View Full Version : Alan Watts

12 Nov 18, 00:48
Hi folks, I have been doing a bit of reading on Zen Buddhism, and of course, Alan Watts is mentioned. I wonder what everyone's take is on him? I know he's rather controversial, but what do you think about his writings (not his substance use)? :bow:

12 Nov 18, 05:19
Hi Lise,

I watched a couple of videos of the late Alan Watts and read something or other of his quite a number of years ago - and apart from the fact that he used psychedelics and was a known alcoholic, I remember at the time having the impression that he seemed like a phoney. I couldn't get my head around the idea of a supposed Buddhist "teacher" being addicted to alcohol.

I've no other reflections apart from that, sorry I can't be more helpful.


12 Nov 18, 13:05
I know little about his lifestyle, and don't really care much about that: it is his karma.

I found his writing to be very clear. It has been a long time since I ready any of it, so I can't remember details. However, it was Watts' writing that got me interested in Buddhism in the first place. That was about 40 years ago! So I have kind of a soft spot in my heart for him.

Om mani padme hum

12 Nov 18, 16:41
I read Alan Watts as well. Yes , he had issues but even a “ bad Buddhist “May from time to time have something pertinent to say...

Even a bad book requires thought.

12 Nov 18, 18:48
Thank you everyone. This gives me pause for thought. :up2:

15 Nov 18, 12:41
He was a great entertainer, add a delightful way of mixing philosophy and humour, he was a breath of fresh air in the thought world!

18 Nov 18, 16:02
My first introduction to Buddhism through Zen included AW's beatnik approach. At the time I thought he was OK and even helpful to my transition from Christian to Buddhist thought-worlds. Later when I looked deeper into what the Buddha actually taught, the muddle of Beat-Buddhism with anything you like, fell away.