The Way of Chuang Tzuby Thomas Merton
Chuang Tzu, who wrote in the fourth and third centuries B.C., is the chief authentic historical spokesman for Taoism and its founder Lao Tzu (a legendary character known
Working from existing translations, Thomas Merton composed a series of personal versions from his favorites among the classic sayings of Chuang Tzu, the most spiritual of the Chinese philosophers.
Chuang Tzu, who wrote in the fourth and third centuries B.C., is the chief authentic historical spokesman for Taoism and its founder Lao Tzu (a legendary character known largely through Chuang Tzu's writings). Indeed it was because of Chuang Tzu and the other Taoist sages that Indian Buddhism was transformed, in China, into the unique vehicle we now call by its Japanese name Zen. The Chinese sage abounds in wit, paradox, satire, and shattering insight into the true ground of being. Father Merton, no stranger to Asian thought, brings a vivid, modern idiom to the timeless wisdom of Tao. Illustrated with early Chinese drawings.
Thomas Merton is the saintly man who caused the Dalai Lama to come to admire Christianity as the equal of his beloved Buddhism. (Robert Thurman)
Merton is an artist, a Zen. (Thich Nhat Hanh)”
Meet the Author
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey of
Gethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and was ordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasingly drawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domestic issues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton for having a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic The
Seven Storey Mountain.
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I first read this while in college20 y. ago, and my treasured copy is still holding up, often referred to, in my nightly reading bookshelf. The introduction is quite helpful, in that it gives a brief description of the competing major philosopies of the day. One of the central renderings is 'Perfect Joy'. (I'm not sure this collection is a translation, although he did have the help of Dr. John Wu in compiling it) I recommend this book to those interested in eastern Taoist thought, as transmuted by the perspective of a talented 20th century Trappist monk.