Zen and the art of podcasting.


One Sunday night back in the high-school days, when I was still in that stage where driving a car is still a wonderful novelty, I tuned in to WDUQ, my local jazz station, for an appropriate cruising soundtrack. Instead of music, though, I heard a voice that I haven't forgotten since. It was an Englishman, and he was talking about Zen Buddhism. That voice belonged to Alan Watts, and I spent just about every Sunday night listening to the NPR broadcasts of his old lectures. (Although "lectures" makes it sound like more of a chore, every one I've ever heard has been an absolute joy to listen to.)

Over the years I've amassed a pretty healthy Alan Watts audio archive - about two and a half days' worth - and I just found out that an Alan Watts Podast is now available. You can subscribe through iTunes, and if you'd like to catch up on the previous installments, the mp3 files are archived here. These don't seem to be complete lectures, but they're still great to listen to. Online so far: "Images of God," "The Sense of Nonsense," and the first part of "Coincidence of Opposites."

You can purchase lots of Watts's CDs and videos on AlanWatts.com. I've also heard rumors that his lectures are widely available on file-sharing networks. Like Soulseek. For example.

Do yourself a favor and check this out. Each podcast is about 15 minutes in length, it's updated a couple times a week, and it's totally free of charge. Listen to one with your morning coffee and you'll have a better day for it.