Alan Watts short audio on “The Myth of Myself”

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December 5, 2013

Perhaps more than any other philosopher of the 20th century, Alan Watts opened the Western world to the teachings of the great Eastern contemplative traditions in an accessible – and entertaining – way.

We are happy to include in the Sounds True archive some of the best of Watt’s audio programs, including Out of Your Mind, Myself: A Case of Mistaken Identity, and Learning the Human Game.

Here, Watts talks about how engaging in different points of view helps to strip away what he calls, “the myth of myself.”

 

alanwatts

Alan Watts

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Alan Watts (1915–1973)

For spiritual seekers of many generations, Alan Watts earned a reputation as one of the most accessible—and entertaining—interpreters of Eastern philosophy in the West. Beginning at age 16, when he wrote an article for the journal of the Buddhist Lodge in London, Watts would develop an audience of millions who were enriched through his books, recordings, radio broadcasts, and public talks. In all, Alan Watts wrote more than 25 books, including such classics as The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are and This Is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience.

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Alan Watts short audio on “The Myth of Myself...

Perhaps more than any other philosopher of the 20th century, Alan Watts opened the Western world to the teachings of the great Eastern contemplative traditions in an accessible – and entertaining – way.

We are happy to include in the Sounds True archive some of the best of Watt’s audio programs, including Out of Your Mind, Myself: A Case of Mistaken Identity, and Learning the Human Game.

Here, Watts talks about how engaging in different points of view helps to strip away what he calls, “the myth of myself.”

 

alanwatts

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Establishing a place for regular outdoor meditation and nature observation is often referred to as a “sit spot” or “medicine spot”.  Like the Buddha, who found his own tree of awakening, we too can go to nature and practice being awake to the reality of the present moment.  This practice can also help us become more intimate with all the qualities of the land we live with.  

If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see it but don’t really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way.” 

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  1. Go to a place in nature that is close to where you live and that you can visit regularly.
  1. Take a few moments to center yourself, breathing in and out, and arriving fully in the present moment.
  1. As you are ready begin to walk mindfully with an intention to find a spot that calls out to you, a place you can sit and deepen your relationship with this place.  The spot should feel welcoming, safe and comfortable.  It could be under a tree, beside a boulder or in an open space.  Often, east facing spots can be nice for early morning sits.
  1. When you find a spot that feels good, in your own way, ask permission of that place and wait to see what comes to you.  If you feel invited, sit.  If not, keep looking.
  1. Once in your spot, sit comfortably and become as still as you can.  Imagine that you are melting into the earth, becoming a part of the land.  Sit for at least 15-30 minutes, noticing any movement, sounds, or other sensations and activities.
  1. Return often.

Find more practices for connecting to nature in Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature by Micah Mortali.

Read Rewilding today!

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