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The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (New Directions Books) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 16.11  
Retail Value $ 18.95  
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Item Number 140555  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   445
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.92" Width: 5.32" Height: 1.25"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 1975
Publisher   New Directions Publishing Corporation
ISBN  0811205703  
EAN  9780811205702  


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Item Description...
Overview
New Directions Publishing Corporation Publication "The moment of takeoff was ecstatic...joy. We left the ground-I with Christian mantras and a great sense of destiny, of being at last on my true way after years of waiting and wondering..." With these words, dated October 15. 1968, the late Father Thomas Merton recorded the beginning of his fateful journey to the Orient. His travels led him from Bangkok, through India to Ceylon, and back again to Bangkok for his scheduled talk at a conference of Asian monastic orders. There he unequivocally reaffirmed his Christian vocation. His last journal entry was made on December 8, 1968, two days before his untimely, accidental death. Amply illustrated with photographs he himself took along the way and fully indexed, the book also contains a glossary of Asian religious terms, a preface by the Indian scholar Amiya Chakravarty, a foreword and postscript by Brother Patrick Hart of the Abbey of Gethsemani, as well as several appendices, among them the text of Merton's final address. Black-and-white photographs throughout

Publishers Description
"The moment of takeoff was ecstatic...joy. We left the ground--I with Christian mantras and a great sense of destiny, of being at last on my true way after years of waiting and wondering..." With these words, dated October 15. 1968, the late Father Thomas Merton recorded the beginning of his fateful journey to the Orient. His travels led him from Bangkok, through India to Ceylon, and back again to Bangkok for his scheduled talk at a conference of Asian monastic orders. There he unequivocally reaffirmed his Christian vocation. His last journal entry was made on December 8, 1968, two days before his untimely, accidental death. Amply illustrated with photographs he himself took along the way and fully indexed, the book also contains a glossary of Asian religious terms, a preface by the Indian scholar Amiya Chakravarty, a foreword and postscript by Brother Patrick Hart of the Abbey of Gethsemani, as well as several appendices, among them the text of Merton's final address.

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More About Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton Thomas Merton (1915 1968) was a Trappist monk, spiritual director, political activist, social critic, and one of the most-read spiritual writers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, including The Seven Storey Mountain."

Thomas Merton was born in 1915 and died in 1968.

Thomas Merton has published or released items in the following series...
  1. By Thomas Merton
  2. Cistercian Studies
  3. Fons Vitae Thomas Merton
  4. Gethsemani Studies in Psychological and Religious Anthropolo
  5. Harvest Book
  6. Harvest Book
  7. Harvest/HBJ Book
  8. Image Classic
  9. Journals of Thomas Merton
  10. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  11. Monastic Wisdom
  12. New Directions Bibelot
  13. New Directions Books
  14. New Directions Classics
  15. New Directions Paparback
  16. New Directions Paperbook
  17. New Seeds Pocket Classics


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Reviews - What do our customers think?
I loved this book so much.  Jun 28, 2007
As a Buddhist woman with several Catholic relatives, I was so curious how a Catholic priest was able to reconcile the non-dualism of Buddhism with the duality of Christianity. I was hoping that reading this book would provide that insight. Well, really, it didn't, except that maybe most Christians are misunderstanding the idea of non-duality. I don't know; I don't pretend to know. But after reading this book, I became almost obsessed with Merton; it takes such an unusual and open-minded person to just go with what he senses - sees, hears, feels - rather than by what he has been told. Such honesty is rare. His description of satori, as he experienced it, was incredibly vivid and open. And, of course, the end left me feeling that it shouldn't have been over; there should have been more. But I know that's just my attachment talking; it was as it should have been. Namaste.
 
The Subject Is Still Contemplation  Jan 30, 2006
THE ASIAN JOURNAL OF THOMAS MERTON reads in many ways like a travelogue but the one subject which Merton manages to return to constantly is contemplation. He has an abiding curiosity about the contemplative experiences of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and virtually all mystics from any religion. Merton is especially interested in Tibetan Buddhism. At the same time he appears to remain firmly rooted in his committment to Catholicism and very appreciative of the opportunity to pursue God as a Trappist monk.

The editors have added much helpful material - including copious notes at the end of each chapter and an extensive glossary of terms.

I recommend THE ASIAN JOURNAL OF THOMAS MERTON as an intriguing book which provides a clear snapshot of Merton's thinking during the final weeks of his life.
 
Fascinating journal of Christian monk encountering the East  Mar 15, 2004
This book is a must-read for fans of Merton, and for anyone interested in encounters between Western Christianity and Eastern religions (particularly Hinduism and Buddhism).

Merton achieved incredible realizations and great insight into Buddhism despite the fact that he lived most of his life as a monk and hermit isolated at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, USA. At the end of his life, invited to present a paper in Bangkok on the renewal of monasticism, Merton made what he called his 'Asian pilgrimage' and finally set out to see firsthand what he had studied in books. This journal took him all across Asia, to various holy sites, and to encounters with numerous religious communities. He met, along the way, such people as H.H. the Dalai Lama and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He records all of this, his encounters, and even more interestingly, his own reflection on Buddhism and Christianity, in this wonderful gem of a journal.

What would have happened had Merton lived a few more years? I often ask myself this. He was exploring not just the surface of Buddhism (even now, many decades later, the presentation of Buddhism in the West can be very superficial), but delving into its very heart -- mandalas, tantras, and so on, and probing into what their nature was and what this might mean for Christianity to encounter a spirituality that seemed at once totally foreign and alien, and yet at the same time the very essence of what Christianity means.

Merton was a brilliant individual. He does not succumb to easy platitudes such as "It's all the same thing" or anything like that. He respects difference. But he does also certainly see a deep and dazzling dynamic unity -- a truth -- that penetrates all of this -- and not just this, but every moment of our lives. That living power -- that is what is important, and he witnessed to this in his life and writings.

 
merton lives!  Mar 25, 2000
I never tire of reading Thomas Merton. The Asian Journal is a poignant and tireless encampment with one of the remarkable men of letters of the 20th century. Colored throughout with Merton's search for a place of greater solitude (his dissatisfaction on many levels with the cheese factory his beloved Gethsemani abbey became being well known for some time before his death) -the redwoods of California, possibly Alaska- as the journal progresses one begins to feel in his words a kind of prescient kinship with his own accidental death, occurring in Bangkok before he had completed his Asian pilgrimage. Worthy appendices - the characteristic sweetness of his informal talk on monasticism given at Calcutta, and his lecture on Marxism and Monastic Perspectives with its prophetic last sentence "So I will disappear". Free of polemics, giving in its human searching, this is once again essential Merton.
 

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