These ruminations, assembled in the form of a journal and here published in paperback for the first time, were written at Alan Watts' retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais, California. Many current themes are discussed, including meditation, nature, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, and the nature of ecstasy, but the underlying motif is the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Watts suggests a way of contemplative meditation in which we temporarily stop naming and classifying all that we experience, and simply feel it as it is.
Alan W. Watts, who held both a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best remembered as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and of Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. Standing apart, however, from sectarian membership, he has earned the reputation of being one of the most original and “unrutted” philosophers of the twentieth century. Watts was the author of some twenty books on the philosophy and psychology of religion that have been published in many languages throughout the world, including the bestselling The Way of Zen. An avid lecturer, Watts appeared regularly on the radio and hosted the popular television series, Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life, in the 1960s. He died in 1973.