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Thoughts on Zen by the Reverend Thomas Merton (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2020-02-24
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The Reverend Thomas Merton, an important Catholic mystic and spiritual thinker, was born in 1915 to a New Zealand father and an American mother. During his monastic life, Thomas Merton developed his writing talent by translating religious texts and writing biographies. He also started penning poetry, as well as books and articles on topics ranging from spirituality to social justice and peace. Today we’ll read a selection from Thomas Merton’s book “Thoughts on the East” presenting his views on the essence of Zen. “The Zen insight, as Bodhidharma indicates, consists in direct grasp of ‘mind’ or one’s ‘original face.’ And this direct grasp implies rejection of all conceptual media or methods, so that one arrives at mind by ‘having no mind’: in fact, by ‘being’ mind instead of ‘having’ it. Zen enlightenment is an insight into being in all its existential reality and actualization. It is a fully alert and superconscious act of being which transcends time and space. Such is the attainment of the ‘Buddha mind,’ or ‘Buddhahood.’”
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