Merton was also for me an introduction to spirituality. At university my creative writing teacher introduced me to him and then as I wrote she told me that my writing reminded her of the “Zen” poets from China and Japan and contemporaries such as Gary Snyder. I started to read them, found an ad for Shasta Abbey Buddhist Supplies, ordered a statue and received info from the Abbey and a few months later when I was eighteen I took the Greyhound bus from Denver to Shasta. A moment that changed my life and just now I can feel the gratitude in my heart to this professor who really took me under her wing in my young days. Interestingly, she was an ex-catholic nun. Thank you Rita for pointing me in the Way. If you are interested here is a bit about Rita Kiefer.
Thanks Jack for this comment.
Amida Buddha sitting still in the garden
Mt. Shasta as seen from the monastery grounds
Jacks comment, left on the previous posting, reminded me of several people who entered my young life and for whom I too have great gratitude. Tonight I’m thinking particularly of an aunt who encouraged me to write after she read letters I’d sent to my parents describing my travels in America in 1967.
It would appear that Rita Kiefer is still encouraging people to express themselves through writing.
Looking into the faces of these flowers this afternoon I found myself smiling. So too when looking into the faces of people in bloom.
We can encourage that, by blooming too.