• Unite mind, body, and spirit
• Establish a better way of living
• Reverse destructive habits
• Enjoy a long and healthy life
A contemporary look at a timeless practice that has influenced everything from Feng Shui to acupuncture, The Tao is the essential guide to achieving balance and serenity and experiencing personal transformation.
The Tao Tê Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism, and strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners, have used the Tao Tê Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread widely outside East Asia, and is among the most translated works in world literature.
Chinese alchemy, largely associated with Taoism, has a recorded history of more than 2,000 years, but traditionally it goes back even further to nearly 3000 BC and the time of the Yellow Emperor. While Western alchemy was concerned with the search for spiritual and material gold, classic Taoist alchemy was a mystical quest for immortality with its aim being union with the Absolute.
Jean Cooper describes the history and development of Taoist alchemy, compares it to similar traditions in India and Turkistan, and gives it context by contrasting it with the rationale of the Western hermetic tradition. As she writes in her concluding chapter: The whole work of alchemy is summed up in the phrase "To make of the body a spirit and of the spirit a body". . . . The goal of the Taoist alchemist-mystic was transformation, or perhaps more correctly, transfiguration, of the whole body until it ceases to "be" and is absorbed into and becomes the Tao.
This is an essential guide for anyone interested in Chinese legend and lore, Chinese magic and medicine, and Taoism.
The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living. Following the phenomenal success of his own version of the Tao Te Ching, renowned scholar and translator Stephen Mitchell has composed the innovative The Second Book of the Tao. Drawn from the work of Lao-tzu’s disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius’s grandson Tzussu, The Second Book of the Tao offers Western readers a path into reality that has nothing to do with Taoism or Buddhism or old or new alone, but everything to do with truth. Mitchell has selected the freshest, clearest teachings from these two great students of the Tao and adapted them into versions that reveal the poetry, depth, and humor of the original texts with a thrilling new power. Alongside each adaptation, Mitchell includes his own commentary, at once explicating and complementing the text.
This book is a twenty-first-century form of ancient wisdom, bringing a new, homemade sequel to the Tao Te Ching into the modern world. Mitchell’s renditions are radiantly lucid; they dig out the vision that’s hiding beneath the words; they grab the text by the scruff of the neck—by its heart, really—and let its essential meanings fall out. The book introduces us to a cast of vivid characters, most of them humble artisans or servants, who show us what it means to be in harmony with the way things are. Its wisdom provides a psychological and moral acuity as deep as the Tao Te Ching itself.
The Second Book of the Tao is a gift to contemporary readers, granting us access to our own fundamental wisdom. Mitchell’s meditations and risky reimagining of the original texts are brilliant and liberating, not least because they keep catching us off-guard, opening up the heavens where before we saw a roof. He makes the ancient teachings at once modern, relevant, and timeless.
Listen to a special podcast with Stephen Mitchell:
• Translates The Jade Emperor’s Mind Seal Classic, The Immortals, and The Three Treasures of Immortality
• Defines the Taoist concept of immortality and examines the lives and practices of Taoists who achieved this state
• Reveals the steps needed to achieve immortality in our modern society
Taoist mystics claim that it is possible to achieve immortality: “Within each of us dwells the medicine to cure the affliction of mortality.” Now Western readers can access the wisdom of Taoist masters on the subject of immortality through the first English translations of three classic Taoist treatises: The Jade Emperor’s Mind Seal Classic; The Immortals, from the Pao P’u Tzu by Ko Hung of the Sung Dynasty; and The Three Treasures of Immortality, from the Dragon Gate Sect.
The Jade Emperor’s Mind Seal Classic teaches that one can attain immortality through the cultivation of the three treasures of Taoism: ching (sexual and physical energy), qi (breath and vital energy), and shen (spirit and mental energy). Chinese history is sprinkled with accounts of individuals who applied the lessons of the Jade Emperor and lived up to 200 years. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Taoism, martial arts, and Chinese history and culture, Stuart Alve Olson accompanies his translations with informative commentary that explains the historical context of the texts as well as demonstrates the practical applications of their teachings in contemporary life.