Friday, January 25, 2013

All Retch and No Vomit

How long has it been since you've listened to Alan Watts' cool voice and been mesmerized? Have you ever listened to Alan Watts' cool voice and been mesmerized? I read Alan Watts when I was just out of college, when I lived in a white farmhouse on a country road in North Carolina with a boy I loved. While I might have been a tad too earnest in my explorations, an earnestness that tipped precariously close to pretension, I learned about Zen Buddhism from Watts' books as well as the more mystical aspects of Catholicism, into which I'd been baptized but had lost interest in somewhere around age fourteen. The two titles that come to mind were Myth and Ritual in Christianity and The Way of Zen, and I might be able to rustle up my dog-eared copies somewhere in this house in this life that I live right now. Both books affected me profoundly and gave me the beginnings of what I might call a more settled approach to religious belief and practice. I might, perhaps, delve into them again and see if the fuss they provoked then still carries weight now.  I listened to countless tapes of the man, too, because so many of his lectures and talks and teachings were recorded, which leads me to why I'm even writing about Watts here. I stumbled upon this recording of a talk that Watts gave, one of many hundreds that are now accessible on the internets, and as a parent frequently called upon to impart some kind of sense and wisdom, I found it resonant.


  1. Synchronicity! While cleaning out garage (it's going to take weeks) I found my old copy of 'The Way Of Zen'.
    Very happy.

  2. I love that line! I heard Maya Angelou quote "all retch and no vomit" once and promptly went to find that talk he gave. It is truly amazing. Thanks for reminding me how awesome he is.

  3. I can't tell you how much I love this. And you know what? I have spent my entire life doing mostly what I love.
    I realize that this makes me one of the luckiest people on earth.
    Although I am not any sort of master and I certainly haven't made any money. Still. I am incredibly lucky.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...