Monday, December 31, 2007

Thomas Merton Retreat at Penuel Ridge 2008

Thomas Merton, Steward of Silence

Penuel Ridge Retreat Center, near Nashville, TN. January 19, 2008.(Saturday) 9 am to 5 pm. Led by Brother Dan Phillips. For details contact Penuel Ridge Retreat Center .

Call 615-792-3734.

Stewardship Speaks
Thomas Merton:
Steward of Silence

January 19, 2008
9 am — 5 pm
In a time of great noise, Thomas Merton's way of silence is alive and well. An intentional examination of this once-worldly pilgrim's life and contemplative practice signals the beginning of our 2008 retreat season: Stewardship Speaks. We will examine Merton's life and final days through video, written texts and of course, silence and contemplation. We hope you enjoy this alternative to our traditional winter retreat on Merton's silence contemporary, Henri Nouwen.
Leader: Dan Phillips has more than two decades of experience as a minister, chaplain and counselor — particularly to patients with terminal illnesses and their families. He has taught courses to nursing homes and churches on death and dying. As a writer, his publications have been printed in more than two dozen periodicals, literary journals and newspapers. He is a frequent retreat leader on Merton, issues of Spiritual Development and Spiritual Journaling as a means of keeping track of God's movement in one's life. He is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University and Southern Bapti8st Theological Seminary. Presently, he is a chaplain at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Cost: $50 (includes a nutritious lunch)

To book your reservation, call 615-792-3734 or email at

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Steve T. Georgiou

One of the great blessings of my life is knowing Steve Georgiou. It may
have been through his wonderful book on Robert Lax, or was it the
handwriting on the sidewalk in San Diego?

Steve's new book is Mystic Street, Meditations on a Spiritual Path. It
is powerful, a wonderful life-changing read. I can't read but a chapter
at a time, there is too much "enlightenment" in it. I am dazed by the
inspiration in it. I see things I have never seen before and am touched
in such a way that I carry the message with me all day.

Steve is an artist, a mystic, a lover of stories that have lined his
path. I will write later of Mystic Street. Maybe you can find a copy
With thanksgiving !!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas 2007

It's that time again. Christmas 2007 ! How fast it came. The big news of
the year was baby Jack Michael McReynolds born on August 18. He is our
first grandchild. We have really enjoyed him. (See enclosed picture)

Another big event was our trip to London in May. It rained almost
everyday but we had a great time. You can read all about it on my blog
for May. Start at May 10th and go forward. Here is the address:

Of course the biggest event was mine and Janets 40th wedding anniversary
on Sept. 10th. Where have all the years gone?

Hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dan and Janet

DT Suzuki documentary

Many remember the thrill Thomas Merton had in going to see Suzuki. This
seems to be a good film on Suzuki. (Dan)

"A ZEN LIFE - D.T. Suzuki" is a 77-minute documentary about Daisetz
Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), credited with single-handedly introducing
Zen Buddhism to the West.

A strong advocate of cross-cultural and inter-faith communication, D.T.
Suzuki was highly successful at getting Westerners to appreciate the
Japanese mentality, and Japanese to understand Western logic. The
effect he had on Western psychoanalysis, philosophy, religious thinking,
and the arts was profound. His numerous writings in English serve as an
inspiration even today. Dr. Suzuki message is all the more important
now, in light of contemporary conflicts stemming from divergent ways of

Gary Snyder calls Dr. Suzuki "probably the most culturally significant
Japanese person in international terms, in all of history."

Daisetz Suzuki has said of Thomas Merton that he was the Westerner who
best understood Zen.

Along with Gary Snyder, there are exclusive interviews of many people,
respected in their own right, who encountered D.T. Suzuki in person,
including Huston Smith, Mihoko Okamura, Dr. Albert Stunkard, Fr. William
Johnston, Robert Aitken, Donald Richie, Wm. Theodore de Bary, and rare
footage of Thomas Merton, John Cage, Erich Fromm, and Suzuki himself.

