Book Excerpts, The Masters

“The Violence in Our Minds Manifests in the World” – Thich Nhat Hanh on Smiling Away Your Anger

“Author Cuong Lu recently told me that the greatest lesson his teacher Thich Nhat Hanh gave him was to believe in him: “He kept trusting me. That was his power, his insight and his love.” What I find comes across in Thich Nhat Hanh’s books is that same sense of confidence, but on a global… Continue reading “The Violence in Our Minds Manifests in the World” – Thich Nhat Hanh on Smiling Away Your Anger

Book Excerpts

Alan Watts’ Pain and Time

Alan Watts was one of the foremost interpreters of Eastern philosophy in Europe and the United States in the mid 20th century. This extract from his book, ‘The Wisdom of Insecurity’ talks about our tendency to reject pain in the service of pleasure, and how in doing so we are ultimately shying from the full… Continue reading Alan Watts’ Pain and Time

Book Excerpts, The Masters

Thomas Merton on Zen Koans and Untying the Knot of Individuality

Those of us unfamiliar with the practice of the study of koans might view it as a method of problem solving, of learning how to think out of the box enough to understand the non-sequiturs entrenched in the recorded dialogues of Zen masters and disciples through the ages. In his essay, ‘The Zen Koan‘, Thomas… Continue reading Thomas Merton on Zen Koans and Untying the Knot of Individuality

Book Excerpts

Stop Avoiding the Uncomfortable Questions – David Foster Wallace

“Is it right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?” David Foster Wallace asks in the course of his brilliant essay on eating and ethics, Consider the Lobster. An article originally commissioned by Gourmet magazine back in 2004 meant to cover the Maine Lobster Festival, DFW’s assignment quickly went off track… Continue reading Stop Avoiding the Uncomfortable Questions – David Foster Wallace

Book Excerpts

Alan Watts on Beat Zen and Square Zen

Our favorite rogue Zen philosopher, Alan Watts had a gift for contextualizing the principles of Zen and translating them in a way that non-Buddhist people would be able to comprehend. In this excerpt from his short book, ‘Beat Zen Square Zen and Zen‘, he talks about the importance of understanding our own culture thoroughly so… Continue reading Alan Watts on Beat Zen and Square Zen

Ray Bradbury
Book Excerpts

Running After Loves – Ray Bradbury on Fostering Hunger in Writing

‘How long has it been since you wrote a story where your real love or your real hatred somehow got onto the paper?’ Finding the truth of our authentic passions is the key to forming the foundations of a writing practice, according to science fiction author Ray Bradbury.