The Way of Zen

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Vintage Books, Jan 1, 1999 - Philosophy - 236 pages
349 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.
"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

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This was the book I discovered at 15 that really changed my life. This is the real secret of life -to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work. Realize it is play. Read full review


The Philosophy of the Tao
The Origins of Buddhism
Mahayana Buddhism

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About the author (1999)

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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