Saturday, December 31, 2016

Pax



“I may be wrong about Pax, but keep feeling that through good poems and pictures, peace can travel.”
— Robert Lax to Thomas Merton, 1953

[The image above is from the third issue of Lax's broadsheet Pax, which he published sporadically from 1958 - 1962, adding three new issues in 1985. HT: Michael McGregor]

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merton and the counterculture

"Jerusalem" by Thomas Merton
Merton to beat poet/publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 8/61:
“Someday I want to talk to you about effective protest as distinct from a simple display of sensitivity and goodwill. I think we have to examine the question of genuine and deep spiritual non-cooperation, non-participation, and resistance. … [Just] standing up and saying with sincerity, candor, and youthful abandon “I am against it” has the following bad effects: a) it perpetuates an illusion of free thought and free discussion, which is actually very useful to those who have long since stifled all genuine freedom in this regard, b) it flatters the [establishment] by giving them something they can contrast themselves with, to their own complacent advantage.”
Merton to Nicaraguan poet Napoleon Chow, 5/63:
“It also seems to me that the protest of the beatniks, while having a certain sincerity, is largely a delusion. … Yet this much can be said for them: their very formlessness may perhaps be something that is in their favor. It may perhaps enable them to reject most of the false solutions and deride the “square” propositions of the decadent liberalism around them. It may perhaps prepare them to go in the right directions. I think the beats have contributed much to the peace movement in the US, in their own way, and they are quite committed to the only serious revolutionary movement we have: that of rights for the Negro.”

HT: Gordon Oyer

Friday, December 16, 2016

What's Wrong with Mindfulness


"Spiritual practice is the antithesis of the “means to an end” thinking that characterizes our usual secular point of view. The radical benefit of meditation as a spiritual practice is that it offers a way to step off the treadmill of asking questions like How am I doing? Am I there yet? Am I getting better or worse? It is an alternative to a world in which everything is a technique that can be done well or badly." 
Barry and Bob Rosenbaum, editors of What’s Wrong With Mindfulness, are interviewed by Sam Mowe about their book's major themes.

resisting error

Associated Press Photo, North Korea, 2017 "We are living under a tyranny of untruth which confirms itself in power and establishe...