Wisdom Of The Mountains: A Seminar On Tibetan Buddhism
In this dynamic series of lectures recorded in 1965 and 1969, Alan Watts joyfully takes us on an exploration of Buddhism, from its roots in India over 2,500 years ago to the explosion of interest in Zen and the Tibetan tradition in the West. These lectures have been transcribed and edited by the author’s son, Mark Watts, who also provides an introduction that sets them in their historical context. This book then begins with Journey From India, which presents a brief explanation of the Indian worldview and cosmology followed by a discussion of the important differences between Hinduism and Buddhism. The Middle Way offers an insight into the radical methods of the Mahayana, or “great vehicle,” and reviews the basic Buddhist terms and teaching, including the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Alan Watts then turns his attention to Zen and Tibetan Buddhism in the remaining four chapters. In Religion of No-Religion he discusses how the Buddha taught the method of awakening through the experience of no-self, no-concept, and no-religion. This technique of short-circuiting the mind is seen today in the method of instruction centered upon Zen koans. In contrast to the intellectual methods of Zen, the Tibetan, or Vajrayana school, retained much more of the original Indian flavor of Mahayana Buddhism, and in Wisdom of the Mountains Watts provides an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by explaining its unique practices. In the final chapter, Transcending Duality, Alan Watts explores the male and female symbolism of Tantric yoga and explores the unity of polar opposites as a form of resonance.