Alan Watts

Zen and the Beat Way

When Jack Karouac wrote about Zen in Dharma Bums he was echoing the sentiments of the Beat generation, who found in Zen credence for a way of life unencumbered by the limits of “square” society. And it was Alan Watts who first wrote and spoke about Zen and Eastern culture in terms accessible to mainstream Western audiences.
Through his popular radio series Way Beyond the West Alan Watts brought listeners a delightful and practical side of Zen, which he prescribed as “a cure for education and culture.” By the early sixties his radio programs were renowned for their synthesis of Eastern wisdom and everyday life. Several of these radio talks have been selected and edited by Mark Watts, Alan's oldest son, to introduce a new generation to Zen and the Beat Way.
Through this collection we see influences of D.T. Suzuki, C.G. Jung, Gary Snyder and others. Specific chapters discuss Zen influences on traditional Japanese and Chinese arts and explore the celebrated concept of the “controlled accident” within the rich tradition of Zen aesthetics. Also included is “Return to the Forest,” an essay that explores the works of Joseph Campbell on the earliest Beat tradition.
115 printed pages
Original publication

Related books



    How did you like the book?

    Sign in or Register


    Alina Chehas quotedlast month
    world's first great psychotherapist for recognizing the psychological trap inherent in any view of a divine self.
    Brett Townsendhas quoted2 months ago
    As one becomes familiar with the religious psychologies in play, it is apparent that the unity of the human and the divine is embodied in the emergence of the individual from the dreaming of the godhead. This view is the essence of Hinduism and, ultimately, Buddhism. By contrast, the myths of creation adopted by the West place man on the earth beneath the celestial throne of an almighty Lord of the Heavens, to whom we owe not only our existence but also our complete obedience. Any aspiration or emulation of the deity is coupled with a fundamental separation from the deity.
    b1247331843has quoted3 months ago
    The result of this fantastic division between work and play is that work becomes drudgery, and play becomes empty.

On the bookshelves

    Senem Cengiz
    • 2.3K
    • 12
    Mike Kirkeby Pedersen
    Alan Watts
    • 8
    • 3
    Lasse Nielsen
    • 16
    • 2
    Senem Cengiz
    • 28
    • 2
    Mikael Fischer Lassen
    Eastern Philosophy
    • 18
    • 1
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)