Individual Talk

Osho Audiobook - Individual Talk: The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, # 2, (mp3) - blind, question, merton


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Let the Christian Ship Drown

Talk #2 of the Series, The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself

In Thomas Merton's view:
'Zen is not a systematic explanation of life, it is not an ideology, it is not a world view, it is not a theology of revelation and salvation, it is not a mystique, it is not a way of ascetic perfection, it is not mysticism as it is understood in the West; in fact it fits no convenient category of ours. Hence all our attempts to tag it and dispose of it with labels like pantheism, quietism, illuminism, Pelagianism, must be completely incongruous.
'But the chief characteristic of Zen is that it rejects all systematic elaborations in order to get back as far as possible to the pure, unarticulated and unexplained ground of direct experience. The direct experience of what? Life itself.'
Osho, has Thomas Merton got it?
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Osho International
187 mins
43.83 MB
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Osho answers:
"It is a very sad story about Thomas Merton. Perhaps he was one of the persons in the West who has come closest to Zen. He had the sensibility of a poet; the others are approaching Zen from their intellect, their mind.

"Thomas Merton is approaching Zen through his heart. He feels it, but he could not live the direct experience he is talking about. He would have been the first Zen master in the West, but he was prevented by the Catholic Church.

"Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk under the Vatican. The Trappist monks are the most self-torturing ascetics in Christianity. Perhaps that's why they are called Trappist – trapped forever.

"Thomas Merton wrote beautiful poetry, and he asked again and again to go to Japan and to live in a Zen monastery to have the direct experience of Zen. But permission was refused half a dozen times; again and again he was refused.

"If he had really understood Zen he would not have bothered even to ask for permission. Who is the Vatican? Who is the pope? A Zen master asking permission from unenlightened people is simply not heard of. And he followed the orders from the Vatican and from the abbot of his own monastery.

"He had been reading as much as was available in English about Zen. Finally, he had a chance to go, but he did not understand the way the organized religions work. There was going to be a Catholic conference of missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand, and he asked permission to attend the conference. Deep in his heart he was going to Bangkok to attend the conference just so that from there he could enter Japan without asking anybody's permission.

"But the pope and the Vatican leaders and his abbot – they were all aware of his continuously asking for permission to go to a Zen monastery.

"On the last day of the conference in Bangkok, Thomas Merton spoke about Zen. And he also mentioned that he would love to go to Japan from Bangkok. That very night he was found dead. And without anybody being informed, his body was embalmed immediately, without any autopsy, without knowing the cause of his death."
In this title, Osho talks on the following topics:

blind… question… witness… learn… mysticism… celebrate… depths… merton… tanka… mahavira

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