, right effort, need to push on to the great doubt. Need for the Spirit.


Hang on to the clear light!


~ from Woods, Shore, Desert


all quotes by Thomas Merton


clouds, trees, ocean - bruce witzel photo (3)

                                  Clouds, trees and ocean at Oak Bay on Southern Vancouver Island


photos by Bruce –  peace




12 thoughts on “Under God’s Sky, A HIDDEN ANSWER & MORE ~ FROM THOMAS MERTON

    • Thank you David. Francis found the Plum Village app. Though she’s away now, last night I listened to Thay when he spoke of being kind to ourselves, to be in touch with our bodies. I slept very peacefully last night.

      May all be well with love, peace and compassion…. Bruce

  1. Great quotes Bruce. Like for Rosaliene, it feels like it’s time for me to look deeper into Thomas Merton. You images were great inspiration in a day that has been pretty dark and rainy where I am presently. I feel uplifted.

    • Glad this brought inspiration to you on a rainy day Otto. Merton was such a proliferate writer… I think more than 50 books. I have one book that is a compilation of his many writings…His later works became quite provocative, especially with the powers that be… in Merton’s case, both Church and State. Really glad you felt uplifted by the photos too.

  2. Merton paired with these gorgeous photos of the natural world provide such a lift, and spiritual refreshment. Thank you, Bruce. You always inspire me to stop and reflect. Peace.

  3. Bruce, great quotes. My wife and I have been discussing a lot lately related to our culture, fads, psychology used in media and products. Just wanting to be clean from all the manipulation. God’s nature is a true path from the artificial world being created. Does this make any sense? Anyway your post provoked much thought. Thanks.

    • You do make sense, Mark.

      It can be a difficult task to keep an arms length from it all without totally disengaging…. that in itself is likely an unwise choice. For me and my wife Fran, recognizing the signs of the times (both good and bad….) talking about it all and wading into the nitty gritty without becoming overly judgemental or jaded (also hard in itself) helps us a lot….. Remembering the age old wisdom and to walk in the woods helps too…. Glad the post provoked thought. By the way, you must have a bit trouble with one of my typos… fixed now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: