Thomas Merton approaches the topic of contemplative prayer from a devotional and practical point of view, steering the believer in the direction of understanding the greatness of God and the needfulness of humans. His focus is structured in a way which follows after the view of Augustine, looking at God's ability to know us better than we know ourselves.
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.
THOMAS MERTON (1915-1968), Trappist monk, author, and peace activist, came to international prominence at a young age with his classic autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain. Over the rest of his life he wrote prolifically on a vast range of topics, including prayer, interior growth, social responsibility, violence, and war. Toward the end of his life he played a significant role in introducing Eastern religions to the West. He is today regarded as a spiritual master, a brilliant religious writer, and a man who embodied the quest for God and human solidarity in the modern world.
THICH NHAT HANH is an internationally respected Zen poet and teacher. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Zen Keys and Living Buddha Living Christ.
“[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