- These 50 Alan Watts quotes will blow your mind
- On Suffering
- On the Mind
- On the Meaning of Life
- On Faith
- Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Artists
- On Change
- On Love
- On You
- On Technology
- On the Universe
- On Problems
- On Decisions
- On the Human Problem
- On the Ego
- On Knowledge
- On Letting Go
- On Peace
- On Meditation
- On the Purpose of Life
- On Belief
- On Travel
- 48 Alan Watts Quotes That’ll Blow Your Mind
- Which are your favorite Alan Watts quotes? Leave a comment below.
- Past and Present Quotes
- 50 Quotes to Change Your Mindset!
- This Alan Watts’ Approach to Meditation Is Truly Eye-Opening
- Well, let’s begin with the practice itself. What’s the real definition of meditation?
- Alan Watts on meditation
- Regarding Alan Watts’ views on meditation, one might best illustrate it using one of his most well-known quotes:
- One only has to listen
These 50 Alan Watts quotes will blow your mind
If you’re looking for the best selection of Alan Watts quotes, then you’ll love this post.
I’ve personally scoured the Internet and found his top 50 most wise and powerful quotes.
And you can filter through the list to find the topics that most interest you.
Check them out:
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”
“Your body does not eliminate poisons by knowing their names. To try to control fear or depression or boredom by calling them names is to resort to superstition of trust in curses and invocations. It is so easy to see why this does not work. Obviously, we try to know, name, and define fear in order to make it “objective,” that is, separate from “I.””
On the Mind
“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”
“This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”
“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation.
We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is.
We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”
“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”
“…tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live.”
“Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality.”
“We must abandon completely the notion of blaming the past for any kind of situation we’re in and reverse our thinking and see that the past always flows back form the present. That now is the creative point of life.
So you see its the idea of forgiving somebody, you change the meaning of the past by doing that…Also watch the flow of music. The melody as its expressed is changed by notes that come later.
Just as the meaning of a sentence…you wait till later to find out what the sentence means…The present is always changing the past.”
“For unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy.
When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond.
You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, “Now, I’ve arrived!” Your entire education has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now.”
On the Meaning of Life
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Artists
“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is the country and there’s no chance for a pardon.
Write you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves.
Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”
“The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.”
“The only way to make sense change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
“No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.”
“Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.”
Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.
“What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”
“Trying to define yourself is trying to bite your own teeth.”
“But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.”
“The source of all light is in the eye.”
“You have seen that the universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game, and that there is no separate “you” to get something it, as if life were a bank to be robbed.
The only real “you” is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being.
For “you” is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that
come and go so that the vision is forever new.”
“You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.”
“Naturally, for a person who finds his identity in something other than his full organism is less than half a man. He is cut off from complete participation in nature. Instead of being a body, he ‘has’ a body. Instead of living and loving he ‘has’ instincts for survival and copulation.”
“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.”
“Man aspires to govern nature, but the more one studies ecology, the more absurd it seems to speak of any one feature of an organism, or of
an organism/environment field, as governing or ruling others.”
On the Universe
“We do not “come into” this world; we come it, as leaves from a tree.”
“Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything.”
“No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.”
“Look, here is a tree in the garden and every summer is produces apples, and we call it an apple tree because the tree “apples.” That’s what it does. Alright, now here is a solar system inside a galaxy, and one of the peculiarities of this solar system is that at least on the planet earth, the thing peoples! In just the same way that an apple tree apples!”
“As you make more and more powerful microscopic instruments, the universe has to get smaller and smaller in order to escape the investigation. Just as when the telescopes become more and more powerful, the galaxies have to recede in order to get away from the telescopes.
Because what is happening in all these investigations is this: Through us and through our eyes and senses, the universe is looking at itself. And when you try to turn around to see your own head, what happens? It runs away. You can’t get at it. This is the principle.
Shankara explains it beautifully in his commentary on the Kenopanishad where he says ‘That which is the Knower, the ground of all knowledge, is never itself an object of knowledge.’
[In this quote from 1973 Watts, remarkably, essentially anticipates the discovery (in the late 1990’s) of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.]”
― Alan Watts
“Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.
“We feel that our actions are voluntary when they follow a decision and involuntary when they happen without decision. But if a decision itself were voluntary every decision would have to be preceded by a decision to decide – An infinite regression which fortunately does not occur. Oddly enough, if we had to decide to decide, we would not be free to decide”
“For if you know what you want, and will be content with it, you can be trusted. But if you do not know, your desires are limitless and no one can tell how to deal with you. Nothing satisfies an individual incapable of enjoyment.”
On the Human Problem
“This, then, is the human problem: there is a price to be paid for every increase in consciousness. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain. By remembering the past we can plan for the future.
But the ability to plan for the future is offset by the “ability” to dread pain and to fear of the unknown. Furthermore, the growth of an acute sense of the past and future gives us a corresponding dim sense of the present.
In other words, we seem to reach a point where the advantages of being conscious are outweighed by its disadvantages, where extreme sensitivity makes us unadaptable.”
On the Ego
“Your body does not eliminate poisons by knowing their names. To try to control fear or depression or boredom by calling them names is to resort to superstition of trust in curses and invocations. It is so easy to see why this does not work. Obviously, we try to know, name, and define fear in order to make it “objective,” that is, separate from “I.”
“There was a young man who said though, it seems that I know that I know, but what I would to see is the I that knows me when I know that I know that I know.”
On Letting Go
“But you cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket.
If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run.
To “have” running water you must let go of it and let it run.”
“Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
“When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”
“The art of meditation is a way of getting into touch with reality, and the reason for it is that most civilized people are touch with reality because they confuse the world as it with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it.
For on the one hand there is the real world and on the other there is a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds.
These are very very useful symbols, all civilization depends on them, but all good things they have their disadvantages, and the principle disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality, just as we confuse money with actual wealth.”
On the Purpose of Life
“No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them.”
“Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on.”
“Belief…is the insistence that the truth is what one would ‘lief’ or (will or) wish to be…Faith is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith let’s go…faith is the essential virtue of science, and wise of any religion that is not self-deception.”
“Belief clings, but faith lets go.”
“To travel is to be alive, but to get somewhere is to be dead, for as our own proverb says, “To travel well is better than to arrive.”
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48 Alan Watts Quotes That’ll Blow Your Mind
Alan Watts was a British philosopher, speaker and author;
Watts passed away in 1973, but his legacy lives on through his many inspirational speeches, some of which have millions of views on .
Which are your favorite Alan Watts quotes? Leave a comment below.
Past and Present Quotes
1. Praises for our past triumphs are as feathers to a dead bird. -Paul Eldridge
2. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. -Lesley Hartley
3. The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it. -Mignon McLaughlin
4. Bring the past only if only you are going to build from it. -Domenico Cieri Estrada
5. We need not destroy the past. It is gone. -John Cage
6. I was so in the present moment the past was no longer part of me. -Laurel Hoodwrit
7. One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. -Golda Meir
8. The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it. -Wendell Berry
9. The one charm of the past is that it is the past. -Oscar Wilde
10. Each has his past shut in him the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title. -Virginia Woolf
11. Don’t let the past steal your present. -Cherralea Morgen
12. No man is rich enough to buy back his past. -Oscar Wilde
13. I have memories-but only a fool stores his past in the future. -David Gerrold
14. There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday. -Robert Nathan
15. The living moment is everything. -D.H. Lawrence
16. Nothing ever gets anywhere. The earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere. The moment is only thing that counts. -Jean Cocteau
17. Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee. -Montaigne
18. Eternity is not something that begins when you are dead. It is going on all the time. -Charlotte Perkins
19. Forever is composed of nows. -Emily Dickinson
20. Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. -Euripides
21. I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes. -Carl Sandburg
22. The past is a good place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. -Anonymous
23. Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. -Indian Proverb
24. People are always asking about the good old days. I say, why don’t you say the good now days? -Robert Young
25. No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today. -Brendan Francis
26. I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast. -Jeb Dickerson
27. The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. -L. Thomas Holdcroft
28. The past is never there when you try to go back. It exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess. -Chris Cobbs
29. If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today. -Anonymous
30. Nothing is worth more than this day. -Goethe
31. The future is always beginning now. -Mark Strand
32. We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s. -Henry Ward Beecher
33. Pile up too many tomorrows and you’ll find that you’ve collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays. -The Music Man
34. In today already walks tomorrow. -Friedrich von Schiller
35. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. -Abraham Maslow
36. It’s not what if, it’s what now. -Anonymous
37. It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. -Margaret Bonnano
38. Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys. -Andre Gide
39. Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. -Jean de la Bruyere
40. If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is. -Anonymous
41. I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. -Alan Watts
42. Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. -James Thurber
43. The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. -Abraham Lincoln
44. If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. -Senegalese Proverb
45. We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. -Fulton Oursler
46. Opportunities fly by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone. -Jerome K. Jerome
47. Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way. -Edna Ferber
48. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -George Santayana (1863-1952)
49. The past does not equal the future. -Anthony Robbins
50. Having harvested all the knowledge and wisdom we can from our mistakes and failures, we should put them behind us and go ahead. -Edith Johnson
51. To design the future effectively, you must first let go of your past. -Charles J. Givens
52. We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.
Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4am of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.
We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. -Joan Didion
53. Mr. Meant-to has a friend, his name is Didn’t-Do. Have you met them? They live together in a house called Never-Win. And I am told that it is haunted by the Ghost of Might-have-Been. -Marva Collins
54. If you are carrying strong feelings about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present. -Les Brown
55. Yesterday is a canceled check: Forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note: Don’t count on it. Today is ready cash: Use it! -Edwin C. Bliss
Whew! That’s a ton of past & present quotations! Hopefully you’ve found some that blew your mind and will improve your life. If so, which ones? Please tell me in the comment section below.
Also, if you enjoyed these, please do us a favor and spread the love by liking & sharing this page using the social media buttons at the top/bottom…or do the ultimate: link to us via your own site/blog! Thanks! -Shawn
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50 Quotes to Change Your Mindset!
Change is constant and fast. We have to learn how to think about change. Too often, change is resisted because of the uncertainty, fear of what it means, and the amount of energy required to make the change.
Finding the strength to make that change is the big challenge. At times that, I find reading inspiring quotes can help me lift myself up and set me on the path to managing positive change in my life.
Here are a few of my favorites!
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”
“People will try to tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in all directions, including yours.”
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.”
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.”
“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”
“Change before you have to.”
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.”
“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”
“The only way to make sense change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”
“When you come the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… Unless you fail to make the turn.”
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”
“Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.”
“We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. Without them we grow weak in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.”
“How can you know what you’re capable of if you don’t embrace the unknown.”
“If you live the questions, life will move you into the answers.”
“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.”
“One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.”
“You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.”
“All is flux, nothing stays still”
“Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job.”
“You only go around once, and you’ve got to grab for all the gusto you can.”
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.”
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be…”
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”
“You have to modernise; you have to change – you can’t just be traditional for the fun of being traditional.”
“Leadership exists when people are no longer victims of circumstances, but participate in creating new circumstances.”
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This Alan Watts’ Approach to Meditation Is Truly Eye-Opening
If the West is now experiencing a meditation and Eastern philosophy fad rush, it has Alan Watts to thank for it.
Centuries before Alan Watts and his meditation guidelines popularized Eastern thought for western audiences, throngs of mystics and ascetics had been practicing numerous meditative paths on their way to enlightenment and self-realization.
The West was more focused on the esoteric thought that found its roots in Neo-platonic currents of thought reigning some Christian thinkers and denominations during the Middle Ages. Thus, the western world was actually late to the meditation party, until Alan Watts presented his meditation studies.
One may attribute this phenomenon to the fundamental differences between western and eastern culture and their values and perception of the world. The West relies more on material attachment and has a leaning towards individualism.
The West is also a younger civilization compared to other continents Asia. Chinese and Indian civilizations are much older and have a larger legacy of thinkers, philosophers, and mystics.
Well, let’s begin with the practice itself. What’s the real definition of meditation?
The English meditation is derived from the Old French meditacioun and the Latin meditatio. It originates from the verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder”. The use of the term meditatio as part of a formal, stepwise process of meditation goes back to the 12th-century monk Guigo II.
Apart from its historical usage, the term meditation was a translation for Eastern spiritual practices. Texts refer to it as dhyāna in Hinduism and Buddhism. This stems from the Sanskrit root dhyai, meaning to contemplate or meditate.
The term “meditation” in English may also refer to practices from Islamic Sufism or other traditions such as the Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm.
Aside from this purely etymological definition, however, there is no single interpretation or substantial definition on the nature of meditation.
The general popularized idea is that it is a practice of mindfulness and contemplation involving certain steps that one should follow in order to “make it work”. If “done correctly”, it can be beneficial to the training of the spirit, to attaining wisdom, internal clarity and peace, or even reaching nirvana.
There are as many ways to meditate out there as individuals; some use certain postures, chants, mantras, or prayer beads. Others can only meditate in a particular setting. Otherwise, they struggle to maintain their concentration.
Meditation can have massively beneficial effects on a person, from psychological wellness to physical health benefits. Some examples include reduced anxiety and risks of depression and other mental afflictions, to an amelioration of sleep patterns, to a general sense of wellness.
But is that the point of it? Does it even have a point? Should it have a point?
This is where Alan Watts comes in, declaring this particular notion of meditation as hubris.
Alan Watts on meditation
Born on the 9th of January 1915 in Chislehurst, England, Alan Watts spent most of his early childhood in boarding schools. This is where he received a Christian catechism he later described as “grim and maudlin”.
He went on to move to America, entrenching himself in religious studies, philosophy, theology and Buddhist thought. Thus, it was the start of the tremendous legacy he left behind.
The true beginning of that legacy was his 1957 seminal work, “The Way of Zen”, introducing the idea of Zen Buddhism to millions in the West. His book appealed massively to the younger generations. They would later go on to form the bulk of the 60’s “flower-power’ counter-culture.
Regarding Alan Watts’ views on meditation, one might best illustrate it using one of his most well-known quotes:
“You will feel an onion: skin after skin, subterfuge after subterfuge, is pulled off to find no kernel at the center.
Which is the whole point: to find out that the ego is indeed a fake -a wall of defense around a wall of defense […] around nothing. You can’t even want to get rid of it, nor yet want to want to.
Understanding this, you will see that the ego is exactly what it pretends it isn’t”.
When it comes to meditation, Alan Watts does not support the concept of meditation as a task or a practice that one “does”. To meditate in order to attain a purpose defeats the purpose of meditating, which is that… it has no particular purpose, and it ought not to have one.
For, if one hypothesizes that to meditate is to let go of earthly concerns and be able to let themselves reenter the flow of creation and energy they are part of, then to look to the future instead of submerging in the moment, in being, nullifies the practice.
Meditation, for Alan Watts, does not have to follow the stereotype of the reclusive yogi who simply sits still under some waterfall. One can meditate while making coffee, or walking to buy the morning paper. His point is best illustrated in this video regarding guided meditation:
One only has to listen
Not hear, not categorize, but listen. Let the sounds happen around you. Once you close your eyes, your ears will become more sensitive. You will be flooded by the minuscule sounds of everyday commotion.
At first, you will want to put a name on them. But as time goes on and the sounds ebb and flow, they stop having an individuality.
They are part of a flow that happens whether “you” are there to experience it or not. Same with your breath. You never make a conscious effort to breathe. Only when you begin to focus on it does it preoccupy you. They also happen as part of your being, as part of your nature.
Which brings us to the thoughts. The key secret to meditation, as Alan Watts kindly mapped out, is to let one’s thoughts flow as natural parts of their existence.
You could compare this to the flow of a river. One does not try to stop the river and put it through a sieve. One simply lets the river flow, and we must do the same with our thoughts.
Thoughts are not bigger or smaller, important or unimportant; they simply are, and so are you. And without even realizing it, you exist and operate within a fabric that we can perceive but never see.
This approach to meditation can help you finally live in the present moment as the whole of creation develops. And just that, every moment is part of the mosaic of moments we inherently belong in.
Everything flows and exists, with no subjective value. And that realization in itself is liberating.
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