Friday, 14 October 2016

Kevin Hunt

                “The Western Christian tradition of prayer has become extremely rational and intellectualized, focused more on concepts than anything else,” Kevin Hunt, Robert Kennedy’s Trappist Dharma heir tells me. “So there was always a certain tendency in the Western church to focus on ideas and concepts. But as my novice master said, ‘Prayer always becomes simple.’ Hmm? So how do we focus on that simplicity? That we didn’t have; we had lost that. And basically what Zen is is that simplifier.
                “St. John of the Cross made this little drawing of the ascent of Mount Carmel. It shows a mountain, and there are three roads. One that goes up the center, and two that go around the mountain. And the one up the center, in small writing on each side he’s got the word N-A-D-A—nada. And as you go up the mountain, the lettering gets bigger and bigger, and finally at the end—at the top of the mountain—in the biggest letters is the word NADA! Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. We never developed a system or a methodology to go into the Nada. Now, people get into it, but they go into it with a great deal of work and misunderstanding and confusion. That’s what The Cloud of Unknowing is about; that’s what John of the Cross is about and St. Teresa and even the Little Flower.
                “There was a book on St. Teresa of Avila. The title was something she’d said when she was a child. Somebody asked her what she wanted in life, and she said, ‘I want to see God.’ That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. And Zen has provided the best way for me to do it.”

[Kevin Hunt - Cypress Trees in the Garden: 134, 303, 308, 310-320;
Catholicism and Zen: 14, 167-79]
[See also: Fr. Kevin Hunt]

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