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Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and was ordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasingly drawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domestic issues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton for having a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic The Seven Storey Mountain. Scholar and poet, Bonnie Thurston is a founding member and past president of the International Thomas Merton Society. She is an ordained minister of the Christian Church.

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"Thomas Merton is the saintly man who caused the Dalai Lama to come to admire Christianity as the equal to his beloved Buddhism." -- Robert Thurman "Merton is an artist, a Zen." -- Thich Nhat Hanh "One of the most engaging features of Merton's mind and sensibility is his feeling for what is authentic and pure, even when it occurs outside the house of Latin Catholicism." -- The New York Review of Books

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