“You are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.” Alan Watts. I read this quote this morning and have not quite sussed out whether it is meaningful or something only profound to a stoner.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Watts fan. He had a unique ability to explain various Zen concepts to Westerners in a language we could understand. This ability to simplify led critics to dismiss him as a dilettante or lightweight. But the ability to simplify and still retain the core meaning of a concept is not simple.

Roshi Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind), when a follower ridiculed Watts, immediately told…



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Former musician. Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!