Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - January 1

A Breath of Zen

Fidelity to grace in my life is fidelity to simplicity, rejecting ambition and analysis and elaborate thought, or even elaborate concern.

A breath of Zen blows all these cobwebs out the window.

It is certainly true that what is needed is to get back to the "original face" and drop off all the piled-up garments of thought that do not fit me and are not "mine"--but to take only what is nameless.

I have been absurdly burdened since the beginning of the year with the illusions of "great responsibility" and of a task to be done. Actually whatever work is to be done is God's work and not mine, and I will not help matters, only hinder them, by too much care.

Sunrise--an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depths of one's being, as if one's whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for a new day, praise Him in the name of all the beings that ever were or ever will be--as though now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen, and acknowledging it, and praising God, so that, whether or not they praised God back then, themselves, they can do so now in me.

Sunrise demands this rightness, this order, this true disposition of one's whole being.

January 20-21, 1963, IV.291-92

1 comment:

  1. A poem I found when searching for photos to accompany this reflection:

    A Morning Mirage
    by VON.

    Shining, crystal cobwebs
    In the rising sun
    warmth and crisp
    Coolness mixed in one,
    Refreshing dew on sunflowers
    And on the grass
    Wets my shining shoes
    As I slowly pass.