The Way of Zen

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Feb 16, 2011 - Philosophy - 256 pages
13 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - albertgoldfain - LibraryThing

A concise history that takes great pains to distance the subject matter from traditional western readings of Zen and Buddhism, and in so doing, detach the practice from exoticism, nihilism or anti ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - texasstorm - LibraryThing

I found this to be more difficult than I expected, though there were parts that switched on light bulbs for me. I liked the last chapter best, about Zen art. Much of the book refers to the ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Alan W. Watts, who held both a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best remembered as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and of Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. Standing apart, however, from sectarian membership, he has earned the reputation of being one of the most original and “unrutted” philosophers of the twentieth century. Watts was the author of some twenty books on the philosophy and psychology of religion that have been published in many languages throughout the world, including the bestselling The Way of Zen. An avid lecturer, Watts appeared regularly on the radio and hosted the popular television series, Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life,in the 1960s. He died in 1973.

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