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Liberty, South Carolina
Father Thomas began to influence my life in 2001 when I wrote to him about my difficulties in reconciling the Christian religion with the perspectives that arose from the philosophy and experiences of nondualism.
With his usual grace and candor, he was able to address my every question and it became very apparent that he was comfortable conversing at every level and had clearly experienced and explored the subtlest and most profound levels of consciousness.
Over the years, Father Thomas continued with his generous attention to my letters and took great care to respond fully, sometimes writing and addressing his letters by hand, and apparently re-reading his responses, as he often added punctuation or used white-out for corrections.
His boundless generosity extended to his willingness to help me address difficulties that arose as I attempted to write a book, giving his blessing to the use of an idea that I was reluctant to put into print. Later, he read the book and encouraged me to seek publication, even recommending the book to some of his friends, and arranging to have copies placed in the bookstore at St. Benedict's Monastery.
As the years went by, Father Thomas remained a tireless supporter, as he surely did with us all. After having written a second book, a translation of an East Indian text, Thomas was enthusiastic in his acceptance of the book, recommending his own publisher for both books and confiding that he kept the new book on his bedside table in order to have an occasional taste of Eastern wisdom.
In 2017, when I had an opportunity to go to Snowmass for a retreat, Father Thomas gave me an hour and a half of his precious time, and, while we spoke of many things, I was certain he was simultaneously and actively exuding this Presence to which he has been leading us all to the very best of his (and our) ability.
His lofty thoughts are clearly expressed in many of his writings and are entirely available to us, if we become quiet enough to absorb this timeless wisdom. Many of those among us who have been fortunate enough to directly experience this divine love through his written words or through personal contact, have felt the resonate effects of being touched by one who has made the quantum leap into finally and fully accepting the Love of God.
Thomas Keating's greatest wish for us is that we also accept this great love and that we love one another as he continues to love us.