Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere

Narrated by: James Finley
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
5 out of 5 stars (216 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, author, and student of Zen, remains one of the most important and beloved figures in the modern Christian contemplative movement. His writings, which bridge Eastern and Western spiritual thought, continue to inspire us with their real possibilities for immediate and direct experience of the divine. Now James Finley, who for six years lived, prayed, and studied with Brother Louis, as Merton was known at the Abbey of Gethsemani, shares with us the gifts passed on to him by this towering figure in Thomas Merton's Path to the Palace of Nowhere.

First presented at a series of popular retreats, this full audio program takes a participatory approach to Merton's most useful teachings, helping us to discover our true self...to disappear into God; to be submerged into his peace; to be lost in the secret of his face, as Merton said, through daily practices including contemplation, prayer, and faith. In the end we find ourselves in what the Taoist sage Chuang Tzu called the Palace of Nowhere, where all the many things are one. There is an Eastern teaching called transmission of mind, in which the enlightened mind embodied in the master is manifest in the student's awakening. It is in this spirit that James Finley invites us to follow Thomas Merton's Path to the Palace of Nowhere.

©2004 James Finley (P)2004 James Finley
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Deserves a slow, attentive listen

Thomas Merton was my entrance into Christianity several decades ago. However, the denomination to which I belonged was nervous about Catholicism, so I set him aside. A number of unexpected spiritual twists and turns connected me with James Finley's work and reconnected me with Merton. So this audiobook has been a delight to me because it radiates both Finley and Merton. I listened slowly, often repeating sections, making notes, sitting with the ideas, at times reduced to silence or tears. I enjoyed the quiet cadence of Finley's delivery. The book deeply moved me.

20 people found this helpful

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Deep. Greatly valuable on the path.

The narrator is a contemplative - his voice alone gets you there. The book is well-crafted, profound, and ... sparkling!

7 people found this helpful

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Breathtaking. Touching, reassuring friend on the path to contemplative life.

Breathtaking. Touching, reassuring friend on the path to contemplative life. James Finley's reflections are a soul message on the journey.

5 people found this helpful

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a glimpse into the depths of God's love through...

...our human brokenness. It is one of the gifts that James Finley gives us through his contemplation of Thomas Merton's words and life.

2 people found this helpful

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Transformative

I will repeat the experience of listening to this book hopefully with others. So much here opens the heart to sharing and mutual understanding that it simply must be shared.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent humility

James Finley gives an amazing and profound series of meditations in this work. Clear and very helpful on so many fronts. I'm so thankful to have come upon this series of talks.

4 people found this helpful

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We are Whole in our brokenness

Uniquely told as openings to the already always unseen Presence of this Love we name God.

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Emotionally Stirring!

I have never heard anyone write, or speak, as poignantly and as profound as James Finley. His ability to share the life of Thomas Merton in such a heartfelt way moved me to tears more than once. I will definitely be listening and reading more of the works of both men.

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James Finley is a gift to all seekers

as I listened to James Finley speak about his experience and understanding of the greatest spiritual guide of my lifetime Thomas Merton, I wept I laughed and I felt loved overwhelmingly.

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Deep. Clear. Transformative.

I've been interested in the "Merton School" of contemplative practice for some time, and have now listened to several books by Rohr and Thomas Keating. Though I had never heard of Fr. Finley, this has been one of the best and most helpful lectures. I particularly appreciated his discussion of the egoic self, which helped me understand of why a Buddhist or Yogic vision of the ego and suffering has never quite resinated with me. (To be clear, he does not go into any comparison, but having recently listened to Tolle's The Power of Now, it was clear fror me why I had trouble fully embracing Tolle's teachings on the ego.) Finley's diction is clear and his presentation well-organized and methodical. I highly recommend these lectures.

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  • Tony
  • 06-28-20

Quite Profound

Really enjoyed this. It would be hard for me to totally articulate why. James Finley is very gifted in how he describes the indescribable nature of your relationship with spirit/god/the universe.

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  • izabela
  • 01-16-17

awesome

What made the experience of listening to Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere the most enjoyable?

James Finley has such a gift in delivering this content. He is easy to listen to and very engaging an passionate. I have been reading Thomas Merton's journals so this linked in very well.

What did you like best about this story?

The way James Finley provides images of what Merton is teaching. Great !!!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

the last session blew me away

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book hit a real personal note with me, in the sense that I have experienced some of the anguish in love that Merton speaks of, so it made me laugh and cry however it brought a lot of hope to my heart.

1 person found this helpful