Merton and Hinduism- The Yoga of the Heart


NOW AVAILABLE. Merton and Hinduism- The Yoga of the Heart. Edited by David M. Odorisio. 464 pp. Paperback

Merton and Hinduism is the first book to thoroughly and definitively trace the lasting influence of Yoga and Hindu traditions on the life and writings of renowned author of The Seven Storey Mountain Thomas Merton, Catholic Priest and Trappist Monk, and pioneer of inter-religious dialogue. Informative and original essays by leading scholars highlight specific points of contact between Merton and various aspects of the Hindu and Yoga traditions, such as Merton and Gandhi, Merton and the Bhagavad Gita, and Merton’s dialogue and friendship with key Indian intellectuals such as A.K. Coomaraswamy, among many others. Approximately half of the book collects Merton’s own writings on Hinduism and Yoga, and many essays are published here for the first time. These essays portray Merton as teacher and novice master, cultural commentator, and contemplative practitioner interested in the mutually enriching dialogue among Catholic Christianity, Hinduism, and Yoga traditions.

David M. Odorisio, PhD, serves as Director of The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, and is Associate Core Faculty in Pacifica’s Mythological Studies graduate degree program. David received his PhD in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and teaches in the areas of methodology, psychology and religion, and comparative mysticism. He has published in numerous journals in the fields of Jungian and transpersonal psychology, as well as The Merton Seasonal, and is co-editor of the volume Depth Psychology and Mysticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). He is a former Board Member of the International Thomas Merton Society.

  • “Once we live in awareness of the cosmic dance and move in time with the Dancer our life attains its true dimension. It is at once more serious and less serious than the life of one who does not sense this inner cosmic dynamism. To live without this illuminated consciousness is to live as a beast of burden, carrying one’s life with tragic seriousness as a huge, incomprehensible weight…. The weight of burden is the seriousness with which one takes one’s own individual and separate self. To live with the true consciousness of life centered in Another is to lose one’s self-important seriousness and thus to live life as ‘play’ in union with a Cosmic Player.” -Thomas Merton, “The Significance of the Bhagavad-Gita”


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