ancestors

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    Alan Watts Reconsidered Paid Member

    At the meditation center where I used to practice, my teacher told a story about a time when he had lived in Korea and studied with a Zen monk. One of the nuns in the community had died, and at her funeral the monk wept uncontrollably and hysterically, in a way that was almost embarrassing. My teacher, relatively new to the practice, was surprised that the man hadn't shown more equanimity, and brought the matter up at an interview. The monk burst into laughter. That nun had been a dear friend of his, he said. They had joined the community at the same time, and he was sad she was gone. He had expressed his grief when he felt it, and now could go on. Liberation wasn't a matter of acting some particular way, but feeling how you felt, whatever the situation. More »
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    The Sensualist Paid Member

    While the usually sleepy English village of Chislehurst was being bombarded by German aircraft in the early morning of January 6, 1915, Alan Watts—who was to become one of the foremost interpreters of ancient Eastern wisdom for the modern West—was born to Laurence Wilson Watts and Emily Mary Buchan. The elder Watts was an executive with the Michelin tire company in London, and his wife taught at a local school for daughters of missionaries to China. It was because of his mother that Alan had early exposure to Asian culture, via art and other gifts brought by parents returning from China. A Sinophile all his life, Alan attributed the start of his interest in the writings of Chinese poets and sages to his mother’s gift of a Chinese translation of the New Testament. More »
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    Remembering Alan Watts Paid Member

    The remarkable life of Zen pioneer Alan Watts [1915-1973] is featured in the Fall 2007 issue ("The Sensualist," by Mira Tweti). In this special web exclusive we celebrate the work and legacy of Watts with audio, video, and art by and about Alan Watts. Enjoy!   Alan Watts Theater. Several animated movies from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The image pictured is from an animation by Tim Sisco.   Also, take a look at the Alan Watts Story featuring his TV and autobiographic lecture series.   Excerpt from Eastern Wisdom. Modern Life by Alan Watts, published by New World Library.   More »
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    Lost Stories Paid Member

    My sangha chants a lineage of female ancestors, alternating day by day with our traditional lineage. When we began doing this a few years ago, it was like harvesting fruit from a very old tree. The seeds were planted when Mahapajapati became the first female Buddhist monk and leader of a thriving women’s monastic community in ancient India. From the beginning of my Soto Zen practice, I’ve known both male and female monks, priests and lay students, and have seen men and women holding equal ranks. In my own sangha, men and women serve in varying roles without gender distinction. More »
  • The Religion of Science Paid Member

    The Gospel of Buddha is a relatively small volume of passages culled from the Buddhist canon and arranged, like the biblical gospels, into “chapter and verse.” First published in 1894, by the turn of the century this collection was probably the single most popular Buddhist catechism in the world. By 1915 it was in its thirteenth English edition, with versions having appeared in Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Urdu. Its broad acceptance among Asian Buddhist leaders of the time was unprecedented: the Zen Master Shaku Soyen wrote that the Gospel which was then being used as a reader at Tokyo Imperial University, served the needs of Japanese students of Buddhism better than did the Buddhist scriptures themselves. More »