Author Archives: ashramdiary

About ashramdiary

Thomas Matus, who blogs this Ashram Diary, was born 1940 in Hollywood, California. Academics: A.B. in music from Occidental College (Los Angeles); S.T.L. in ecumenical theology from Athenaeum Anselmianum (Rome, Italy); Ph.D. in comparative mysticism from Fordham University (New York). Initiated into Kriya Yoga (by direct disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda) in 1958. Became a Catholic in 1960 and entered New Camaldoli Hermitage (Big Sur, California) as a novice monk in 1962. Lived for more than 30 years at the Monastery of Camaldoli in Italy. Traveled to India some 20 times; made frequent retreats at Saccidananda Ashram (Shantivanam) in southern India. Was in Brazil, off and on, from 1999 to 2006. Now back in California, he lives at the Hermitage in Big Sur and Incarnation Monastery in Berkeley, California. See: http://www.youtube.com/user/thomasmatus

A few words on Day One: “God” is not an individual

Before Vatican II, the Catholic Liturgy on January 1st was called the Feast of the Circumcision. It offered midnight revelers the shortest gospel reading of the liturgical year, one verse from Luke: “On the eighth day, Jesus was circumcised.” Period. … Continue reading

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Readings on the last Sunday before Christmas

Last Sunday, which was the last one before Christmas, we heard the gospel of the Annunciation to Mary: the Archangel Gabriel comes to her and tells her that, if she consents, she will become the mother of the Son of … Continue reading

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Incubus 1966 [Movie Script in Esperanto]

Part of human ageing is the rediscovery of youthful passions, but without the passion. One of my passions was Esperanto, an “art-language” (Eo: artlingvo) composed and published in 1887 by Ludoviko Zamenhof, a Jewish-Polish physician. In 1957, at age 17, … Continue reading

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Spending more time at New Camaldoli Hermitage

I have been feeling more strongly drawn back to the Hermitage in Big Sur, where I originally made monastic vows. I have continued with the Order, by God’s grace, and on June 19, 2014, I celebrated there, together with fellow … Continue reading

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The Scenario of the Gita

We stand with Krishna and Arjuna between two armies, in the Field of Truth, Dharma-kshetre. Dialogue genre, disciple and guru, following a typically Indian (Asian) pedagogy of reiterated themes, viewed differently at different levels of reality and understanding: as it … Continue reading

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Translating the Gita

The first translation of a Hindu sacred text into a European language — Charles Wilkins’ English version of the Gita, 1785 — marks the beginning of the inter-religious dialogue in its modern sense. Hindus as well as Christians and, of … Continue reading

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January course in Berkeley: “The Bhagavad-Gita today”

Again this January, if any students sign up, I’ll be teaching a course on Hinduism. The theme this year is about the Bhagavad-Gita, India’s favorite scripture, as understood by four twentieth-century commentators. Here is the summary from the course syllabus: … Continue reading

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