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The Way of Zen

Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent introduction

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

2 people found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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without title

How can I review the unreviewable, when all that is contained within is all there is!

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it's hard to judge a Zen book

the books seems to give a good idea of what Zen isn't. which as Zen goes is some achievement! if you interested is learning about Zen this will help.

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loved it

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

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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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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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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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  • K. Briggs
  • 10-09-16

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 people found this helpful

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  • Glen
  • 06-07-16

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 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Remington870
  • 14-04-18

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 people found this helpful

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  • Matt Herman
  • 05-01-18

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 people found this helpful

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  • Aaron
  • 20-11-18

Great read

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Richard Williams
  • 16-06-18

Not as good

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jackson
  • 21-04-17

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.

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  • virtualbuyer
  • 27-03-15

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 people found this helpful

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  • Byron Jorjorian
  • 20-05-15

Great history and definition of Zen

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brian W
  • 13-12-19

a disappointment

a bunch of name dropping, vers references and words that not always gives context.
the last 1h45m was better than the first six hours. but it does not justify the time spend.