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Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category

Eastern Philosophy

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Recently, a co-worker asked me if I had any suggestions for books on Buddhism. As a bibliophile and one who has been interested in Eastern philosophies since college, I was only too happy to oblige and thought I’d briefly share them here.

The first recommendation was “anything by Alan Watts.” Watts was instrumental in bringing Eastern religion and thinking to the West during the late 50s and early 60s and making it accessible to the Western mind. His many books and audios are timeless to this day. In fact, you may have come across some of his lectures and/or excerpts thereof on YouTube. Especially viral is this short clip animated by the creators of South Park in their instantly-recognizable style.

One of my favorite Alan Watts books, which I’ve read multiple times now, is The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

The second recommendation was “anything by Ram Dass.” Born Richard Alpert, this amazing man’s spiritual path began at Harvard as a friend and professorial colleague of Timothy Leary. After they were dismissed from the college, Alpert traveled to India where he met a Hindu guru and was given the name Ram Dass, “servant of God.” His most well-known book is the 1971 Be Here Now.

In 1997, he had a stroke, which he speaks fondly about in interviews and his memoir Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart published last year (2013). He continues to teach to this day via webcasts and his retreats in Hawaii.

Lastly, it came as a pleasant surprise to find that Ram Dass has also co-authored with Stephen Levine whose book A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last really made an impression on me when I read it over a decade ago.

I hope you get a chance to explore these authors and that their words bring you peace.

Note: If you use one of the links above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Even without this incentive, I wholeheartedly recommend these authors. Enjoy!

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