Zen: The Best of Alan Watts

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Ratings: 8.39/10 from 109 users.

Storyline

Zen: The Best of Alan WattsA person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except faults, so he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions.

By thought I mean the chattering inside the skull; perpetual and compulsive repetition of words, of calculations, and symbols going on inside the head.

For as a result of confusing the real world of nature with mere signs, such as money, stocks and bonds, title deeds, and so forth. This is a disaster. Time to wake up.

Alan Watts (1915-1973) who held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best known as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and Indian and Chinese philosophy in general.

He authored more than 20 excellent books on the philosophy and psychology of religion, and lectured extensively, leaving behind a vast audio archive. With characteristic lucidity and humor Watts unravels the most obscure ontological and epistemological knots with the greatest of ease.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Andriy S

    Great meditation movie ! I enjoyed it when watching few weeks ago, forgot to leave review.
    pretty match about ZEN meditation and that life is all about present movie as it always was... hehe. Best if watched after meditation... Even without may offer some interesting insights. Recommend.

  • Lisa O

    Very good. I think Eckert Tolle must have been a fan of Alan Watts. His stuff is similar. I like Watt's style a little better. Wasn't Alan Watts friends with Timothy Leary? It'd be great to have some of his movies on here. I love his stuff!

  • Este

    Very few have had a background so well developed in Eastern and Western religion so as to explain the former to Western audiences. D.T. Suzuki and Chogyam Trungpa are often compared to Watts as promulgatora of Eastern thought in the West, but they didn't have the training in Western religion like Watts. Watts' teachings about Buddhism have been partly responsible for its flowering in the West, a feat well deserved. His eloquence was unmatched.

  • Mkenzy

    Watts is a confused person as you will Notice from this video, suggesting we have a purposeless exsistence. I can understand the benefits of meditation but the religious aspects of Zen (Buddhism) made me feel uncomfortable.

  • nameless

    Great and meaningful

  • Zombi

    Mkenzy- if you can't handle people's opinions other than your own, then don't seek them.

    This is a great and informative look at Zen for people who are unfamiliar.

  • MagicYogi

    Thanks so much for this video. I've been meditating on and off the last couple of years, and the last months have been such a struggle... I have made meditation so complicated, but now I've found its simple nature again,,, thank you...

  • yo

    Very interesting and educating documentary

  • Fly Poster

    Mkenzy's statement is misleading, and I have not even watched this yet; What I mean is, S/he offers no congruent arguement, but puts the idea in your mind that Watts is confused, This is called Weasel Phrasing.

    by all means draw your own conclusions, as I will.

  • Jenn

    I admire Alan Watts so much. His philosophies have had such a wonderful impact on my life. This is a must-watch for anyone, really.

  • moonstone

    sitting in a sunbeam, paiting and listening
    Beautiful.
    thank you

  • http://www.leonbasin.net Leonid B Basin

    This is an awesome introduction to Zen.
    Thank you!:)

  • Germanus

    I agree with Lisa O.
    Eckhert must have see this or maybe studied Alan Watts

  • K

    Eckhart Tolle actually experienced Zen

  • Bryan

    All this Zen peaceful stuff makes me ANGRY!
    j/k love

  • C M

    Great film, great man, great universe. 'The paradox between the desire of our consciousness to have meaning met with the isolation and nothingness of the universe' Live in the now man, live in the now.

  • Amy

    Why would someone blast someone on here for having an opinon about the clarity of the content spoken in the film and expressing his personal discomfort wtih religious overtones by telling the person to not listen to an opinion if he cannot handle a difference in opinion from his own? Does this seem not only rude, but paradoxical to anyone? Also, it is hypocrisy to suppress an opinion by saying the one making it should handle another's opinons w/respect. What a horrible muddled and fascist message.

  • alan_watts

    it's " A person who thinks constantly has nothing to think about except thoughts..."
    Very different, although ones thoughts could be about faults....

  • Guest

    He found his way...there are many, some with subtle differences, some with briges, some with inconsistency and many still to be found. I "guess" he died a happy man with many happy people around him for he allowed them to be themself around him.
    Watching the world we see what we are because it shows what "it" is.
    The universe sees what itself is watching us watching it.
    az

  • Guest

    There is nothing but a "NOW" even that is fleeting. The (unobserved) "past" is not a real thing, just thoughts, nothing that you can hold in your hand.

