Previously unpublished material from world-renowned Trappist monk and author, Thomas Merton, featuring the final conference talks given in the United States before his untimely death.
In May and October of 1968, Thomas Merton offered two extended conferences at Our Lady of the Redwoods Abbey, a Cistercian women’s community in Northern California. Comprising over twenty-six hours of previously unpublished material, Thomas Merton in California covers a variety of topics including ecology and consciousness, yoga and Hinduism, Native American ritual and rites of passage, Sufi spirituality, and inter-religious dialogue, along with extended discussions on prayer and the contemplative life.
The material presented in these talks reveals Merton’s wide-ranging intellectual and spiritual pursuits in the final year of his life, and fills a long-standing lacuna around Merton's visits to Redwoods Monastery, forming a necessary bridge to the Asian journey that was to come. Practical and applicable, as well as searching and inspired, Thomas Merton in California is essential for Merton readers and scholars, and all those interested in deepening their spiritual lives.
David M. Odorisio, PhD, is Associate Core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA. He received his MA in the History of Christian Spirituality from Saint John's University, School of Theology-Seminary, and his PhD in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. David is editor of Merton and Hinduism: The Yoga of the Heart, and has published in numerous journals in the areas of psychology and religion, and the life and writings of Thomas Merton.