Top 25 Alan Watts Quotes

1. "You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are no stranger here."

 

2. "There never is, or was, or will be anything except the present."

 

3. "No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen."

 

4. "The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves."

 

5. "This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play."

 

6. "Running away from fear is fear. Fighting pain is pain. Trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain."

 

7. "The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

 

8. "The only Zen you'll find on mountain tops is the Zen you bring up there with you."

 

9. "Life is not a problem to be solved, but an experience to be had."

 

10. "There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering."

 

11. "The attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be."

 

12. "Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present."

 

13. "Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone."

 

14. "I owe my solitude to other people."

 

15. "To have faith is to trust yourself to the water.  When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float."

 

16. "When a bird sings it doesn't sing for the advancement of music."

 

17. "Odd as it may sound, the ego finds that its own center and nature is beyond itself. The more deeply I go into myself, the more I am not myself, and yet this is the very heart of me.

Here I find my own inner workings functioning of themselves, spontaneously, like the rotation of the heavenly bodies and the drifting of clouds."

 

18. "Individual differences express the unity, as branches, leaves, and flowers from the same plant, and the love between the members is the realization of their basic interdependence."

 

19. "As one and the same pain may be described either as a hot pang or as a cold sting, so the descriptions of an experience may take forms that seem to be completely opposed."

 

20. "Our own organisms are much more like art than like business, politics, or religion. They are especially like the arts of music and dancing, which unfold themselves without aiming at future destinations."

 

21. "No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it."

 

22. "The desire for security and the fear of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet."

 

23. "You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you."

 

24. "The destination of life is this eternal moment."

 

25. "Things are not what we say they are, that, for example, the word 'water' is not itself drinkable."