    And for the future, could be many, many possibilities because of probabilities, and even then tomorrow never comes, it will always be a "NOW"

  • His Forever

    Hum. Feeling philisophical are we, Mr. Razor? I'm in a rather anti-zen mood myself. I think I have a flesh eating bacterical infection (no joking)! Two days ago I had a pimple-like bump on my calf that I pinched and now it's got a hole with white flesh in it about the size of a BB with a scarlet red ring about the size of of quarter around it and swelling about the size of a grapefruit with tight hot redding skin. No one seems to be overly concerned but me! What are the chances!?! It's painful. I'm going to see a doctor in the morning as antibiotics haven't helped at all. If you weren't an atheist I'd request prayer! Seriously. :-(

    But my search of symptoms online say that you usually have a fever with a flesh eating bacterial infection, and it doesn't seem to have progressed much today, but what else could make an actual "hole" in your leg? I've never seen anything like it.

    Anyway, I'm quite sure I'd not like this documentary. I think I'll pass.

  • Guest

    Don't think any flesh eating bacteria is eating you up Charles.
    sounds like you may have a boil.
    Check your bedding, maybe you have some wild "demon" bugs up in your area, see what happens when demons are part of your life, they appear, yes? (LOL) anyway your symptoms sound like a boil. Swelling/inflammation, is not a good sign, forget about praying, see a doctor.

    Actually I myself am not into any "Zen" stuff either.

  • Guest

    While working on building a rock wall a while back, i got bit by some spider(i suppose) and the thing got itchy, swollen, turning red and hard. They put me on an antibiotic iv at the hospital. You need treatment asap.
    az

  • His Forever

    A boil? I always pray, but I'll also see a doctor as well. Perhaps you're right. I thought boils had puss in them, but there doesn't seem to be any "puss" coming out. It doesn't seem to be growing at the moment. Well see what it looks like in the morning. We have a clinic litterally in our front yard where training doctors come twice a week to practice on poor people, Mondays and Thursdays, almost for free.

    If I were in the US I'd say it as a bite from a Brown Recluse (perhaps a small one).

  • His Forever

    Mr. Razor: Most Boils and type II necrotizing fasciitis are both caused by Staph infections (one of several possible bacteria). Staph can be a flesh-eating infection. I'm on oral antibiotics now but the hole is about the size of a small pea now. I hope it's not a MRSA infection.

    I'm glad I know how to pray. It's a bit scary. I can't find any pictures on the net that look exactly like it. Even the doctor was a bit surprised at how it looked and was worried it would go septic, but I don't feel ill or feverish at all. I feel ok except for my leg.

  • Guest

    Seems like your wound is growing, apparently flesh eating disease called "Leishmaniasis" is on the rise, transmitted by sand flies, found in tropical countries and spreading, due to global warming. Since you do not have that, consider yourself lucky. Zen, and praying would not help.

  • His Forever

    Yes, I've seen some socking pictures doing research! I certainly don't have what those sand flies transmit, and that is usually to women and children as the sand flies like to be in an enclosed area rather than in the open windy areas outdoors where the men often sleep. Utterly horrendously disfiguring. Very heartbreaking!

    This is a staff infection (boil), I'm nearly sure now. My daughter also has some on her bottom and foot and earlobe, but certainly not like mine, thankfully. Nasty stuff! But she has a fever, so we need to make sure it's not from the staff infection. Life in the Philippines is difficult sometimes!

    I have seen people miraculously healed of things that even the doctors could not help like heart disease and cancer, but I also believe we need to avail ourselves of good healthcare when and where we can. And pray as well. Never leave God out of the equation. But I agree, Zen would not help.

    P.S. The reddening in the other area seems to be lessening. Perhaps the boil will get better now, but I'm not sure how it will close that hole.

  • His Forever

    I'm feeling much better now and the "hole" seems to be closing a bit. The antibiotics (and God's mercy) seem to be working. It was a bit scary for a while.

