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The Way of Zen

Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

Non-member price: $29.06

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Publisher's Summary

Discover how the understanding and practice of Zen can bring peace and enlightenment into your daily life in this classic work.

Narrated by Sean Runnette, this audio program presents Alan Watts's classic bestseller, introducing Western listeners to Zen Buddhism and elaborating on the key concepts including:

  • The history of Zen
  • The principles and practice of Zen
  • The tradition of Za-Zen (meditation) and the Koan
  • The integration of Zen into every aspect of life
  • The Way of Zen presents an understandable, inspirational, and spiritually rewarding exploration of Zen Buddhism—a way of liberation—that may be one of the most precious gifts of Asia to the world.

    ©1957 Pantheon Books (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

    What members say

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    Profile Image for K. Briggs
    • K. Briggs
    • 10-09-2016

    Good - But Not For The "Beginner"

    This book had a good overall scope of Zen, however as a "beginner" I found it hard to follow at times. Those with a deeper understanding in their journey would probably benefit more than I did. I may try it again at another point in my studies.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    • Glen
    • 06-07-2016

    Intersting, but way over my head.

    I'm just starting my journey studying Zen. I feel this book would have been better suited, and understood, if it wasn't the first book I read on the subject.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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      3 out of 5 stars
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    • Remington870
    • 14-04-2018

    Too Much of a Good Thing?

    There is a lot of information here. As a casual read, it might be okay, but listening from start to finish ,while driving (over the course of 2 days), was a task...definitely not a light read. Having said this, in small doses, you may enjoy it...it is just soooooo much to digest...think of reading an encyclopedia...very dry.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    • Matt Herman
    • 05-01-2018

    Not the best book to be heard

    I like this book overall but the first few hours were not well suited to be heard. Those hours were filled with definitions of words of many different origins such as Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. I found myself drifting off during those sections. The rest of the book was very enjoyable and communicated succinctly the history and essence of zen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    • Aaron
    • 20-11-2018

    Great read

    I love the writings of Alan Watts. It was strange to hear them from any voice other than his.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • Richard Williams
    • 16-06-2018

    Not as good

    The one narrated by Blum is better! This is dry and the narration is not nearly as good

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • Jackson
    • 21-04-2017

    Ok but takeaway not clear

    I think seeing the words would have been better than listening. I got some cool concepts from the book and learned a few things but the middle part of the book was too slow to keep my attention. I would have liked more explanation related to how to think of zen in the modern context. In that way the book seemed more on it's own in abstraction than relating to the reader on a deeper level. I'm still interested in the subject and the book enhanced my interest in some ways, but overall I wouldn't recommend this book highly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • virtualbuyer
    • 27-03-2015

    One of the best books

    Where does The Way of Zen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is in my TOP 10 list of all books.

    Any additional comments?

    It is the a great book about the history the history and the evolution of ZEN into its stage, which is known today. Especially the way Watts not describes it and talks about the non-describable aspects, the gaps between things in the context of eastern and western mindset make it a timeless source of inspiration.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    • Byron Jorjorian
    • 20-05-2015

    Great history and definition of Zen

    Amazing book! The last chapter is almost a standalone book on Zen and well worth the money

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    • Jose Pepe
    • 21-10-2019

    Alan Watts expressing Zen while getting out of the way.

    This is Alan Watts first book, as far as I know, and it is a wonderful exposition about Zen (starting from Ch’an), its way of life and how it has been permeating life ever since Bodhidharma brought it from India to China, and before, with Taoism in China.

    Highly recommended.

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    • laughing fingers
    • 03-04-2017

    Excellent introduction

    Written with insight to both eastern and western mindsets. I enjoyed every bit of it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    • Andrew Dawson
    • 31-03-2018

    Breathtaking

    Very profound read, to those who agree or disagree with the message it should still strike some intrigue. I want to read it again now. My own personal monk master

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • DaveDude1975
    • 03-08-2017

    if your into zen youll be into this

    good insight to the way of zen, how you apply it in your life is your own choice, even if you have moments of zen youll benefit from this state of mind.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    • C. Saba
    • 08-09-2016

    An illuminating book that I'll have to listen to several times

    As the books discusses the more I try to grasp the ideas it describes the more illusive the concepts seem to be. I think the narrator is perfect. I'll be listening to this several times to hopefully get a Zen-like appreciation of its message.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    • Amazon Customer
    • 18-04-2019

    loved it

    lovely words and voice perfect for relaxing . very good listen
    I will recommend to everyone

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    • Mr. J. Johnson
    • 11-02-2019

    Hated the narration

    The material is interesting. I've read and found Watts work interesting, though not always accurate. But I couldn't stand the narration. The narration is clear, but it lacks emotion and intonation making it a bit too clinical a listen. Audible is good about allowing returns on purchases, but I wasn't aware of this until much later after buying this purchase. I've tried listening to this one multiple times, but it either irritates or ends up putting me to sleep. But I learnt an important lesson to listen to the samples before buying. Sadly the same narrator also narrates the zen classic the three pillars of zen meaning I can't get another zen classic on audible.

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    • Peter Morris
    • 24-08-2018

    A good introduction to Zen

    A concise, objective history of Buddhism and the inception of Zen. Lengthy historical accounts are balanced by parables and koans which often call for sections to be repeated or paused. The reader is ultimately left with a modest appreciation of Zen and an understanding of how it developed from Eastern traditions. Well-narrated, which is particularly evident in the clear pronunciation of Chinese terms.

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    • David
    • 12-08-2018

    a brilliant insight into the world of Zen Buddhism

    The content is superb and insightful. The narration is expertly done.
    An effortless listen .

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    • Brother Yonten
    • 15-06-2018

    A wonderful explanation of Zen

    An old print but is as full & as empty as Zen, well recommended 🙏