Monthly Archive: May 2015

Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama

Reflection for May
This morning I looked at my six-shelf bookcase filled with books on Buddhism (Tibetan and Zen), Judaism, Taoism, the Quakers, the Shakers, Native American religions and other world religions.
Lately I have begun to weed out some of my books, mostly novels, and donate them to the local library sale. I give away novels that I don’t think I’ll be teaching. I’ve also pared down my poetry books and it is time to look closely at the religion and philosophy books.
Just thinking about this caused an epiphany. I thought of my books by Thomas Merton and the Dali Lama. It was Merton who said that “the great work of the contemplative is Gratitude.” The Dalai Lama wrote that his philosophy could be reduced to the word Kindness. I have distilled 6 shelves into two words. Maybe that is all I need to remember. I will look at each book; read my notes and underlining and then carefully, one by one, consider a donation.