The Wisdom of the Desert

Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century

Author: N.A

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 9780811201025

Category: Philosophy

Page: 81

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The Wisdom of the Desert was one of Thomas Merton's favorites among his own books--surely because he had hoped to spend his last years as a hermit.

The Wisdom of the Desert

Author: Thomas Merton

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 0811220133

Category: Religion

Page: 81

View: 3348

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The Wisdom of the Desert was one of Thomas Merton's favorites among his own books—surely because he had hoped to spend his last years as a hermit. The personal tones of the translations, the blend of reverence and humor so characteristic of him, show how deeply Merton identified with the legendary authors of these sayings and parables, the fourth-century Christian Fathers who sought solitude and contemplation in the deserts of the Near East. The hermits of Screte who turned their backs on a corrupt society remarkably like our own had much in common with the Zen masters of China and Japan, and Father Merton made his selection from them with an eye to the kind of impact produced by the Zen mondo.

Zen and the Birds of Appetite

Author: Thomas Merton

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 0811219720

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

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Merton, one of the rare Western thinkers able to feel at home in the philosophies of the East, made the wisdom of Asia available to Westerners. "Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite--one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.

Desert Banquet

A Year of Wisdom from the Desert Mothers and Fathers

Author: David Keller

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0814633870

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 783

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The wisdom of the desert fathers and mothers lies in their experiences of solitude, prayer, community life, work, and care for their neighbors. Their goal was transformation of their lives through openness to the presence and energy of God in Christ. They taught by example and by sharing narratives and sayings that reflect the deep human psychological and spiritual aspects of their journey toward authentic human life. The venue for their transformation was the whole person 'body, mind, and spirit. They emphasized self-knowledge, humility, purity of heart, and love of God and neighbor. Far from being naïve, their sayings and narratives reflect honest struggles, temptations, and failures. They also demonstrate the disciplines of prayer and meditation that kept them centered in God as their only source of strength. The daily reflections in Desert Banquet introduce readers to a variety of these early Christian mentors and offer reflections on the significance of their wisdom for life in the twenty-first century. David G. R.Keller, an Episcopal priest, is adjunct professor of ascetical theology at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He is co-steward, with his wife, Emily Wilmer, of Oasis of Wisdom: An Institute for Contemplative Study, Practice, and Living based in Asheville, North Carolina (www.oasisofwisdom.net). He is the author of Oasis of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Liturgical Press) and Come and See: The Transformation of Personal Prayer (Morehouse Publishing).

Desert Christians

An Introduction to the Literature of Early Monasticism

Author: William Harmless

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198036746

Category: Religion

Page: 512

View: 9595

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In the fourth century, the deserts of Egypt became the nerve center of a radical new movement, what we now call monasticism. Groups of Christians-from illiterate peasants to learned intellectuals-moved out to the wastelands beyond the Nile Valley and, in the famous words of Saint Athanasius, made the desert a city. In so doing, they captured the imagination of the ancient world. They forged techniques of prayer and asceticism, of discipleship and spiritual direction, that have remained central to Christianity ever since. Seeking to map the soul's long journey to God and plot out the subtle vagaries of the human heart, they created and inspired texts that became classics of Western spirituality. These Desert Christians were also brilliant storytellers, some of Christianity's finest. This book introduces the literature of early monasticism. It examines all the best-known works, including Athanasius' Life of Antony, the Lives of Pachomius, and the so-called Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Later chapters focus on two pioneers of monastic theology: Evagrius Ponticus, the first great theoretician of Christian mysticism; and John Cassian, who brought Egyptian monasticism to the Latin West. Along the way, readers are introduced to path-breaking discoveries-to new texts and recent archeological finds-that have revolutionized contemporary scholarship on monastic origins. Included are fascinating snippets from papyri and from little-known Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopic texts. Interspersed in each chapter are illustrations, maps, and diagrams that help readers sort through the key texts and the richly-textured world of early monasticism. Geared to a wide audience and written in clear, jargon-free prose, Desert Christians offers the most comprehensive and accessible introduction to early monasticism.

The Way of Chuang Tzu (Second Edition)

Author: Thomas Merton

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 0811223078

Category: Poetry

Page: 160

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Classic writings from the great Zen master in exquisite versions by Thomas Merton, in a new edition with a preface by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Working from existing translations, Thomas Merton composed a series of his own versions of the classic sayings of Chuang Tzu, the most spiritual of Chinese philosophers. Chuang Tzu, who wrote in the fourth and third centuries B.C., is the chief authentic historical spokesperson 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 and paradox and shattering insights into the true ground of being. Thomas Merton, no stranger to Asian thought, brings a vivid, modern idiom to the timeless wisdom of Tao.

The Desert Fathers

Anthony and the Beginnings of Monasticism

Author: Peter H. Gšrg

Publisher: Ignatius Press

ISBN: 1681494825

Category: Religion

Page: 131

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In the late third century, more and more people withdrew to the radical seclusion of the desert so as to live entirely for God under the direction of a spiritual father. Among these Desert Fathers one figure is especially preeminent: Saint Anthony the Hermit. This book takes the reader back to the hour when monasticism was born and describes the life of those revolutionary Christians who sought God in the Egyptian desert. The focus of the book is the life and work of Saint Anthony, whose experiences of the spiritual life have a timeless beauty and validity, even for those not called to live as a monk. The second half of the book presents other Desert Fathers, such as Paul of Thebes, Pachomius, and Simeon Stylites, as well as the great founders of the monastic communities in Western Europe who were inspired by them: John Cassian, Columban, and Benedict, for example.

