Alan Watts s-a nascut in Londra, in anul 1915. Devine fascinat de Orient si incepe sa publice in Journal of the London Buddhist Lodge inainte de a scrie prima sa carte. Se muta la New York in 1938 si apoi la Chicago, unde va fi preot anglican timp de sase ani, inainte de a fi exclus din randurile preotimii. Se muta apoi la San Francisco, unde va preda la Academy of Asian Studies. Este influentat in conceptiile sale de D.T. Suzuki si Christmas Humpreys. Ulterior, ii va cunoaste pe Joseph Campbell si pe compozitorul John Cage. Alan Watts a fost profund atasat de filosofiile indiene (in special Vedanta si budismul), precum si de gandirea taoista. Scrierile lui vorbesc in special despre budismul zen. Devenit decan al Academy of Asian Studies din San Francisco, tine regulat conferinte si are frecvent emisiuni la radio. In anii urmatori, face numeroase calatorii in Japonia si Europa, unde sustine conferinte la cele mai importante universitati. Cu aceasta ocazie se intalneste cu C.G. Jung. In anii 1970, Alan Watts devine cel mai renumit interpret al gandirii orientale in Occident, atat prin cartile sale, cat si prin numeroasele sale emisiuni  de radio si televiziune. Moare in 1973, lasand in urma o opera vasta.

Carti (selectiv)

1936 The Spirit of Zen

1937 The Legacy of Asia and Western Man

1940 The Meaning of Happiness

1948 Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion

1950 The Supreme Identity

1951 The Wisdom of Insecurity

1953 Myth and Ritual in Christianity

1957 The Way of Zen

1958 Nature, Man, and Woman

1959 Beat Zen Square Zen and Zen

1962 The Joyous Cosmology - Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness

1963 The Two Hands of God - The Myths of Polarity

1964 Beyond Theology - The Art of Godmanship

1966 The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

1972 In My Own Way - An Autobiography 1915-1965



1975 Tao: The Watercourse Way (impreuna cu Al Chung-liang Huang)

1983 Way of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of the Self

1995 The Philosophies of Asia

1997 Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking

1999 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion

2000 Still the Mind: An Introduction to Meditation