Monks and Poets

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English: Chinese Buddhist monks performing a f... English: Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kathleen Norris on Contemplative Practice – “I regard monks and poets as the best degenerates in America. Both have a finely developed sense of the sacred potential in all things; both value image and symbol over utilitarian purpose or the bottom line; they recognize the transformative power hiding in the simplest things, and it leads them to commit absurd acts; the poem! the prayer! what nonsense! In a culture that excels at creating artificial, tightly controlled environments (shopping malls, amusement parks, chain motels), the art of monks and poets is use-less, if not irresponsible, remaining out of reach of commercial manipulation and ideological justification.”

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