Alan Wilson Watts

Year of birth : 1915
Place of birth : Chislehurst, Kent
Teacher/Guru : Christmas Humphreys, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, D T Suzuki, Timothy Leary, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, John Cage
Education : Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
Website :


“ Trying to define yourself is like

trying to bite your own teeth. ”

“ 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. ” 

“ We seldom realize, for example that our most

private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own.

For we think in terms of languages and images

which we did not invent,

but which were given to us by our society. ”

Books by the Master

" The Book “  … “ The Wisdom of Insecurity “  … “ The Way of Zen “  … “ The joyous cosmology “ … “ Tao “  … “ Behold the spirit “ … “ The way of liberation “ … “ Buddhism, the religion of no-religion “ … “ The spirit of Zen “ … “ Seeds of genius “ … “ Zen and the Beat way “ … “ The Early Writings of Alan Watts: The British Years “ … “ The Culture of Counter-culture: The Edited Transcripts “ … “ Taoism “ … " This Is It, and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience " ... " Nature, man and woman: A new approach to sexual experience " ... " The Legacy of Asia and Western Man. A study of the middle way " ... " Easter: Its Story and Meaning " ... " The Supreme Identity: An Essay on Oriental Metaphysic and the Christian Religion " ... " Myth and Ritual in Christianity " ... " Beat Zen Square Zen and Zen " ... " Psychotherapy East and West " ... " The Two Hands of God: The Myths of Polarity " ... " Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship " ... " Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal " ... " Become What You Are " ... " Does It Matter?: Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality " ... " In My Own Way: An Autobiography " ... " What Is Tao? " ... " The Supreme Identity " ... " Nonsense " ... " Erotic Spirituality - The Vision of Konarak " ... " The Early Writings of Alan Watts " ... " The Modern Mystic: A New Collection of Early Writings " ... " The Art of Contemplation " ... " The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are " ... " The Meaning of Happiness "


Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York.

Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies. Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley.

Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He also explored human consciousness, in the essay "The New Alchemy" (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962). Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. His legacy has been kept alive by his son, Mark Watts, and many of his recorded talks and lectures are available on the Internet.