The Way of Zen

The Way of Zen

4.6 14
by Alan W. Watts
     
 

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The Way of Zen begins as a succinct guide through the histories of Buddhism and Taoism leading up to the development of Zen Buddhism, which drew deeply from both traditions. It then goes on to paint a broad but insightful picture of Zen as it was and is practiced, both as a religion and as an element of diverse East Asian arts and disciplines. Watts's

Overview

The Way of Zen begins as a succinct guide through the histories of Buddhism and Taoism leading up to the development of Zen Buddhism, which drew deeply from both traditions. It then goes on to paint a broad but insightful picture of Zen as it was and is practiced, both as a religion and as an element of diverse East Asian arts and disciplines. Watts's narrative clears away the mystery while enhancing the mystique of Zen.

Since the first publication of this book in 1957, Zen Buddhism has become firmly established in the West. As Zen has taken root in Western soil, it has incorporated much of the attitude and approach set forth by Watts in The Way of Zen, which remains one of the most important introductory books in Western Zen.

"No one has given us such a concise . . . introduction to the whole history of this Far Eastern development of Buddhist thought as Alan Watts, in the present, highly readable work." —Joseph Campbell

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“No one has given such a concise...introduction to the whole history of this Far Eastern development of Buddhist thought as Alan Watts.” —Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679723011
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/21/1976
Edition description:
1st Vintage Books ed
Pages:
4
Product dimensions:
5.21(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.76(d)

Meet the Author

Alan W. Watts (1915-1973) was instrumental in introducing Eastern thought to Western civilization. He held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, and is best known as an interpreter of Indian and Chinese philosophy in general, and Zen Buddhism in particular. He earned his reputation of being one of the most original philosophers of the century. He was the author of hundreds of articles on philosophy and religion, and thirty-three books which have been translated into eleven languages.

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The Way of Zen 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book by Alan Watts is concise and to the point. Zen thought and practice is distinct from world religions in that it is a philosophy of being 'in the moment.' Watts reveals the subtlety of Zen ideas -- especially applicable for people who feel trapped in the age of the so-called 'rat race.' There is hope of a calm life, emptied of the 'tape recorder' in your head repeating everything that: 1. might have been done better (regrets about the past -- which is gone); and, 2. must be done in the future (anxiety about that which has not even come). If you feel 'unsettled,' read this book . . .
Guest More than 1 year ago
As most of us know, Watts is historically one of the most significant writer's introducing the West to Eastern thought. Although 'The Book' may speak to a wider audience, this is the best English book on Eastern thought in terms of accesibility and comprehensiveness. It provides us a nice historical overview of the evolution of this type of consciousness and explains the main messages of various 'Eastern' schools of thought in a way that most of us Western minds can comprehend. Because of this, I use this as a book as one of the texts in my class of Eastern philosophy. Another book I use for this class is a book called 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato. It is an excellent book that provides a nice bridge between Western thought and Eastern thought in a way that students can understand and appreciate. If you are truly interested in Eastern thought, I believe that these two books are two pieces of essential reading.
Aaron Knight More than 1 year ago
Well written. Wide ranging. Includes history and great examples of Zen teaching along with the comments and explanatory summaries of the author.
Inkwirer More than 1 year ago
Surprised why the guy doesn't have a doctorate on the matter. I checked out most the things he wrote and their all spot on when it came to the buddhism terms, quotes and important figures. Not usually one to cross-check someone else's body of work but one can't really be sure these days as even the all-mighty Oprah's been duped by someone clever enough to wield a keyboard and printer.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It has become fashionable among those who speak in the electronic media, and other illiterates, to drop the initial article. But you would think a bookseller would try to get the title of a book right. This book was my initial introduction to Zen Buddhism. It warrants frequent rereadings. Watts was a certain kind of genius.