25 Alan Watts Quotes Celebrating Life, Love and Dreams

Searching for your very own way to zen? Let these Alan Watts quotes send you there!

These Alan Watts quotes will open your eyes to new things and make you want to become the very best version of yourself.

When you want to improve the quality of your own life it’s often best to model yourself from a wise teacher, and quotes by Alan Watts are a terrific start!

Watts was a world-renowned author, speaker, and philosopher, well known for interpreting the beliefs of the East with the way we live in the West.

Watts was born in Chislehurst, England on 6 January 1915, and moved to the United States in 1938.

He graduated with a master’s degree in theology from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and became an Episcopal priest in 1945.

Alan wrote over 25 books and is best known for his bestselling classic, “The Way to Zen“.

These quotes represent some of his most important philosophies regarding living a successful, happy life.

We recommend analyzing these quotes and absorbing their wisdom.

We recommend viewing some of his speeches and reading his books.

Simply type in “Alan Watts Youtube” in Google or “Alan Watts books.”

He bridged the east and the west by informing people about some of the East’s best philosophies regarding living and has helped thousands of people improve the quality of their life.

When you read his quotes, watch his videos or read his books, you will be inspired by his views on essential truths about life.

For me, it’s so powerful how his work with so many ancient texts is still so relevant to today’s modern life.

Whether you’re a teacher, lawyer, secretary or entrepreneur, you can benefit from the wise and powerful words of Alan Watts!

Don’t forget to also read our collection of C.S. Lewis quotes.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Look through our complete collection of inspirational quotes here.

Alan Watts Quotes about Life, Human Nature & Love

1. “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”  – Alan Watts

Sometimes we just have to let time do its thing. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to leave it alone and not put any energy into it.

Alan Watts Quotes about Life

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2. “Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.” – Alan Watts

Fire cannot burn fire. Water cannot get itself wet. The thing cannot define the thing. It will always be extremely difficult for us to define ourselves, since we are always changing, learning, experiencing and growing.

Alan Watts Quotes on defining yourself

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Alan Watts quotes on love

3. “What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.” – Alan Watts

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All the systems of nature work perfectly. Nothing rushed, nothing judged…but yet, it all works perfectly. Every single time. You are nature and you work perfectly!

Alan Watts Quotes on nature

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4. “We seldom realize, for example, that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” – Alan Watts

Many of our thoughts, habits and behaviors are passed down from our family, society and culture. Before we take ownership of certain traits and thoughts, let’s be mindful of what is really ‘ours’.

Alan Watts Quotes on society

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Alan Watts quotes on life and nothingness

5. “But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” – Alan Watts

When we turn off the TV, cell phone and other distractions; we can see, feel and hear all the natural life around us. We are a part of that life. It’s what we were born into.

Alan Watts Quotes on distractions

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Alan Watts quotes on time and money

6. “If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.” – Alan Watts

Don’t be afraid to hop off the hamster wheel. If you love what you do and you earn a living with it – you are living the dream! If you hate your job and are just in it for the money, it might be time to reevaluate how you spend 40-60 hours of your life a week.

Alan Watts Quotes on money

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7. “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.” – Alan Watts

Having faith doesn’t mean having control. Having faith means letting go and still believing it will all work out!

Alan Watts Quotes on faith

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8. “Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect.” – Alan Watts

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Without a guiding belief of how things work, it becomes difficult to put meaning to things. The meaning we put to things is much more important than the thing itself.

Alan Watts Quotes on intellect

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Alan Watts quotes about play and time

9. “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.” – Alan Watts

When we engage deeply in our work, it is no longer work. When we have a singular focus on the present – everything is alive, everything is fun.

Alan Watts Quotes on the secret of life

10. “The menu is not the meal.” – Alan Watts

We’ve all been to restaurants that have an outstanding menu and below average food. Talk is cheap. Don’t let your life fall into that trap!

Alan Watts Quotes on work

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11. “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts

Stop trying to figure change out and just go with it! See where it takes you.

Alan Watts Quotes on change

Alan Watts quotes about time

12. “You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” – Alan Watts

I love this one. We are all a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Let’s live accordingly!

Alan Watts Quotes on the universe

13. “The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.” – Alan Watts

Life is constant change. Life is full of ups and downs. Life is always moving. Anything else is dead.

Alan Watts Quotes on the world

Alan Watts quotes on dreams

14. “Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.” – Alan Watts

I really love this one, too! What would life be like if we were asleep, unconscious and a money chasing zombie the whole time? Now, what would life be like, to live consciously, awake…and stay that way!

Alan Watts Quotes on imagination

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Alan Watts quotes on love and the stars

15. “Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Stop trying to label and judge. Peace is when we are able to accept (and find the beauty in) things the way they are.

Alan Watts Quotes on the stars

16. “A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.” – Alan Watts

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Alan Watts Quotes on buddhism

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Alan Watts quotes on life

17. Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.” – Alan Watts

The better the question, the better the answer.

Alan Watts Quotes on dreams

18. “When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us.” – Alan Watts

When we give someone all that time and energy, we also give them our power.

Alan Watts Quotes on power

19. “But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.” – Alan Watts

Faith = the art of letting go.

Alan Watts Quotes on truth

20. “No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts

Everything we want to do right, needs to come from a place of good intentions and close attention to the present.

Alan Watts Quotes on fear

Alan Watts quotes about love

21. “So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.” – Alan Watts

We can only love ourselves for who we are, when we love ourselves for who we are not.

Alan Watts Quotes on self love

22. “Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on self care

23. “Love is not something that is a sort of rare commodity, everybody has it.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on friends

24. “Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on frustrations

Alan Watts Quotes on balance, perception and the universe

25. “Everything that happens, everything that I have ever done, everything that anybody else have ever done is part of a harmonious design, that there is no error at all.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on balance

We also have a selection of Edgar Allan Poe quotes that will expand your mind.

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Which Alan Watts quotes were your favorite?

Alan Watts works have helped thousands of people improve the quality of their lives.

His wise and powerful words are still relevant to today’s modern world and they inspire us to live a successful and happy life.

Hopefully, these Alan Watts quotes have awoken your dreams and altered your viewpoint of the world.

What other quotes by Alan Watts would you add to the list?

Tell us in the comment section below.

Also, take a minute to share and inspire your friends and followers as well.

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  1. Santosh Pandey

    September 21, 2019 at 8:47 PM

    Marvellous Indeed- No One Else Made me understand this Life and this world better than Alan Watts.

    Vow Thanks Universe For Creating The Magic called Alan Watts

    Love You Alan

    Thank You for Sharing my Friend

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