For six years James Finley lived, prayed, and studied with Thomas Merton at the Abbey at Gethsemani in Kentucky. Later he offered retreats on the spiritual teachings of this extraordinary monk and Christian pioneer. The title of this six-cassette audio retreat exploring the true self is taken from the Taoist sage Chuang Tzu; it refers to a place where "all the many things are one."
The cassettes cover the following subjects: What Is a Contemplative Life?; Humility as a Path of Self-Transformation; Contemplative Prayer; Teachings on the True Self; Contemplative Wisdom; and Thomas Merton as Our Spiritual Teacher. Finley has gathered a lively mix of insights, stories, and step-by-step meditations designed to open listeners to the splendors of this Trappist monk's understanding of Christian prayer, faith, and contemplation. One of the over-arching themes in Merton's spirituality is what he called "the cosmic dance." This encompasses the unitive path of the believer who is nurtured by silence, solitude, and the creative act of spiritual reading. Finley, who is now a psychotherapist, serves as a gifted interpreter of Merton's wisdom.