Alan Watts on meditation

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Mason
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Mason » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:22 am

Thanks, very cool response! I'm not sure if what you're saying is right or wrong, but it does resonate. I'll have to chew on it. :hatsoff:
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:05 pm

Mason wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:22 am
Thanks, very cool response! I'm not sure if what you're saying is right or wrong, but it does resonate. I'll have to chew on it. :hatsoff:
Hahaha I love you pal!
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:25 am

clyde wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:22 pm
For some of us older practitioners Alan Watts was an early, if not ‘official’, Zen influence. I came upon this video in which Alan discusses meditation or “What happens If You Stop Talking To Yourself All The Time:
He never sat. His autobiography is clear on this.

He was a D.T. Suzuki wannabe (want-to-be).

Suzuki himself did not have the bottom-line. How much less so his emulator.

As I see it,

--Joe

p.s. But I found Watts' talks and books very entertaining (as far as they go/went). His best book I'd say is surely his first: BEHOLD THE SPIRIT: A STUDY IN THE NECESSITY OF MYSTICAL RELIGION (1947). But his "THE BOOK", is tremendous fun too, it is basic Hinduism, and has the virtue of being very brief. Recommended! :namaste: ;)

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by clyde » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:04 am

I remember The Book (subtitled: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are) fondly. I didn’t understand it all, but it seemed important - to me. It and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse were two books that led me to Zen Buddhism.

Alan had his faults and he wasn’t a Zen teacher, but he was bodhisattva.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:55 pm

clyde wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:04 am
I remember The Book (subtitled: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are) fondly. I didn’t understand it all, but it seemed important - to me. It and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse were two books that led me to Zen Buddhism.

Alan had his faults and he wasn’t a Zen teacher, but he was bodhisattva.
He used his education and status as ordained minister rather than Zen dharma transmission; there are quite a few recognized "teachers" who do exactly the same today. I see no real reason to accept a surgically precise definition of what at "teacher" is in Zen. Even some of the patriarchs didn't have transmission or lineage.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Larry
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Larry » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:43 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:25 am
Suzuki himself did not have the bottom-line.
What is the bottom-line?

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:02 pm

clyde wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:04 am

Alan had his faults and he wasn’t a Zen teacher, but he was bodhisattva.
Good description of most Zen teachers. :lol:
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:35 pm

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:55 pm
He used his education and status as ordained minister rather than Zen dharma transmission; there are quite a few recognized "teachers" who do exactly the same today. I see no real reason to accept a surgically precise definition of what at "teacher" is in Zen. Even some of the patriarchs didn't have transmission or lineage.
Watts did not claim to be a religious teacher, did not have a deep understanding of Zen, and wrote about religion to earn a living and explore what he was interested in as he would say. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong if it sparks a deeper interest. It is a terrible mistake to think anything more serious is going on. It would be like getting your only understanding of physics from DC Comics.

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:06 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:35 pm
It would be like getting your only understanding of physics from DC Comics.
:lol: :560:
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:21 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:35 pm
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:55 pm
He used his education and status as ordained minister rather than Zen dharma transmission; there are quite a few recognized "teachers" who do exactly the same today. I see no real reason to accept a surgically precise definition of what at "teacher" is in Zen. Even some of the patriarchs didn't have transmission or lineage.
Watts did not claim to be a religious teacher, did not have a deep understanding of Zen, and wrote about religion to earn a living and explore what he was interested in as he would say. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong if it sparks a deeper interest. It is a terrible mistake to think anything more serious is going on. It would be like getting your only understanding of physics from DC Comics.
You could say the same thing about most of the "Official Buddhist Teachers" especially the part about writing books for a living... also I prefer Marvel Comics, but I have to admit Batman The Dark Knight surpassed all other superhero movies.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:43 am

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:21 pm
Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:35 pm
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:55 pm
He used his education and status as ordained minister rather than Zen dharma transmission; there are quite a few recognized "teachers" who do exactly the same today. I see no real reason to accept a surgically precise definition of what at "teacher" is in Zen. Even some of the patriarchs didn't have transmission or lineage.
Watts did not claim to be a religious teacher, did not have a deep understanding of Zen, and wrote about religion to earn a living and explore what he was interested in as he would say. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong if it sparks a deeper interest. It is a terrible mistake to think anything more serious is going on. It would be like getting your only understanding of physics from DC Comics.
You could say the same thing about most of the "Official Buddhist Teachers" especially the part about writing books for a living... also I prefer Marvel Comics, but I have to admit Batman The Dark Knight surpassed all other superhero movies.
Well, I guess the question is recognized by whom. Ultimately it is up to the student.
Caveat emptor in all things. Someone who falsely claims a recommendation is just fraudster. Being recommended is not a guarantee, but it is a caution sign when some one teaches anything and no respected person in the field will recommend them.

There is a popular shaved head fellow who claimed to teach Zen as part of his mixture of various traditions because he had once been a student (just a student) of a Zen teacher. That Zen teacher publicly stated that this person did not a good understanding of Zen and should absolutely not be teaching Zen. To his credit, the person acknowledged the statement and purged mention of it from his materials. He has many paying students, but at least they are not being misled by other people into thinking they are studying Zen.

