The Way of Zen

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1999 - Philosophy - 236 pages
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dh-writer - www.librarything.com

Skimmed it, so four stars is based on overall impression. Looks like a good book for looking at Zen, beginner or advanced practitioner. I wasn't ready for this at this time. Read full review

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

Contents

The Philosophy of the Tao
3
The Origins of Buddhism
29
Mahayana Buddhism
57
Copyright

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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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