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The Way of Zen (Arkana) Paperback – 27 Sep 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Arkana; New edition edition (27 Sep 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140192557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140192551
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 957,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About 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 the 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 33 books which have been translated into eleven languages. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Zen Buddhism is a way and a view of life which does not belong to any of the formal categories of modern Western thought. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 April 2000
Format: Paperback
This book delivers a lucid and detailed insight into the development of Zen Buddhism and the development of far-eastern philosophy as a whole, as well as describing its continued practice today and the influence it has had upon Japenese Culture.
Although written in the 50s, this book is still valid and worth reading today, it is a great introduction into the subject but at the same time contains enough facts and figures about the great masters of Zen to still make it useful to the already serious student.
Occasionally hard going to follow, especially when it details the philosophical conundrums which lie at the heart of Zen, it is nevertheless a very rewarding read and I recommend it to any one who is a fan of the author or has an interest in Eastern thought.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David on 7 April 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I know very little about Zen or Buddhism, so I can't comment on the accuracy, but I do feel I know significantly more than before, and I found the style very friendly and approachable. I thought it made a good introduction.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. K. Yeoman on 27 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Easy to read with excellent background information on the origins of Zen. The best book I have come across for a westerner to get a handle on Zen Buddhism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EvansJJ on 7 Dec 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
A peace inducing book written by Alan Watts, one of my favourite authors on the topic of Buddhism and Zen. I am an amateur when it comes to this way of life, but I do feel attracted to what it teaches, so this book was a very good way to start my journey towards a calmer mind and a more detached approach to life. The topics approached are clearly and simply presented and they help you understand that most of our troubles stem from our ego, our attachment to our thoughts and to our fears. But, as Alan watts says, we should get closer to our consciousness, to the stillness of the mind that can be found underneath all these layers of chaotic and loud thoughts and learn to separate the thoughts from the energy within.

Even though I am far from putting these teachings into practice, the fact that they ring true is a very important first step, because I understand them with my gut, not with my reason and so soon enough I hope that through meditation I will be able to reach at least a tenth of Alan Watt's wisdom and peace.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carlo on 6 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
Like most books on Buddhism it can be a little hard going in parts. The first 2 chapters are a fairly easy read but as soon as you hit chapter 3 (Mahayana Buddhism) you may get bogged down unless you're already hot on this topic.

There are lists and lists of references to historical Zen practitioners/masters which maybe got in the way a little of my aim to understand 'The way of Zen'.

I still haven't fathomed out the 'koan' principle. Maybe I'm not supposed to?

My fascination with Buddhism and Alan Watts tells me it deserves a second read.
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