The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedHanshan
Title QuotedSurangama Sutra (Leng Yen Ching) / Chinese rendering by Master Paramiti of Central North India at Chih Chih Monastery, Canton, China, A. D. 705 ; commentary (abridged) by Ch'an Master Han Shan (1546-1623) ; transl. by Upasaka Lu K'uan Yü (Charles Luk)
Date (Year/Month/Day)1967/08/02
ImprintLondon : Rider. 1966
QuotationEvening. I sit up late again listening to crickets and frogs because I can't go to bed yet. I had to translate in chapter again tonight - which is not my business at all, and realize I may be stuck with this for the rest of the visitation. Came back feeling stupid, as if I had done wrong. And in fact these sessions in chapter are, in their own way, stupid. Dom Ignace was very nice and simple and gave a talk on his impressions of Japan and I did a good job of translating and made everyone happy - and it was childish. I am ashamed of myself. I did the best I could and it was silly. And so I pretend I belong here "¦ as if I belonged somewhere. The woods, OK. But I came back feeling sad. And I realize it is this way almost everywhere and with everyone except very few people. Going to chapter - just as reprehensible as going to Thompson Willett's and playing with little Alice in the pool. Got back - read a happy underground paper from Cleveland and felt the same about that. It is silly. It is stupid shit. Then I read a little poetry magazine. The same. Do I now have to think there is something the matter? This does not follow. I will no doubt have to go to chapter for a few days and do my silly bit. But I don't have to read happy newspapers and poetry magazines that still take themselves seriously. Or anything else of the kind. The Suramgamma Sutra - maybe. That's different. And there's a lot of classic shit in that too. Fortunately I had some bourbon in the hermitage.
JournalLearning to love: exploring solitude and freedom. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 6, 1966-1967.; Edited by Christine M. Bochen. / [San Francisco] : HarperCollins. 1997, p. 272
Link to Merton's Copy