Books   Leave a comment

Roland Merullo’s latest book (April 2017) is THE DELIGHT OF BEING ORDINARY, another masterpiece. This one tells the tale of the recent pope and the Dalai Lama deciding they needed a break from their daily routines to go on a four day road trip in Italy. The book is wonderfully humorous while deeply involved in the current world’s understanding of organized religion in its present morass.

Toward the end of the book characters from his prior Buddha books (Breakfast With Buddha etc.) reappear and suggest that further tales from that gang could well be in the works. What a delight that would be. Merullo continues his remarkable career with a most enjoyable tale leaving us begging for more. Thanks Roland.

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Initially I mentioned that the reason for this site was Thomas Merton and my interactions with him back in the ’50s. I had just finished a remarkable book BREAKFAST WITH BUDDHA by Roland Merullo and had written to him to tell him how very much I enjoyed it and did so since he indicated that he was a close follower of Merton. He thought it would be useful for me to write something about Uncle Louie and this site was my answer.

In the interim Mr. Merullo has written many fine novels and other works. His entire oeuvre is remarkable.  DINNER WITH BUDDHA is just being released to the public, the third in the series. (The middle book is LUNCH WITH BUDDHA). If you find Merton an integral part of your life,  read these books since Merullo’s world view is much the same as Merton’s and anyone else’s who finds hope in the midst of insanity. His site is at: http://rolandmerullo.com.

Posted May 1, 2017 by 72randy in Uncategorized

Bishop Spong andThe Fall of Religion   Leave a comment

For many long years I have been at odds with just about all the Christian churches considering their never ending support of obviously insupportable nonsense. Until I started reading some of the works of this brilliant Episcopal Bishop did the whole matter become not only provable but wonderfully and clearly presented.

He starts with the Bible and  goes through the history of religious malfunction to the present day when one pope admitted the church was wrong about the fact that the earth does circle the sun and not the reverse. His history covers Hebraic and Christian religion from the bible and the often horrid God it portrays to the present day with the intent to prove that if religion does not admit its misconceptions and out and out lies, it will die completely in the not so distant future.

The three books that I read which made the case clear and concise  are:

           Why Christianity Must Change or Die

            A New Christianity For a New World

             Eternal Life: a New Vision

This extraordinary man is presently recovering from a physical setback but seems to be returning to good health and we who have come to love him dearly wish him further long life.

If you are in anyway questioning your beliefs give these books a chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted February 27, 2017 by 72randy in Uncategorized

How to Get Through This Site   3 comments

The major reason for this site is the two part tale of a Merton experience which began in 1955 when I entered the Abbey of Gethsemani and soon found myself being friended by this extraordinary man then known as Fr. Louis, the novice master. The first few sections are later additions to the main tale. To get to the actual entry, page down to “A Novice and His Master”.

Posted December 28, 2015 by 72randy in Uncategorized

Thoughts of an old man   Leave a comment

As I approach my last  years, I wanted to add to some of what I have put on this site in the past. As I proceed in years, I expected to find some things clearer and many things to be as confusing as always. I still often (but less so) question things which have no answers–something which Merton told me fifty five years ago to stop doing since it was useless. I still cannot accept all the suffering in this world and how some people have to face so much of it and others almost none at all. Aside from that conundrum let me proceed with a few, hopefully not too confusing, thoughts.

I believe quite seriously that one of this world’s worst curses was the establishment of organized religion. While many have some very worthy adherents, mostly these organizations have denigrated the people in this incredible creation to the point of leading to the horrible torture and deaths of an infinite number of innocents. My somewhat vague remembrance is that Yeshua (Jesus) said in one of the Apocrypha that ‘one has everything within that will lead to the Other’. On the other hand, the RC’s have a new pope, Francis, who seems to be somewhat on the right track in a few areas, though raising the pope before him to sainthood was not one of them. Still I wish him well. (He was right on John  XXIII.)

