“Transiency is a mark of spirituality. A lot of people think the opposite… that the spiritual things are the everlasting things. But, you see, the more a things tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.” ~Alan Watts
There was a time in my life where I would fall asleep listening to Alan Watts every night. Yes. Every night. The sound of his voice soothed me and the content of his lectures addressed deeply philosophical conundrums that I was interested in hearing a fresh perspective of.
Since I was a young girl I have sought out different books and great minds to read about, learn from and investigate. The great philosopher, Alan Watts, was introduced to me only a few years ago by a dear, like-minded friend. My friend sent me a short video on youtube during a time when I was going through a big transition, and Watt’s words profoundly resonated with me. From the on, I was hooked, looking up more videos by him and eventually diving into his hour plus long lectures.
We are all looking for answers to our suffering, our questions and our fears; we all look to someone, something, some religion or book or experience to get us through the moments of hardship, confusion and joy. Alan Watt’s was that “someone, something, some religion or book…” for me. His topics elaborate extensively upon love, money, choices, meditation, the Tao, Zen, Buddhism, the mind, pain, emotions, who we truly are and much, much more. Whatever it is you are seeking, you may be able to find encouragement and inspiration from this man as I did.
Watts was born in England and lived in The United States, but he spent his entire life studying and speaking about the value of Eastern tenets and how nature and modern science clearly play an integral role in living a compassionate and content life. Once I learned this, I knew why I had identified so strongly with his lectures. Eastern philosophies and religions, specifically, have always intrigued me. I’ve read the Tao Te Ching, Tripitaka, The Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras. I’ve delved into Sufism and extensively read Rumi, to name just a few examples. Watts was speaking the language that I had already heard in my heart from my previous years of exploring various beliefs and world views of the East. Through Watts, ideas that were sometimes confusing or difficult to understand completely, were now stimulating and easier to understand. He became my companion through both the dark and like times and I will forever be grateful for his lifetime of dedication to sharing his amalgamation of his studies of the East, the grandeur of Nature and the cosmic power of the Universe.
Being raised Catholic in The United States, I was exposed me to a strict Western doctrine view of life—one that I quickly found I did not agree with. Because of this, I wrote my honors thesis in college defending the Native American worldview versus that of the invaders that came over and stole the land that rightfully belonged to The Peaqods and Sioux, the Navajo and Blackfeet as well as the myriad of other tribes who originally inhabited these lands of North America. In addition, this is why I have a spend much of my life drawn to and learning about those ideas from the East.
Of course, this eventually led me to yoga and which is why yoga has become such a focal point in my life. Learning about Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga just reinforced that which what I was already exploring and relating to.
It is mind-blowing to think about how we got here sometimes, isn’t it? The people and stories that influence us, and the experiences that we go through can be life-changing, both in good and bad ways. Looking back and putting all the pieces together, I see a pattern in my life that has led me to the East, where I now live, and to further continue my studies of the vast wisdom that lives here. I do not believe in coincidence. I do not believe in chance. I believe in opening one’s heart, listening to it’s beating whisper and following it to wherever it may lead. And Mr. Alan Watts, along with others, have helped guide me to where I am today.
Thank you, Alan Watts. Thank you Hari Ji–the man who runs this yoga school and is a teacher of mine. Thank you to the great relationships, both past and present, that have helped shape my life. Thank you to all those great minds and hearts who I have not encountered yet that will also bring me the greatness and challenges that lie ahead.
I wanted to link you to the first Alan Watts short video I watched, but videos can’t be linked via this website. However, you can look up a plethora of Alan Watts videos on youtube. The first one I watched was called, “What if money were no object?” This video was shown to me at a time when I wasn’t sure if I could take a giant leap of faith and follow my heart to Asia. But I did take that leap and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made yet.
Enjoy Mr. Watts!