Father Thomas Merton: Christian Zen +%

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Disbasing Zen Stories

Jul 26, 2021, 7:00:15 PMJul 26

Toxic Zen Story #17: Christian Zen: D.T. Suzuki and Father Thomas Merton.

| 'Seeing parallels between Oriental mysticism
| and Western tradition, Merton gained permission
| to attend an ecumenical conference of Buddhist
| and Christian monks held in Bangkok, Thailand.
| While attending that meeting, he was accidentally
| electrocuted. '
| - from Merton's biography, by D. Phillip

____ Background for Toxic Zen Stories ____________________


____ Introduction ________________________________________

We know the basic story of D.T. Suzuki, and the fact that he had one face showing towards Japan's Imperial Way Zen, and a different face showing towards the West. And that, for obvious reasons, never the twain would meet.

We know that he went to America as a young man, to accompany his master, the Rinzai priest Soyen Shaku, to LaSalle-Peru, Illinois, at the behest of Dr. Paul Carus, a German who was the managing editor of Open Court Publishing, which was owned by Zinc magnate Edward Hegeler.

We know that he had a variety of collaborators, a flock of followers, and influenced many others:

Collaborators in the propagation of Soyen Shaku (D.T.'s Master)-D.T. Suzuki Zen:
Beatrice Lane (wife), Paul Carus, Edward Hegeler, Martin Heidegger, Frederic Spiegelberg, Father Thomas Merton, Alan Watts, Eric Fromm, Carl G. Jung, Richard de Martino, Karen Horney, and a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to lecture extensively at Columbia University and other East Coast schools in the 1950's.

Followers of Shaku-Suzuki Zen:
John Cage, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen.

Those strongly affected by the Shaku-Suzuki Zen Influence:
Aldous Huxley, Karl Jaspers, Arnold Toynbee, Gabriel Marcel, Herbert Read, and Lynn White Jr.

____ Toxic Zen Story ______________________________

Father Thomas Merton was a fine person, with a humanism which presages the philosophy of Pope John Paul II, which attempts to derive ethical value based upon the definition of a "person". This creates a joining point, where those who feel that a "person" is from the source of the ultimate and divine, and those who do not. The qualities and definition of divinity, per se, also becomes less the focus, which is the enabler for the modern ecumenical movement.

His biography states (http://edge.net/~dphillip/Merton.html):

| 'A monk and a prominent writer, Thomas Merton,
| b. Prades, France, Jan. 31, 1915, d. Dec. 10,
| 1968, became one of the most famous American
| Roman Catholics of the 20th century. As a young
| man Merton traveled with his artist parents (his
| father was a New Zealander, his mother an
| American) in France and studied briefly at
| Cambridge University, England, before he went to
| the United States and earned (1939) a master's
| degree from Columbia University. During those
| years he gradually changed from an agnostic to a
| devout Roman Catholic. '
| 'After teaching English for a while and
| working in a Harlem settlement house, Merton
| decided (1941) to become a monk, choosing the
| Trappist order for its discipline of silence and
| solitude. Within the monastery he served for
| years as master of students and novices. Outside
| it, his writing, which included poetry,
| meditations, and works of social criticism,
| brought him prominence in American letters. '
| 'His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain
| (1948), became a bestseller. Merton's social
| criticisms burned deeply into public awareness of
| racism, economic injustice, and militarism. '

Father Thomas had a tough life filled with loss, and after much accomplishment in overcoming that loss, he had the ill fortune to gain inspiration from D.T. Suzuki and Zen. As his biography finishes the next year after meeting Dr. Suzuki:

| 'Seeing parallels between Oriental mysticism
| and Western tradition, Merton gained permission
| to attend an ecumenical conference of Buddhist
| and Christian monks held in Bangkok, Thailand.
| While attending that meeting, he was accidentally
| electrocuted. '

Even though there are many instances of the corruption of Christianity by Zen, it must be noted that the "Christian Zen" movement traces its origin to Father Thomas Merton in 1967.

