Thomas Merton

“The life of contemplation in action and purity of heart is, then, a life of great
simplicity and inner liberty. One is not seeking anything special or demanding any
particular satisfaction. One is content with what is.”

Thomas Merton. The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation. William H. Shannon,
editor (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 2003): 66.

” Materially, everyone wants to satisfy his senses, and he wants God to be the order supplier for such satisfaction. The Lord will satisfy the senses of the living entities as much as they deserve, but not to the extent that they may covet. But when one takes the opposite way — namely, when one tries to satisfy the senses of Govinda without desiring to satisfy one’s own senses — then by the grace of Govinda all desires of the living entity are satisfied.”

Bhagavad Gita 1 32-35


“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda, or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s footprint. param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuntha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life.”

Srimad Bhagavatam (10.14.58)

“…If we are called by God to holiness of life, and if holiness is beyond our natural power to achieve (which it certainly is) then it follows that God himself must give us the light, the strength, and the courage to fulfill the task he requires of us. He will certainly give us the grace we need.”

Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness (New York: Image, 1963) p.16

“Beginning from practicing humility up to the point of realization of the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, this process is just like a staircase beginning from the ground floor and going up to the top floor. Now on this staircase there are so many people who have reached the first floor, the second or the third floor, etc., but unless one reaches the top floor, which is the understanding of Krsna, he is at a lower stage of knowledge.

“If anyone wants to compete with God and at the same time make advancement in spiritual knowledge, he will be frustrated. It is clearly stated that without humility, understanding is not truly possible.”

Bhagavad Gita purport 13.8-12

“Humility contains in itself the answer to all the great problems of the life of the soul. It is the only key to faith, with which the spiritual life begins: for faith and humility are inseparable.”

Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation: 180

“Although prema-bhakti is beyond words, whatever can be conveyed by authorized devotees is appreciated by those who are sincere and faithful. Krsnadasa Kaviraja says, ‘Just try to hear these topics with faith, for there is great pleasure even in hearing them. That hearing will destroy all miseries pertaining to the body, mind, and other living entities, and the unhappiness of false arguments as well.’ [Cc. Antya 19.110]”

Narada Bhakti Sutra 4: 51 purport

“And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept.  Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear brothers,  we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover  is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”

Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, ed. Naomi Burton, Brother Patrick Hart, and James Laughlin (New York: New Directions, 1973)  308

“Prahlada Maharaja loudly chanted the holy name of Lord Nrsimhadeva. May Lord Nrsimhadeva, roaring for His devotee Prahlada Maharaja, protect us from all fear of dangers created by stalwart leaders in all directions through poison, weapons, water, fire, air and so on. May the Lord cover their influence by His own transcendental influence. May Nrsimhadeva protect us in all directions and in all corners, above, below, within and without.”

Srimad Bhagvatam 6.8.34

“The Lord travels in all directions.

“The Lord arrives from all directions at once.

“Wherever we are, we find that He has just departed.

“Wherever we go, we discover that He has just arrived before  us.”

No Man Is An Island (New York: Harvest Book, 1983): 239


“Those corrupted by a type of sophisticated cynicism may mock these descriptions of a paradisiacal world situation effected simply by worshiping the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, modern man has created a hell on earth in his cynical rejection of heaven on earth, which is actually possible through Krsna consciousness.

“The situation described here, created simply by the auspicious bathing ceremony of the Lord, is an authentic historical incident. Since history repeats itself, there is hope that the Krsna consciousness movement may again bring the world community to the brilliant reality of self-realized existence.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.27

“Hope takes us entirely out of this world while we remain bodily in the midst of it. Our minds retain their clear views of what is good in creatures. Our wills remain chaste and solitary in the midst of all created beauty…”

No Man Is An Island (New York: Harvest Book, 1983):253

“brahmanyadaya karmani sangam tyaktva karoti yah
lipyate na sa papena padma patram iva ambhasa

“One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.”

Bhagavad Gita 5.10

“Walking down a street, sweeping a floor, washing dishes, hoeing beans, reading a book, taking a stroll in the woods-all can be enriched with contemplation and with the obscure sense of the presence of God.”

Thomas Merton. The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation. William H. Shannon, editor (San   Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 2003): 66.

Thought for the Day:  “One is not worried about the results of what is done.”

The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation: 66.

“Humility means that no one should be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. The material conception of life makes us very eager to receive honor from others, but from the point of view of a man in perfect knowledge-who knows that he is not this body-anything-honor or dishonor-pertaining to this body is useless. One should not be hankering after this material deception. People are very anxious to be famous for their religiousness”

Bhagavad Gita 7-11

“Do you want to know God? Then learn to understand the weaknesses and imperfections of other men. But how can you understand the weaknesses of others unless you understand your own? And how can you see the meaning of your own limitations until you have received mercy from God, by which you know yourself and Him?”

Thomas Merton. No Man Is An Island. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1955: 214

” It is not sufficient to forgive others: we must forgive them with humility and compassion. If we forgive them without humility, our forgiveness is a mockery: it presupposes that we are better than they.”

No Man Is An Island.: 214

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