As I age I have come to more clearly understand Merton’s description of prayer as just breathing. The time of words, petitions , grumpiness seems to be over and the incredible beauty of the predawn silence, hearing the first bird peep of the day, is a most wonderful prayer. All it takes is making the time, keeping your big mouth shut and your mind blank.

A certain quiet kind of joy is almost always present sometime during the day now, and what more of a gift could a person ask for? The sadness surrounding the suffering of  friends, relatives, the poor and lowly of the world still affects me but the positivity goes on. A good bit of laughing should always be in your life. Without this life is not worth living .

 

Posted February 15, 2015 by 72randy in Uncategorized

Merton’s Last talk on the day he died 12/10/1968

 

Merton in Asia 1968

Merton (center) in Asia. 1968

 

His last talk was not easily digested by the listeners nor was it readily accepted by many. He told them that they needed to stand on their own two feet. To me this implies that one cannot depend on existing institutions but should make one’s way through life in the most personal way: with a one to one relation to the Great Spirit. His last words were prophetic: ‘I will now disappear’. He died shortly after this speech and the world lost an incredibly loving man and I feel I lost a great friend.

Check: “Thomas Merton’s Final Lecture” on You Tube.

Posted September 20, 2013 by 72randy in Uncategorized

Extraordinary Quotes   Leave a comment

 

1) Meister Eckhart: I pray God to rid me of God.

2) Thomas Merton: How I pray is to breathe.

 

3) FATHER’S AZTEC PRAYER
Oh only for so short a while you have loaned us to each other.
Because we take form in your act of drawing us,
And we take life in your painting us,
And we breath in your singing us.
But only for so short a while have you loaned us to each other.

 

4) THE ARAMAIC PRAYER OF JESUS (YESHUA) (The Our Father)

O Birther of the Cosmos, focus your light within us–make it useful
Create your reign of unity now
Your one desire then acts with ours,
As in all light,
So in all forms,
Grant us what we need each day in bread and insight:
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
As we release the strands we hold of other’s guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
The power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
From age to age it renews.
I affirm this with my whole being.

 

5) The following is one of Merton’s hilarious comments when you realize he was almost a Luddite. It describes a new farm machine all of which he found much too loud and really unnecessary. This is from his book CONJECTURES OF A GUILTY BYSTANDER and makes me at least smile every time I read it.

A new invention appears in the distant pasture, sliding down the hillside like an Ohio Riverboat or a Sol Steinberg drawing, driven by a brother in a white sun helmet.  What is it?  An atomic-powered gunboat?  An agricultural pagoda?  It seems to be made of aluminum–it shines brilliantly–it seems to have a paddle wheel in front, wherewith to persecute some aspect of unoffending nature.  A great deal must go on inside.  In every direction it has chimneys protruding.  It can be heard for miles.  It apparently chews the grass and spits it out in all directions. Nobody knows what for.  It’s name: Behemoth. *

*Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966) 140 – 42

 

6) The following from THIS MUCH I KNOW IS TRUE by Wally Lamb, containing a summary of just about everything.

(From The central character.) I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family’s, and my country’s past, holding in my hands these truths: that love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things.

This much, at least, I have figured out. I know this much is true.*

* Wally Lamb, I Know This Much Is True (Regan Books: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1998) pg. 897

Posted September 10, 2013 by 72randy in Uncategorized

Yeshua 4/4/2013   1 comment

While considering the the terrible connotations of the word “LORD” and its constant use in referring to the Great Mystery in the last post, I am brought to the  use of the name ‘Jesus’. I’ve often thought that perhaps had his real name, Yeshua, been used, would the criminalizing of the Hebrew population have been less over the centuries? The fact that the Latin word was employed seems to have divorced the man named Yeshua from his Hebrew origin aiding the church in its vilification of  the Jews. Using Yeshua in speaking of Maryam  and Josef’s child might  perhaps do wonders for any discussion in which it is used.

Posted April 4, 2013 by 72randy in Uncategorized