Thomas Merton (1915–1968) was an American Roman Catholic Trappist monk, poet, author, theologian, student of interfaith understanding, and activist for social change. His work dove deep into the ways in which religions are similar, and he envisioned a more peaceful world through helping people understand and appreciate spiritual paths different from their own. He wrote over fifty books and countless essays on social justice, religion, and theology throughout his life, and he strove to weave mysticism into his works while connecting these beliefs to overarching societal ideas and structures.
New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit so long neglected by Western man, to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our lives. For Merton, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.