  • http://donaldsimons.blogspot.com/ Donald Simons

    At the top of this page, under Zen: The Best of Alan Watts, the first line is incorrect. You have Watts saying, "A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except faults--". It should be, "A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about but thoughts--" I have an audio tape of Watts saying this line, as proof.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Allen/100000414407024 Angela Allen

    It actually says (what you said) word for word in this documentary :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Allen/100000414407024 Angela Allen

    I experience Zen daily :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Allen/100000414407024 Angela Allen

    We are made uncomfortable by things we do not understand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roland-Juergen/100001721061621 Roland Juergen

    camping in the tao .......................my choice called DAO

  • JohnJameson

    Everything comes from nothing. Modern Cosmology has just discovered this. Heisenbergs uncertainty principle says this. The energy of the Vacumn. The Eternal now. All is change. What can I say. This not it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7AP275KDSVIBXXGDINVACSPV7Q Mona l

    Please correct the brief of this documentary.

    "A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except faults,"

    THOUGHTS, not FAULTS.

    Thank you!

  • http://profiles.google.com/showmereal g isaac

    i thought this was going to be funny :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ES5YFURR5VOTKTGHD4PIVYXPVI John

    Stop taking the antibiotics, and see how far "Gods mercy" will get you. If you really believe there is an invisible man using magical powers to heal you, then why bother with the antibiotics in the first place?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003295658773 Marino Guerieri

    he says that in the documentary also, somewhere at the beginning

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003295658773 Marino Guerieri

    technically speaking, there is no tommorow, there is only repetitive rising and falling of the sun which also is not permanent (it's just mind established pattern, while in reality sun could be destroyed so there would be no any kind of tommorows) :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003295658773 Marino Guerieri

    well if you think only about thoughts, it could be called fault just because it is meaningless. it's kind of mathematics business, where everything revolves around self imposed rules, and no real things to think about, only abstraction

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003295658773 Marino Guerieri

    all of these "orient" teachings are actually very similar, if not the same in the essence (and the essence would probably be something like "let it be" or "non-resistance", "allowing things", etc.)

  • martin maycock

    Simply put, too much talk goes on....this is a disaster..... time to shut up!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/RevFouad Fouad Aissani

    first time in my life practised meditation through a film , and I liked it !! :-D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1133607488 Mahsa Yzd

    living is not surviving! which he tried to say.amazing,I love him!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000853491970 Low Yaocong

    I have stumble upon gold. Truely grateful of him sharing his insight. And opening my mind. Truely grateful. May krama bless this man for his selfless thought and love that will breed so much positivity

  • http://www.facebook.com/lance.vonende Lance von Ende

    If you skip to 1:52 you can go striaght? to the Alan Watts material and skip all the producer's self aggrandizement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.lesniewski Justin Lesniewski

    Alan Watts has become the father I never had

  • Corrina Cutlip

    What the heck, I see movies that get a bad rating, that end up interesting. This movie I thought would be good from over the top ratings and I am in awe because this is so stupid, is is amazing. I need to make a movie. I am done watching this and not even going to finish it.

  • Lucas Keller

    Calling this s*upid reveals no faults in the film. only in you.

  • Jacek Walker

    Yet there is not much interest around staying in the here-and-now from what I see on a daily basis. People both young and old recur continously to all sort of tricks so not to be in the here-and-now.
    Sex, drugs, alcohol, tv, sports, shows are the most favourite ones. I wonder why...? They costs a lot of money, time and energy and yet the majority chooses those tricks rather than " be in the present moment" as E. Tolle says.
    Why so many chooses "silly distractions"" other "blissful here-and-now" ?
    This here-and-now phenomenon is nothing new btw. Jesus and Buddha, for example, thaught it long long time ago. Then many others in our times like Osho or Krishnamurti. And yet, and yet...

  • Your Maker

    Lol!!! "I need to make a movie" Go ahead. What would it be about? Barbies and cosmetics? Get real.

  • jay

    the opening quote is a misquote. should read "A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except THOUGHTS."

  • ralu

    They're trying to numb out an unpleasant emotion...boredom, loss, grief, anger, feeling overwhelmed. That's why people "distract" themselves.