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Zen and the Birds of Appetite (1968)

av Thomas Merton

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7511130,177 (4.09)11
"Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite-one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.… (mer)
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Merton is helpful in elucidating how Zen practice offered what was missing from the Catholicism of my youth. It has to be said that the theological riches he draws upon, from John of the Cross to the Desert Fathers, were totally alien to the catechism I grew up with. Bummer.

Merton has some good, concise explanations of Zen where western Zen teachers get gauzy and circuitous. The dialogue with D.T. Suzuki disappointingly gets into the weeds, and Merton admits this. What a humble dude. ( )
  Popple_Vuh | Aug 19, 2022 |
CR-7
  Murtra | Dec 19, 2020 |
"Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite—one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.
  PSZC | Mar 12, 2019 |
Favorite Quotes:
"The real way to study Zen is to penetrate the outer shell and taste the inner kernel which cannot be defined."
"For Zen, from the moment fact is transferred to a statement it is falsified. One ceases to grasp the naked reality of experience and one grasps a form of words instead."
"Paradise is not the final goal of spiritual life. It is, in fact, only a return to the true beginning... Paradise cannot be opened to us except by a free gift of divine mercy."
The Author goes over several depictions of the higher power from religions including Christianity and Buddhism. He relates the experiences recorded with words of enlightened people. Mystical experiences are recounted with expressions which carried similar meanings from different backgrounds. The Void being aware of itself, and the idea of One with God and the Void are mentioned. A pure, direct experience in conscious connection is also mentioned. Terms including Avidya and Dukkha are gone over, and 10 forms of the word "Manifest" are written. [Read in 2007]
1 rösta RosidivitoM | Sep 19, 2013 |
Took many notes from this one. I referred back to them on rainy days many years ago. ( )
  Michael.Bradham | Sep 2, 2013 |
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"Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite-one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.

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