The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living

This initiative is named after Fr Thomas Merton, the famous American Trappist monk. It isn’t a monastery, though this site is connected with Merton’s old abbey. It seems to be a virtual meeting point for all who aspire to a contemplative life. Here are some useful guiding points.

We intentionally engage in activities intended to deepen our relationships with ourselves, God, others and nature.

We are conscious that our decisions, actions and use of time affect each of our relationships.

We see how our relationships are all interrelated and integrated and see God in each of them.

We take personal responsibility for each of our relationships.

We understand that ourrelationships our integral to reaching our life’s goals.

We are not as easily distracted by meaningless activity; our active life flows from our contemplative nature.

We see through “the illusion of separateness;” acknowledge whatever we do that alienates us from our true self, each other, nature and God; and live with the recognition that “we are already one.”

Our spiritual/contemplative life is our active daily life.

We regularly spend time in silent reflection, solitude, and other contemplative practices.

We are more concerned with the issues confronting humanity and less with the mundane concerns of daily life.

We experience the freedom, joy and love that can only come from grounding ourselves in our relationships.

This initiative organises retreats and other activities in the United States and at Gethsemane Abbey in particular. If that appeals to you and you live nearby, why not? On the other hand, these ideas are loose enough for us to “plug” into and discover a wonderful and traditional wisdom. The site addresses itself to ordinary people – priests and laity – who are not monks. We can do so much to find our way through the rubble such as I described in my previous posting and rediscover what Christianity really is. I want to see a Christianity with a future!

Read through the material, and it would be nice to have comments about how this blog could help foster the contemplative life, and through it, a vision of Christian unity beyond and above denominational conflict and “true church” claims.

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