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Still the Mind

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  599 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
During the last decade of his life, Alan Watts lectured extensively as he traveled across the country. He often accompanied his talks with guided meditation sessions and contemplative rituals designed to instruct his audiences in the art of meditation; Still the Mind is drawn from recordings of those lectures, meditations, and rituals. Watts's son Mark edited more than 800 ...more
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Published February 1st 2010 by New World Library (first published 2000)
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Shannon
Aug 02, 2015 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in buddhism/meditation, tortla
Shelves: favorites, own, fix-me
Very enjoyable and lighthearted and insightful/deep at the same time. Alan Watts sounds like he was a great guy. I wanted to quote a lot of this book, but it seriously would have been like every line in the book. I think my lilbro would like this.
Matt Vandegriff
I love Alan Watts. This book is more of an edited collection of bits of lectures and writing compiled not by Alan. As such it's not as focused and doesn't have the thorough digestion of topic that his other true books possess which explains my average rating. I would suggest, for a Watts newcomer, to start with Wisdom of Insecurity or The Book on the Taboo of Knowing Who You Are.
Bryan Duffy
Sep 28, 2007 Bryan Duffy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People intersted in Meditation
This book was the first Alan Watts book I read. Its more like a daily reminder book. Its bits and pieces of his lectures put into a book. Its good to carry around with you if you are having a confusing day. Something to go to and just get lost in.

Its not really a HOW TO book per say, but it is A HOW TO HOW TO Book.

Thats the best way I can describe it.

Read other books by him first.

Once again,
Positive Reading.
Hans
Excellent read. Alan Watts has incredible talent presenting his ideas with great lucidity. I am a big fan. Enjoy how he can take difficult concepts, especially for the western mind, and make them seem if not obvious at least intelligible.
Ben
Dec 06, 2010 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent, non-methodical, musing on the essence of meditation itself, and a great introduction into the mind and teachings of Alan Watts. Playful yet deep, simple yet transforming, this is a short book with endless meaning.
Nisha
Jan 29, 2013 Nisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, buddhism
A lovely and amusing lecture by Mr. Watts, but I don't know why this is titled as an introduction to meditation. I doubt a beginner would find much useful here, but it's an enjoyable deconstruction of self and effort.
Teddy
Sep 05, 2010 Teddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good introduction to meditation. Ironically, it gave me a lot to think about not thinking.
Matt Rydeen
Jun 07, 2015 Matt Rydeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking and perspective-shifting.
Catie
Jul 19, 2015 Catie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The whole energy of the universe is coming at you and through you, and you are that energy."

"We may think we will become nothing, but what we don't realize is that nothing, in its own way, is as important as something."

"People become concerned with being more humble than other people."

After all, to be human you have to have within you a touch of rascality."

"A person who is looking for peace is obviously in turmoil."

"If you want to see something clearly, you relax, and instead of making an effor
...more
James
Aug 20, 2011 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
I don't think it is overstating that the biggest challenge to robust Christian commitment in America today is its fascination with Eastern religion, often morphing on American soil. Alan Watts was a popularizer of Zen Buddhism in the 60's and 70's. This book is a compilation of lectures that Watts delivered on the topic of meditation. As you would expect, there is a great deal of practical wisdom and social critique. The non-striving, non-manipulating approach to meditation is instructive for Ch ...more
Eric
Sep 26, 2007 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: meditators, philosophers

Not for everyone, it's more of Watts' personal take on letting go and living in the 'Eternal Now' than a practical guide on exactly what to do in order to meditate. I find it an interesting take on why a person would engage in meditation, but if you're like me you'll also want a guidebook with specific instruction on how to sit, breathe, etc., exactly what to do. It's interesting but limited in its usefulness, at least it was for me.
Scott
Dec 08, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this is a transcription of talks Alan Watts gave, the material is great. Like the Jon Kabat-Zinn book I just finished, Watts puts the focus on just being with each moment - including all the noise in one's head - to acknowledge it happening as it happens and become centered.
Omri
Feb 17, 2010 Omri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful introduction to the philosophy of Alan Watts, which seamlessly brings Eastern ideas to a Western audience.

"Alan Watts is able to use words to take us beyond them."
Ross Cohen
Apr 06, 2016 Ross Cohen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unpretentious and illuminating.
Ankur Banerjee
Mar 02, 2013 Ankur Banerjee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy and simple in words and quite enlightening, without going too much into terminology. Many one-liners that sum up Zen concepts succinctly.
Daniel
Jun 21, 2014 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable perspective on Zen, existence, wholeness, the illusion of separateness, mindfulness, and enjoyment. Oh he good.
4 "i"
Jun 25, 2008 4 "i" rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read for those trying to grasp meditation and it's value to the human experience.
Cody Cummings
Beautifully written. The perfect guide to any kind of meaningful meditation practice.
Joshua Mitchell
Jan 15, 2014 Joshua Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love his work. Very interesting and straight forward. Very easy to read!
Jilles
Oct 29, 2015 Jilles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and very insightful book about meditation.
Mary
Jan 19, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book where the forest is greater than the trees. At times, the book is impossible to figure out but if you stick with it, the while philosophical outlook, which combines a kind of positive existentialism with Buddhism, becomes more clear. It's one of those books that says things like you are nothing and your are all, which sounds like it makes no sense but Watts eventually elaborates such that it starts to make some sense. This is not a trendy self help book at all.
Min
Oct 12, 2015 Min rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The majority of the book, the first two chapters, is about slipping one into a Zen perspective of reality and the meaning of 'I'. The last two chapters give a grounding for someone new to the very idea of meditation. Watts is articulate expressing Buddhist ideas to Westerns. I hoped the book would focus more on meditation itself. That was far too brief a section.
Cherie
May 19, 2016 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not really a guide for meditation as much as an interesting book for meditators to read. He basically "tells you" how to meditate in two pages towards the back, but there's lots of other super interesting things about meditation, thought processes, and attitudes. More of a guide for living.
Danielle
An interesting introduction to meditation theory, but I was looking for meditation practice.
Kara
I thought this book was total gibberish. The author was able to speak for a surprisingly long time and say absolutely nothing.
Cory Mathews
Jun 17, 2014 Cory Mathews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent. will reread in a few months to absorb more.
Syl
Jan 25, 2015 Syl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, makes you think about life, but still has a philosophy that seems weird to me.
Kathryn
Oct 13, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nothing too profound or unexpected here. Charlotte Joko Beck does this brand of Zen writing much better... Watts is at his best in the more philosophical strain, in my opinion.
Donald
Aug 22, 2009 Donald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This really isn't an introduction to meditating.

But Alan's philosophical ideas and his articulation of them make this worth listening to.
Ryan
Nov 17, 2007 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: solo camping? take this.
Great reading if you're spending any time in a tent by yourself for any extended amount of time.
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Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer and speaker, who held both a Master's in Theology and a Doctorate of Divinity. Famous for his research on comparative religion, he was best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Asian philosophies for a Western audience. He wrote over 25 books and numerous articles on subjects such as personal identity, the true nature of reality, higher con ...more
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“People become concerned with being more humble than other people.” 52 likes
“when somebody plays music, you listen. you just follow those sounds, and eventually you understand the music. the point can't be explained in words because music is not words, but after listening for a while, you understand the point of it, and that point is the music itself. in exactly the same way, you can listen to all experiences.” 23 likes
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