The Way of Zen

English language

Published Jan. 26, 1999


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4 stars (4 reviews)

The Way of Zen is a 1957 non-fiction book on Zen Buddhism and Eastern philosophy by philosopher and religious scholar Alan Watts. It was a bestseller and played a major role in introducing Buddhism to a mostly young, Western audience.

2 editions

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5 stars

But reflection is also action, and Yün-men might also have said, “In acting, just act. In thinking, just think. Above all, don’t wobble.” In other words, if one is going to reflect, just reflect–but do not reflect about reflecting. Yet Zen would agree that reflection about reflection is also action–provided that in doing it we do just that, and do not tend to drift off into the infinite regression of trying always to stand above or outside the level upon which we are acting. Thus Zen is also a liberation from the dualism of thought and action, for it thinks as it acts–with the same quality of abandon, commitment, or faith. The attitude of wu-hsin is by no means an anti-intellectualist exclusion of thinking. Wu-hsin is action on any level whatsoever, physical or psychic, without trying at the same moment to observe and check the action from outside. This attempt …

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