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Ambivalence in Shangri-La: Merton's Orientalism and Dialogue

Ambivalence in Shangri-La: Merton's Orientalism and Dialogue Ambivalence in Shangri-La: Merton’s Orientalism and Dialogue Judith Simmer-Brown Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado While I read Merton in college and was horrified by news reports of his untimely death, it was only in the late 1970s that I really met Merton through the eyes of my root Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Rinpoche met Merton on his first day in India, in the bar of the Central Hotel in Calcutta, where they instantly connected and developed a deep friendship. A Methodist minister’s daughter, I was a fervent Buddhist convert who had no conscious interest in Christianity, but Rinpoche assigned me the task of directing a series of Buddhist-Christian dialogue conferences at Naropa University during the 1980s. During the seven years of those conferences, Rinpoche spoke warmly about Merton’s impact. I have met Merton personally through the eyes of my teacher and of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is from that perspective that I speak of Merton. Today I reflect in new ways on Merton’s Asian journey and the legacy of his encounter with Tibetan Buddhism. In previous papers, I’ve traced his journey, plotted his Dzogchen inquiry, expanded on his guidelines for contemplative interreligious dialogue, and uncovered fascinating perspectives from http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Ambivalence in Shangri-La: Merton's Orientalism and Dialogue

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 37 – Oct 28, 2017

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
Publisher site
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Abstract

Ambivalence in Shangri-La: Merton’s Orientalism and Dialogue Judith Simmer-Brown Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado While I read Merton in college and was horrified by news reports of his untimely death, it was only in the late 1970s that I really met Merton through the eyes of my root Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Rinpoche met Merton on his first day in India, in the bar of the Central Hotel in Calcutta, where they instantly connected and developed a deep friendship. A Methodist minister’s daughter, I was a fervent Buddhist convert who had no conscious interest in Christianity, but Rinpoche assigned me the task of directing a series of Buddhist-Christian dialogue conferences at Naropa University during the 1980s. During the seven years of those conferences, Rinpoche spoke warmly about Merton’s impact. I have met Merton personally through the eyes of my teacher and of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is from that perspective that I speak of Merton. Today I reflect in new ways on Merton’s Asian journey and the legacy of his encounter with Tibetan Buddhism. In previous papers, I’ve traced his journey, plotted his Dzogchen inquiry, expanded on his guidelines for contemplative interreligious dialogue, and uncovered fascinating perspectives from

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 28, 2017

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