From 1980 to 1994, I was a local columnist for The Outlook, the daily newspaper in Santa Monica.
I've studied Vedanta for decades and did not know that there were any recordings of Swami Vivekananda. Assuming this is authentic -- and it certainly sounds as if it is -- this is an amazing historic recording that will be fascinating for anyone interested in harmonizing the world's religions.
This series of lectures is a comprehensive compilation of Watts teaching on Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism and Taoism. Plus there is also the humor of his one-of-a-kind philosophy based on years of studying the Eastern religions and philosophy. As an Anglican Priest he also has great insights into Christianity. Once you've listened to this you've got everything Watts had to give. Although like me, you may find yourself drawn to rehearing these humorous and insightful talks over and over again.
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
Tara Brach, who has achieved notoriety for her gentle approach to living, primarily through a psychological/Buddhist approach, provides some guidelines for moving through life, using what she refers to as "R.A.I.N." By this, she shows us how to meet challenging situations.
First Recognize the reality of what is occurring.
Then Accept that is it what it is.
Investigate what it means, and then the huge move that brings it all together, is:
"rest in Natural awareness." (in other words, do not be so quick to react, but move to a state of awareness in which we have a different relationship to what is happening).
Tara Brach also wrote "Radical Acceptance," in which she also suggests that we are so quick to run from, or distance ourselves from situations that feel unpleasant, that we may do better in the long run finding a way to move into them, with curiosity, patience and willingness to be present to what is happening.
As happens sometimes, they have chosen someone else to read this book. Although Cassandra Campbell has done an excellent job, Tara Brach has a beautifully soft voice, and I would so have preferred hearing her narrate it herself. However, this book is certainly worth listening to.