In Watts’ case he was not recommended as a teacher of Zen, did not claim to be a spiritual teacher or scholar, and should not be taken as such. He was a good, popular writer who may have pointed people towards a more serious interest in Buddhism. He had several personal problems, but he does not seem to have been malicious.

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by fuki » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:46 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:43 am

There is a popular shaved head fellow
That is funny, over diner tonight I had an internal joke with myself (I am my own favourite audience for my sit down comedy) and I was saying how funny it is that those bald headed zen teachers cut ignorant grass but almost never seem to grow awakened grass, so bald teachers are not trustworthy no matter how many other bald heads "confirm". :P
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:09 am

He was a celebrity author that fired up imaginations and turned people on to Zen, Taoism, as well as LSD, among other things. I kind of preferred Aldous Huxley, but Watts is still popular in the West for his portrayal of Zen. His idealization of the East however, is misleading and wrongheaded. We now know we are all equally human.
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by fuki » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:20 am

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:09 am
We now know we are all equally human.
How about "equally" biological forms, otherwise humans might have the insane (religious) ideas that somehow humans are not equal to grass, mosquitos etc
and equally only designates inequally, but ofcourse I understand the conventional and expedient usage of words like "equality"

"equality I spoke the word as if a wedding vow...."

It's kind of the same with popular extreme Buddhist ideas such as the "middle way" ;)
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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:34 pm

Hiya, Old Man,
Larry wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:43 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:25 am
Suzuki himself did not have the bottom-line.
What is the bottom-line?
Larry, brilliant! There you have your ...koan. Best wishes!!

--Joe

p.s. It's generally acknowledged -- not just by me -- that Prof. Suzuki gave mostly the Japanese Rinzai Zen picture. Wonderful! But this has misled a lot of people who would try to take up Zen Buddhist practice. I.e., not all zendos were/are Rinzai! Very many were influenced by Dogen's legacy, instead, and are Soto. Much of Ch'an was left out, and Japanese Soto Zen. So, ..."the bottom line"?, Larry? The bottom line might be a more comprehensive and variegated picture of Ch'an and Zen Buddhism; in other words, such as it really is, and has been. But, Kudos!, to Prof. D. T. Suzuki! Father Dumoulin has produced a nice history of Zen Buddhism, long ago. But much has also been done since to give a view of the living traditions, to the present. As I see it, -J. ;)

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:26 am

Yes, Clyde. I'd say Watts' THE BOOK is basic Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta, in fact, and so it's not Buddhist by any stretch.

But, tremendous fun. Memorable, indeed! Not to be missed, by all of you all who may have missed it so far (to date). Grab it! Closely!

--Joe
clyde wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:04 am
I remember The Book (subtitled: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are) fondly. I didn’t understand it all, but it seemed important - to me. It and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse were two books that led me to Zen Buddhism.

Alan had his faults and he wasn’t a Zen teacher, but he was bodhisattva.
Watts_The_Book.jpg
My skinny paperback copy, since 1973 or so. Time flies!

Get one for your back pocket!
.
Watts_The_Book.jpg (155.23 KiB) Viewed 283 times

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Larry » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:16 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:34 pm
It's generally acknowledged -- not just by me -- that Prof. Suzuki gave mostly the Japanese Rinzai Zen picture. Wonderful! But this has misled a lot of people who would try to take up Zen Buddhist practice. I.e., not all zendos were/are Rinzai! Very many were influenced by Dogen's legacy, instead, and are Soto. Much of Ch'an was left out, and Japanese Soto Zen. So, ..."the bottom line"?, Larry? The bottom line might be a more comprehensive and variegated picture of Ch'an and Zen Buddhism; in other words, such as it really is, and has been. But, Kudos!, to Prof. D. T. Suzuki! Father Dumoulin has produced a nice history of Zen Buddhism, long ago. But much has also been done since to give a view of the living traditions, to the present. As I see it, -J. ;)
You seem to agree with Jundo on that one :o

But I'm all for a bit of Rinzai propaganda :D

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:02 pm

Larry wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:16 pm
You seem to agree with Jundo on that one :o

But I'm all for a bit of Rinzai propaganda :D
Yessiree, Baba-Louie. Let's please sit a 7-day Rinzai sesshin together, you and I and others, ASAP, if not sooner.

We could contact Meido Roshi for their schedule, there. ;)

--Joe

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by Larry » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:25 pm

To be honest, I'm currently focusing more on Tibetan Dzogchen practice :o

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Re: Alan Watts on meditation

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:30 pm

Larry wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:25 pm
To be honest, I'm currently focusing more on Tibetan Dzogchen practice :o
:bow2:
Longchenpa, Milarepa, Nisargadatta, Rinzai etc etc that's even beyond "practise" to me, let alone mentioning them as if they'd belong to a certain school/sect/religion. But I get the "conventional language" human thingy. :lol:
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