In this classic text, Thomas Merton offers valuable guidance for prayer. He brings together a wealth of meditative and mystical influences–from John of the Cross to Eastern desert monasticism–to create a spiritual path for today. Most important, he shows how the peace contacted through meditation should not be sought in order to evade the problems of contemporary life, but can instead be directed back out into the world to affect positive change.
Contemplative Prayer is one of the most well-known works of spirituality of the last one hundred years, and it is a must-read for all seeking to live a life of purpose in today’s world.
In a moving and profound introduction, Thich Nhat Hanh offers his personal recollections of Merton and compares the contemplative traditions of East and West.
About the Author
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and was ordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasingly drawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domestic issues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton for having a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic The Seven Storey Mountain.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He is the author of many bestselling books, including the classics Peace Is Every Step, Fear, and The Art of Power. Hanh lives in Plum Village, his meditation center in France, and leads retreats worldwide.
“[Readers] will find Contemplative Prayer valuable. Merton shows that all living theology needs to be rooted in exercises where men somehow happily establish contact with God.” --New York Times Book Review