Here is a chronology of Father Thomas Merton's life (http://www.merton.org/chrono.htm):

1915 - January 31-born at Prades, France, son of Owen Merton (artist from New Zealand) and of Ruth Jenkins (artist from USA)
1916 - moved to USA, lived at Douglaston, L.I. (with his mother's family)
1921 - his mother dies-from cancer
1922 - in Bermuda with his father who went there to paint
1925 - to France with his father, lived at St. Antonin
1926 - entered Lycee Ingres, Montauban, France
1928 - to England-Ripley Court school, then to Oakham (1929)
1931 - his father dies of a brain tumor
1932 - at Oakham School he acquired a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge
1933 - visited Italy, spent summer in USA, entered Cambridge in the fall - study of modern languages (French and Italian)
1934 - left Cambridge and returned to USA
1935 - entered Columbia University
1937 - at Columbia - editor of the 1937 Yearbook and art editor of the Columbia Jester
1938 - graduated from Columbia, began work on M.A.
1938 - November 16 - received into the Catholic Church at Corpus Christi Church
1940 - 1941 - taught English at St. Bonaventure College
1941 - December 10-entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, Trappist, Kentucky.
1944 - March 19-made simple vows, published Thirty Poems
1946 - A Man in the Divided Sea
1947 - March 19-solemn vows, published Exile Ends in Glory
1948 - Publication of best-seller autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain and What Are These Wounds?
1949 - May 26-ordained priest; Seeds of Contemplation; The Tears of the Blind Lions; The Waters of Siloe
1951 - 1955 - Master of Scholastics (students for priesthood)
1951 - The Ascent to Truth
1953 - The Sign of Jonas
1955 - No Man Is an Island
1955 - 1965 - Master of Novices
1956 - The Living Bread
1957 - The Silent Life; The Strange Islands
1958 - Thoughts in Solitude
1959 - The Secular Journal of Thomas Merton; Selected Poems
1960 - Disputed Questions; The Wisdom of the Desert
1961 - The New Man; The Behavior of Titans
1961 - Emblems of a Season of Fury; Life and Holiness; The Last of the Fathers
1964 - Seeds of Destruction
1965 - Gandhi on Non-Violence; The Way of Chuang Tzu; Seasons of Celebration
1965 - 1968 - lived as a hermit on the grounds of the monastery
1966 - Raids on the Unspeakable; Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
1967 - Mystics and Zen Masters
1968 - Monks Pond; Cables to the Ace; Faith and Violence; Zen and the Birds of Appetite
1968 - December 10-died at Bangkok, Thailand, where he had spoken at a meeting of Asian Benedictines and Cistercians.

I believe that many people were misled by Merton, to believe that Zen was now sanctified by the Church. E.G., it was OK for Christians to Zen meditate safely.

People like Phil Jackson the basketball coach (Toxic Zen Story #3), and the Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans and Catholic priests around the world. Men who were charged with the protection of children, and without being able to control themselves, after centuries of a successful tradition, were now abusing children at a catastrophic rate. Seemingly competing with each other to outdo in perversion, and covering up for perversion and abuse at the expense of the victims.

The change since Merton is an astonishing one.

____ Epilog _______________________________________

The Buddha's highest teachings were the purpose of the Buddha's advent on this earth.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to drain people's compassion with discussions of the emptiness and meaninglessness of life which is just a void.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people to live in such a narrow and momentary way, that there would be no context for self-examination and conscience.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to possess people's minds with such illogic as to befuddle their ability to choose correctly between what is good and what is evil.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people how to commit atrocities and genocide, in the exploration of their "infinite possibilities", or "new states of being".

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people how to maim and kill with their hands efficiently, quietly, loudly, with increased terror inflicted, or to maximize their subjugation to control the public sentiments for political ends.

These are all profoundly evil distortions of the Buddha's true teachings, which introduce infinities in the variables holding good and evil, removing all shades of gray in the propositional calculus of value.