The DVD contains an additional 10-minutes from a hitherto unknown
interview of Daisetz Suzuki by Huston Smith. There is also a printed
"Supplementary Text" inserted in the case, with quotes from Dr. Suzuki's
talks never before published.

"A ZEN LIFE - D.T. Suzuki" can be pre-ordered at:
Individual price (for personal use): US$40.00
Institutional price (for internal use only): US$150
Shipping & handling: $5 for 1st DVD plus $2 for each additional DVD.
Delivery in February 2008.

For public showing permission or other information concerning the DT
Suzuki Documentary Project, please contact:

Friday, December 14, 2007

John Donne. Meditation 17. [No man is an island... For whom the bell tolls, etc.]

This is where the passage is found that Thomas Merton used (No Man Is An
Island) and Ernest Hemmingway (For Whom the Bells Toll). It was a
meditation of John Donne's during an illness.

Haig's St. Bartholomew's Hospital page

While looking up sermons by John Donne I came upon this story of a
hospital stay by musician Haig Utidjian. It reminded me of my own
hospital stay a few years ago. He describes St. Bart's as a Cathedral of
Healing. What a beautiful description.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mother Teresa

I bought Come to the Light about/by Mother Teresa. In the front it says,
"For those, especially the poorest of the poor, who find themselves in
any form of darkness, that they may find in Mother Teresa's experience
and faith, consolation, and encouragement." Last nifght our Sunday
School class fed 10 homeless persons. I spoke briefly on Psalm 13, God's
Unfailing Love. How humble it makes one feel.

Monday, December 10, 2007



Thomas Merton Anniversary

This is the 66th anniversary of Merton entering the Abbey. It is also
the 39th anniversary of his death. For rthe past 2 years I have held an
all day retreat but work and time does not allow this year, but this IS
still a sacred day. May we live it in the peace and spirit of Thomas

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Tap on the Shoulder

This is perhaps the most memorable story I have written as a chaplain.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

William C. Burns

I had never heard of William Burns before. Evidently he was a man of
great prayer and usefullness to God.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

John Howard Griffin, Thomas Merton and the house in Mansfield « Anointed HeArt

Interesting story about John Howard Griffin.

Copley Mall at Christmas

Legal Seafood was excellent. Everyone is smiling. The Christmas Spirit?
Carols play in background. People with heavy coats talk together. A
photographer from out of town takes a family portrait. Someone waves.
People pass with the internal phone in their ear. The tv is on football.
This is Patriot country.

Copley Place-Boston - Legal Sea Foods - The Standard for Quality and Freshness in the Restaurant Business.

Ate lunch at Legal Sea Food. Got the scallops, shrimp, and calamari for

It has a nice window view of Boston. I have eaten seafood at every meal.
Fresh seafood is not easy to find in Tennesee. It was so cold this
morning. Windchill at 3 degrees. I even wore my pajama bottoms under my
pants. Spend about 10 minutes at morning service at Trinity before
conference began. About 30 people there. At least I warmed up a little.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Phillip Brooks

During the lunch break I went and prayer in Trinity Church, founded in
1773. Their most famous pastor was Phillip Brooks, writer of the
Christmas hymn, "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem." It has been said that
when he walked the streets of Boston people would stop what they were
doing and said, "there goes a man of God." How I love to worship in
these old chueches.

Relaxation Response

Dr. Herbert Benson, who has studied the relaxation response for 40
years, led the conference. To reach this state there are many ways: the
highs of jogging, meditation, prayer, etc. We even practiced it. "You
snored said the person sitting beside me." BUT after the experience, 15
to 20 minutes, I had more energy. He also asked, "how many of your pets
come nearer when you practice this techniquw?" tons of people said yes,
myself included. He calls this "the Saint Francis effect." Cuddles
always enjoys devotions with me.

Saturday Morning Boston

It was a LONG 4 block walk to the hotel where the conference is being
held. COLD. 23 degrees plus wind chill. Glad I brought my tobaggan.
Title of conference is Spirituality .and Healing: Including the Concept
of Emergence. A mouthfull. I am excited to be here. I have always wanted
to come to this conference.