Saturday, December 24, 2011

On "The Way of Zen" by Alan Watts ****

Alan Watts remains one of my favorite writers on the subject of Eastern religions. This book is one of the basics, going into the history of Zen and then some of its practices. I first read it back in graduate school while working on my thesis, and over the course of the past year, I have been rereading it. Having read it in such small chunks, however, I didn't get as much out of it as perhaps I did in the past. But then, Watts's writing is often best meditated on in small chunks--it isn't always easy to follow as a whole (though it is not difficult reading).

Although this may be a basic text, my favorite of his that I've read is probably still Psychotherapy East and West. There, Watts compares Western and Eastern thinking most clearly to me, as he discusses how principles of psychology are in some ways related to Eastern thought (and in some ways not). It's a text I think I will return to soon if I decide to reread more Watts.

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