The Wisdom of the Body

A Contemplative Journey to Wholeness for Women

Author: Christine Valters Paintner

Publisher: Ave Maria Press

ISBN: 1933495839

Category: Religion

Page: 224

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The distorted view of the perfect female body created by popular culture, television, movies, and the media often causes women to become uncomfortable with their own bodies. Christine Valters Paintner, popular author of nine books and abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts, draws from Celtic, desert, and Benedictine traditions to help women connect with their bodies through writing, visual art, and movement. In The Wisdom of the Body, Christine Valters Paintner focuses on the true meaning of the Incarnation—God became flesh—and points to the spiritual importance of appreciating the bodies God gave us. Each of the book’s ten chapters is a mini-workshop designed to lead us to new ways of being in relationship with our bodies. Starting with the senses and shifting toward emotions and desires, Paintner explores their role as thresholds to discovering the body’s wisdom. She draws from Christian tradition to offer principles and practices such as stability, hospitality, and gratitude to lead us on a journey that ends with a sense of deep peace and self-acceptance. Through expressive arts and creative movement, Paintner demonstrates a new a language and way of integrating and sharing our discoveries. By exploring the lives of women in the Bible and in the Christian tradition—including Eve, Mary, Hildegaard of Bingen, and Amma Syncletica—Paintner introduces us to companions that accompany us on our journey.

Eternal Wisdom from the Desert

Writings from the Desert Fathers

Author: Henry L. Carrigan

Publisher: Paraclete Press (MA)

ISBN: 9781557252838

Category: Religion

Page: 116

View: 6492

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In the fourth century, thousands of men and women fled into the Egyptian desert seeking to recapture the passion of the earliest Christians through lives of prayer and solitude. As records of the wisdom and purity of the "desert fathers and mothers" spread through the Roman Empire, Christians streamed to the caves of these desert hermits, seeking counsel on the interior life. The hermits' ascetic practices and wise words were a shining witness to a living faith that could be woven into the fabric of daily life. This volume contains Athanasius' famous The Life of St. Anthony, St. Jerome's The Life of Paul the Hermit, and the collected sayings of many of the desert fathers. Encouraging humility, patience, prayer, introspection, and love, the desert fathers and mothers teach today's believers that deep contemplative practice opens the door to eternal wisdom for daily life.

Raids on the Unspeakable

Author: Thomas Merton

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 9780811201018

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 182

View: 9276

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Essays, meditations, parables, and verse offer insights into the absurdities and disorders of the modern world, the human crisis, and the benefits of Christian hope

The Desert Fathers

Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141907002

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 1250

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The Desert Fathers were the first Christian monks, living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. In contrast to the formalised and official theology of the "founding fathers" of the church, the Desert Fathers were ordinary Christians who chose to renounce the world and live lives of celibacy, fasting, vigil, prayer and poverty in direct and simple response to the gospel. Their sayings were first recorded in the 4th century and consist of spiritual advice, anecdotes and parables. The Desert Fathers' teachings and lives have inspired poetry, opera and art, as well as providing spiritual nourishment and a template for monastic life.

In the Heart of the Desert

The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Author: John Chryssavgis

Publisher: World Wisdom, Inc

ISBN: 193331656X

Category: Religion

Page: 180

View: 7196

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Father John's inspiring introduction to the spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers brings their words to life for the modern reader. These key figures of the early church chose lives of hardship and solitude, where they could point their hearts away from the outward world and toward an introspective path of God's calling in a deliberate and individual way. Contains a Foreword by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, the second highest ranking Orthodox Bishop in England.

Oasis of Wisdom

The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Author: David G. R. Keller

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 9780814630341

Category: Religion

Page: 181

View: 6266

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"Introduces readers to the wisdom of the desert elders in the context of their daily lives, presenting their background (historical, cultural, and religious) and describing the environment of solitude, ascetic disciplines, labor, and interactions with other people that was the source of their wisdom"--Provided by publisher.

The Wisdom Jesus

Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message

Author: Cynthia Bourgeault

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 9780834823204

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 8422

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If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus's vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.

The Anonymous Sayings of the Desert Fathers

A Select Edition and Complete English Translation

Author: N.A

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107354501

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 9349

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The Tales and Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Apophthegmata Patrum) are a key source of evidence for the practice and theory respectively of eremitic monasticism, a significant phenomenon within the early history of Christianity. The publication of this book finally ensures the availability of all three major collections which constitute the work, edited and translated into English. Richer in Tales than the 'Alphabetic' collection to which this is an appendix (both to be dated c.AD 500), the 'Anonymous' collection presented in this volume furnishes almost as much material for the study of the late antique world from which the monk sought to escape as it does for the monastic endeavour itself. More material continued to be added well into the seventh century and so the spread and gradual evolution of monasticism are illustrated here over a period of about two and a half centuries.