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CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE Opening and Closing Doors: Lessons for Novices When Thomas Merton asked Thich Nhat Hanh what he had learned in hisfirst year in the monastery, he replied,"How to open and close doors quietly." Test each door you encounter, its latches and hinges; look for lurches and lags as it sways in and out. Each door is a teacher as you quietly attend. Imagine opening or closing to rising water or to a sunset, to sirens or to laughter. Imagine what you'd do if a beggar crouched there shriveled with hunger. Imagine not imagining, not noticing the door, your hands, the air. To open and close quietly? Neither slam against fear nor bar the unknown? Welcome guests you'd never have invited? Re-learn each day how to open to what is? 635 636 CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE Opening and closing quietly, you practice deep intention: to make a place in the world for the Buddha and the Christ. NANCY CORSON CARTER ...


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pp. 635-636
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