Simply stated, the Buddha made his advent on this earth with the purpose of teaching the compassionate way of the bodhisattva, which is at the heart of the true entity of all phenomena, which is the eternal Buddha at one with the eternal Law. Which is how to navigate the sea of sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. He originally set out on his path, because of his observation of the sufferings of common people and wanting to understand the source of those sufferings (enlightened wisdom) and how to transform those sufferings into unshakable happiness (enlightened action).

When you embrace the void, your initial intent to bring tranquility and enlightenment to your life doesn't matter ... the result is always the same: chaos and misery, and utter ruination and emptiness to you, your family, and your country.

But things don't have to be that way ...

Nichiren Daishonin writes (Encouragement to a Sick Person, WND p. 78):

. "During the Former and Middle Days of the Law, the
. five impurities began to appear, and in the Latter
. Day, they are rampant. They give rise to the great
. waves of a gale, which not only beat against the
. shore, but strike each other. The impurity of
. thought has been such that, as the Former and
. Middle Days of the Law gradually passed, people
. transmitted insignificant erroneous teachings
. while destroying the unfathomable correct
. teaching. It therefore appears that more people
. have fallen into the evil paths because of errors
. with respect to Buddhism than because of secular
. misdeeds."

Because Bodhidharma discarded the Buddha's highest teaching (the Lotus Sutra), and due to his lazy nature turned to shortcuts to enlightenment, he came to the distorted view that life is acausal and empty, that the true entity is the void.

This erroneous view really comes from a misunderstanding of the Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings, where the True Entity is described by negation (the only way it can be): "... neither square, nor round, neither short, nor long, ..."

The description of the True Entity is logically voidal, but the True Entity itself is not. Bodhidharma was simply confused, due to the slander of negligence (laziness), and false confidence. The truth of life is that at the heart of the True Entity is the compassion of a bodhisattva for others.

Non-substantiality does not mean empty. Life has value. Humans are respectworthy. There is a purpose to everything. And every cause has an effect, so we are responsible for our thoughts, words and deeds. Zen is acausal. Zen is the greatest poison, which compares to the even greater medicine of the Lotus Sutra.

Suffice it to say: the purpose of Zen in the world is to corrupt and undermine everything that is not based upon the truth and the true teaching. All religions, disciplines, institutions and organizations which are undermined by Zen will eventually fall after glaring revelation of their worst defects, sooner rather than later.

If there is some good in your family, locality, society and culture, or country that you would like to retain, then cease the Zen, and begin to apply the medicine of the Lotus Sutra to heal the Zen wound in your life.

"Zen is the work of devilish minds." - Nichiren


. a prescription for the poisoned ones:
. The only antidote for the toxic effects of Zen in your life ...
. be that from Zen meditation, or the variant forms: physical
. Zen in the martial arts, Qigong, Acupuncture, Falun Gong,
. Copenhagen Convention of Quantum Mechanics, EST,
. Landmark Education, Nazism, Bushido, the Jesuits,
. Al Qaeda, or merely from having the distorted view that life
. is acausal, and that the true entity of all phenomena
. is the void ...
. with the effects of the loss of loved ones, detachment,
. isolation or various forms of emptiness in your life ...
. is the Lotus Sutra: chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
. at least 3 times, twice a day, for the rest of your life,
. in at least a whisper ...
. and if you can, chant abundantly in a resonant voice !!!
. The full 28 Chapters of the Lotus Sutra,
. Nichiren Daishonin's Gosho volumes I and II,
. the Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings
. (Gosho Zenshu, including the Ongi Kuden) and the
. SGI Dictionary of Buddhism are located at:
. To find an SGI Community Center:

LS Chap. 16 .....

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Since I attained Buddhahood
the number of kalpas that have passed
is an immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands,
millions, trillions, asamkhyas.
Constantly I have preached the Law, teaching, converting
countless millions of living beings,
causing them to enter the Buddha way,
all this for immeasurable kalpas.
In order to save living beings,
as an expedient means I appear to enter nirvana
but in truth I do not pass into extinction.
I am always here preaching the Law.
I am always here,
but through my transcendental powers
I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement
do not see me even when close by.
When the multitude see that I have passed into extinction,
far and wide they offer alms to my relics.
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