Sunday, March 17, 2019

Alan Watts: Zen Tales and Legends (video) (Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life); Roy of Hollywood Tuckman, "Something's Happening,"; Dhr. Seven, Ananda (D.M.I.), Crystal Q. (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly

Alan Watts: The Discipline of Zen (1960, full length)
The Partially Examined Life, Feb. 19, 2012
This episode from the 1960 season of Alan Watts' KQED television series Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life is entitled "The Discipline of Zen." The entire Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life series on DVD is available at
After the ecstasy, the laundry
Alan Watts was a native of England, who attended the King's School near Canterbury Cathedral. At the age of 14 he became fascinated with the philosophies of the Far East. By 16 he regularly attended the Buddhist Lodge in London, where he met Zen scholars Christmas Humphries and D. T. Suzuki.

As a speaker and contributor to the Lodge's journal, The Middle Way, he wrote a series of philosophical commentaries and published his first book on Eastern thought, The Spirit of Zen, at age 21. In the late 1930s he moved to New York, and a few years later he became an Episcopalian Christian priest.

In 1942 he moved to Illinois and spent the wartime years as chaplain at Northwestern University. Then, in 1950, he left the Church, and his life took a turn away from organized religion back toward Eastern ways and expanding horizons.

Here I am. Wasn't I?
After meeting author and mythologist Joseph Campbell and composer John Cage in New York, he headed to California and began teaching at the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco.

There his popular lectures spilled over into coffeehouse talks and appearances with the well-known beat writers Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg.

In late 1953 he began what would become the longest running series of Sunday morning public radio talks, which continue to to be broadcast to this day on with programs from the Alan Watts tape archives.

In the (sandy) Garden of Zen...
In 1957 he published the bestselling The Way of Zen, beginning a prolific 10-year period in which he wrote Nature, Man and Woman; Beat Zen, Square Zen and Zen; This Is It; Psychotherapy East and West; The Two Hands of God; The Joyous Cosmology; and The Book: On the Taboo against Knowing Who You Are.

By 1960 Watts's radio series Way Beyond the West on Berkeley's had an avid following on the West Coast, and NET television began national broadcasts of the series Eastern Wisdom in Modern Life.

The the first season, recorded in the studios of, a San Francisco TV station, focused on the relevance of Buddhism, and the second, on Zen and the arts.

Dharma Meditation Initiative: Thursday, March 28, 2019, 7:00-8:30 PM, FREE

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