Buddhism, the Religion of No-religion

Buddhism, the Religion of No-religion

The Edited Transcripts

Book - 1995
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Blackwell North Amer
In this dynamic series of lectures recorded in 1965 and 1969, Alan Watts joyfully takes us on an exploration of Buddhism, from its roots in India over 2,500 years ago to the explosion of interest in Zen and the Tibetan tradition in the West.
These lectures have been transcribed and edited by the author's son, Mark Watts, who also provides an introduction that sets them in their historical context. This book then begins with Journey From India, which presents a brief explanation of the Indian worldview and cosmology followed by a discussion of the important differences between Hinduism and Buddhism. The Middle Way offers an insight into the radical methods of the Mahayana, or "great vehicle," and reviews the basic Buddhist terms and teaching, including the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Alan Watts then turns his attention to Zen and Tibetan Buddhism in the remaining four chapters. In Religion of No-Religion he discusses how the Buddha taught the method of awakening through the experience of no-self, no-concept, and no-religion. This technique of short-circuiting the mind is seen today in the method of instruction centered upon Zen koans. In contrast to the intellectual methods of Zen, the Tibetan, or Vajrayana school, retained much more of the original Indian flavor of Mahayana Buddhism, and in Wisdom of the Mountains Watts provides an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by explaining its unique practices. In the final chapter, Transcending Duality, Alan Watts explores the male and female symbolism of Tantric yoga and explores the unity of polar opposites as a form of resonance.

Publisher: Boston : C.E. Tuttle, c1995
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780804830560
Characteristics: xii, 98 p. ; 23 cm


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alan gave a lot more lectures than made it into print during his lifetime. mark, his son, maintains control over the tapes of these lectures, and has gradually been distributing the result in the form of tapes, and books. alan was so clear in what he wrote i thought there could not possibly be anything further to learn from the man. But there is!! " Very vivid Tibetan paintings have a curious way of creating a state of mind, if you really start looking at them, that i can only call psychedelic. As you get into the detail, you will find there is nothing else quite like them. If you look closely at one, instead of its becoming fuzzy and fading out, it becomes clearer and more alive. You suddenly discover that what you thought was a blur was 16,000 maggots with bright eyes, and every eye was a deep jewel. Go down into those jewels, and you will find inside them cross-legged buddhas with aureoles around them and necklaces of human heads. And when you start looking at those heads, by Jove, you see another buddha sitting in every eye." " On the opposite extreme from the painful path is the mantra game. People who play this game say, ' It's so simple to do. It's a shortcut.' And they get into it, singing ' om mani padme hum,' for instance. Or, like the Pure Land Buddhists in Japan, they chant, ' Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu, Namu amida butsu, namu amida butsu, namu amida butsu' until it eventually becomes, ' Namanda, namanda, namanda, namanda,' and suddenly the chant is chanting them. What is the difference between chant and chanter,self and other, self-power and other-power, jiriki and tariki? It is all one. You pretend that it isn't because you have to. I say 'have to,' but really you do it in order to create the sensation of existence.


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