“Almost from the beginning of his monastic career, Thomas Merton tentatively began to discover the great Asian religions of Buddhism and Taoism,” biographer George Woodcock wrote in his introduction to Merton’s Thoughts on the East. Merton, a longtime social justice advocate, first approached Eastern theology as an admirer of Gandhi’s beliefs on non-violence. Through Gandhi, Merton came to know the great Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, and further still came dialogues with the Dalai Lama and Taoist leaderDaisetz Suzuki. Among the “Eastern” works of Thomas Merton are interpretations of the philosophy of Chuang Tzu and an unfinished journal Merton was compiling as he toured Asia to meet with its spiritual leaders. Eastern Wisdom, edited by Bonnie Thurston (author of Merton and Buddhism, 2007) gathers the best of his Eastern theological writings and studies into a gorgeously designed gift book edition. Included are poems, essays, dialogues, and journal entries that serve as the perfect entry for anyone curious about the religious beliefs of the East.”–Publisher’s description.
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