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Alan Watts - Presence Of Mind

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Published on Oct 29, 2010

"Out of Your Mind" Lecture on "The World As Emptiness"

Here Watts puts on display his wide-ranging knowledge about Eastern and Western philosophy. Whether exploring the myth of ourselves based on our separation from others, the nature of selfishness, the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, or the illusion of the ego, Watts takes delight in demolishing the traps of conventional thinking. He asserts that we miss too much of the diversity and majesty of our experience when we close ourselves off to mystery, playfulness, and improvisation.

Watts hits high stride on the CDs where he charts the treasures of Zen, Hinduism, and Buddhism. This author was well-known for the sharpness of his insights into Zen as "the pathless path." Here he talks about the golden age of Zen, the Japanese Zen monastery, koans, and the truth of the birthless mind. On the two CDs on Hinduism, Watts explores self as play, the yogas, the four stages of life, shedding the masks, and gamesmanship in spiritual practice. On the last two CDs, he muses on The Four Noble Truths, the Eight-fold Path, the mystery of change, the world as void, and considering death.

Listening to these lectures, one cannot help but say a quiet note of thanks to this adventuresome spiritual explorer for his finely honed practice of hospitality. Thrilled with the transformation of consciousness and the mutual interdependence of all things, Watts was a generous interpreter of Eastern religions and the quest for meaning in the West.

Music
Thomas Newman - Track: Any other name - Album: American Beauty
Geoffrey Oryema - Track: Makambo - Album: Pure Moods
Jeff Beck - Track: A day in the life - Album: In My Life

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