Sunday, May 16, 2004


From Benedict to Buddha, or From Buddha to Benedict?

The earlier works of Thomas Merton (1915-1968), such as The Seven Storey Mountain, The Waters of Siloe, and The Sign of Jonas, have always deeply interested and influenced me. I have no interest at all in his later works, such as Mystics and Zen Masters. What a sad end (dalliance with a nurse, electrocution in a seedy Bangkok hotel) to the life of this Trappist monk! He would have done better to have stayed within the walls of the Abbey of Gesthemani, instead of gallivanting around the world.

A spiritual journey in the opposite direction was made by Thaddeus Yang An-Yuen, O.S.B. (1905-1982), who tells his own story in From Buddha to Benedict and The Chinese Adventure of an Indonesian Monk.

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