A 40 Year "Retrospective Journey"

“Be good, keep your feet dry,
your eyes open, your heart at peace
and your soul in the joy of Christ.”
Thomas Merton

October 30, 2008

Towards Tibet

October 30, 1968

In New Delhi Merton is making contacts and preparation for his journey to the Himalayas and his meetings with the Dalai Lama and other exiled Tibetans there. More and more of his thought and writing is "Towards Tibet". He has the opportunity to meet some Tibetans on October 30, 1968 and notes... "The Tibetans seem to have a peculiar intentness, energy, silence, and also humor. Their laughter is wonderful." AJTM p.65

Merton has a conversation with some Tibetan Buddhist monks about the goal of monastic life; the notions of discipline and detachment; and the practice of meditation. They all affirm the value of monastic dialogue and understanding and the Tibetans encourage Merton to help Westerners understand meditation and lead more spiritual lives. Merton writes... "They laughed when I explained that the contemplative life was not exactly viewed with favor in the West and that monks are often considered useless." AJTM p. 66

Merton receives the gift of a mandala from Dr. Lokesh Chandra and dives back into reading Tucci's "The Theory and Practice of the Mandala".

I can almost sense his excitement and anticipation about the journey ahead. It's all I can do to restrain myself from reading ahead in his journal!!

TTFN... Rob

"We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness."
Thomas Merton

No comments: