Here's an excerpt from a talk about Zen by Alan Watts:

"Once upon a time, there was a Zen student who quoted an old Buddhist poem
to his teacher, which says:

The voices of torrents are from one great tongue, the lions of the hills
are the pure body of Buddha. 'Isn't that right?' he said to the teacher.
'It is,' said the teacher, 'but it's a pity to say so.'

It would be, of course, much better, if this occasion were celebrated with no
talk at all, and if I addressed you in the manner of the ancient teachers of
Zen, I should hit the microphone with my fan and leave.

But I somehow have the feeling that since you have contributed to the support
of the Zen Center, in expectation of learning something, a few words should
be said, even though I warn you, that by explaining these things to you, I shall
subject you to a very serious hoax.

Because if I allow you to leave here this evening, under the impression that
you understand something about Zen, you will have missed the point entirely.
Because Zen is a way of life, a state of being, that is not possible to embrace
in any concept whatsoever, so that any concepts, any ideas, any words that I
shall put across to you this evening will have as their object, showing you the
limitations of words and of thinking.

Now then, if one must try to say something about what Zen is, and I want to
do this by way of introduction, I must make it emphatic that Zen, in its
essence, is not a doctrine. There's nothing you're supposed to believe in. It's
not a philosophy in our sense, that is to say a set of ideas, an intellectual net
in which one tries to catch the fish of reality.

Actually, the fish of reality is more like water--it always slips through the net.
And in water you know when you get into it there's nothing to hang on to. All
this universe is like water; it is fluid, it is transient, it is changing. And when
you're thrown into the water after being accustomed to living on the dry land,
you're not used to the idea of swimming. You try to stand on the water, you
try to catch hold of it, and as a result you drown. The only way to survive in
the water, and this refers particularly to the waters of modern philosophical
confusion, where God is dead, metaphysical propositions are meaningless, and
there's really nothing to hang on to, because we're all just falling apart. And
the only thing to do under those circumstances is to learn how to swim. And to
swim, you relax, you let go, you give yourself to the water, and you have to
know how to breathe in the right way. And then you find that the water holds
you up; indeed, in a certain way you become the water.

You can find the full text of this talk here.
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Alan Watts Talks About Zen

About Alan Watts
Alan Watts on Zen
Alan Watts Talks About Money
Let's All Just Laugh - Alan Watts
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