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The Way of Zen

256 pages, 1999



711 books
spirituality & religion

spirituality & religion

408 books

In his introduction to Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts writes about the principles and practices of this ancient religion in a manner that is fresh, lucid, and compelling. In The Way of Zen , Watts presents a rare combination of clarity and excitement about this Eastern tradition that readers everywhere can appreciate. He saw Zen as “one of the most precious gifts of Asia to the world,” and in this book he gives this gift to everyone.

Understanding Zen

Alan Watts introduces us to the concept of Zen, a spiritual path that originated in China and Japan. He explains that Zen is not a religion or philosophy, but a way of life that emphasizes direct experience and living in the present moment. It's a great book to explore if you're interested in learning about Eastern spirituality.

The Importance of the Present Moment

One of the key messages in The Way of Zen is the importance of living in the present moment. Watts explains that Zen teaches us to let go of our worries about the past and future, and to focus on the here and now. This can help us find peace and happiness in our daily lives.

The Role of Meditation

Meditation plays a crucial role in Zen, and Alan Watts does a great job explaining why. He shows us that meditation is not about emptying our minds or achieving a certain state, but about simply being aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment. If you're curious about meditation, this book is a great place to start.

Zen and Art

In The Way of Zen, you'll also find a fascinating exploration of the relationship between Zen and art. Watts explains that in Zen, art is not just about creating beautiful objects, but about expressing our true nature and seeing the world with fresh eyes. This can inspire us to look at art - and life - in a whole new way.

The Paradox of Zen

Finally, Watts digs into the paradox at the heart of Zen: that we are already perfect and complete, just as we are. He explains that Zen teaches us to let go of our constant striving and to accept ourselves fully. This can be a powerful and liberating idea, and it's one of the many reasons why The Way of Zen is worth checking out.


Nat Eliason

Nat Eliason


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