Alan Watts was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker. Best known for making Eastern philosophy digestible to Western minds, his radio broadcasts, books and talks turned people on to new ways of thinking. He introduced the youth culture to The Way of Zen, he put forward the idea that Buddhism could be seen as a form of psychotherapy rather than a religion, he engaged with and explored ideas of human consciousness as well as man’s relationship with nature…to me at least he embodies the world-thinker, astride cultures, taking what is relevant or useful and leaving the dogma. He died in 1973 at the age of 58, at his cabin on Mount Tamalpais. Recently though, people have been setting extracts from his lectures to animations and montages, uploading them to YouTube where his words are enjoying a renaissance...
[youtube=http://youtu.be/Ktt0Nvx5IhE&w=700] NB: There are 19 major religions around the world today. These religions are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups. These groups divide further into thousands of off shoots.
The Buddhist view takes the function of work to be at least threefold: to give man a chance to utilise and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his ego-centredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence.…To organise work in such a manner that it becomes meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-wracking for the worker would be little short of criminal; it would indicate a greater concern with goods than with people, an evil lack of passion, and a soul-destroying degree of attachment to the most primitive side of his worldly existence. Man is small, and, therefore, small is beautiful.
-Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher (via)
I was in Waterstones thinking about a friend who was a little bit blue before Christmas. Not badly, just a little bit. I wandered over to the poetry section to play lottery - you know, when you choose a book at random and a page at random to see if you get a message. This was the one I found. It has delighted, comforted and inspired me by turns since then. It's an excerpt from Call Me by My True Names by modern Buddhist poet Thich Nhat Hanh, and it's about... well, you work it out: The Good News
They don't publish the good news. The good news is published by us. We have a special edition every moment, and we need you to read it. The good news is that you are alive, and the linden tree is still there, standing firm in the harsh Winter. The good news is that you have wonderful eyes to touch the blue sky. The good news is that your child is there before you, and your arms are available: hugging is possible. They only print what is wrong. Look at each of our special editions. We always offer the things that are not wrong. We want you to benefit from them and help protect them. The dandelion is there by the sidewalk, smiling its wondrous smile, singing the song of eternity. Listen! You have ears that can hear it. Bow your head. Listen to it. Leave behind the world of sorrow and preoccupation and get free. The latest good news is that you can do it.
— Thich Nhat Hanh