• 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.
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.
There have been many translations of this little classic, some of them excellent. Most translators have treated it as an isolated document. Many have taken it as religious literature. A few have related it to ancient Chinese philosophy. But none has viewed it in the light of the entire history of Chinese thought. Furthermore, no translator has consulted extensively the many commentaries regarding the text, much less the thought. Finally, no translator has written a complete commentary from the perspective of the total history of Chinese philosophy. Besides, a comprehensive and critical account of the recent debates on Lao Tzu the man and Lao Tzu the book is long overdue. The present work is a humble attempt to fill these gaps.
This 1963 work is organized as follows:
I. The Philosophy of Tao
1. Historical Background and the Taoist Reaction
2. The Meaning of Tao
3. The Emphasis on Man and Virtue
4. Weakness and Simplicity
5. Unorthodox Techniques
6. Lao Tzu and Confucius Compared
7. Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu Compared
8. Influences on Neo-Taoism, Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism
9. The Taoist Religion
10. Taoism in Chinese Life
II. Lao Tzu, the Man
1. Traditional Accounts
2. Lao Tzu’s Birthplace and Names
3. Lao Tzu’s Occupation
4. Confucius’ visit to Lao Tzu
5. Lao Lai Tzu and Lao P’eng
6. The Grand Historian
7. Summary and Conclusion
III. Lao Tzu, the Book
1. Reactions Against Tradition
2. Arguments About Contemporary References
3. Arguments About Style
4. Arguments About Terminology
5. Arguments About Ideas
7. Titles and Structure
The Lao Tzu (Tao-te ching)
Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is the second most translated book in the world, and the practice of religious Taoism is on the rise in China, where adherents currently number in the hundreds of millions. Yet there remains a remarkable lack of reliable information about Taoism for curious westerners. Taoism For Dummies provides comprehensive coverage of Taoism's origins in China's Chou Dynasty, its underlying quietist principles, its emergence as a major religion, various interpretation of its core texts, including both Eastern and Western interpretations, key Taoist concepts, and much more. It also provides a fascinating glimpse of Taoism in contemporary China.The ideal guide for readers interested in this influential religion, as well as those taking an introductory course on Taoism or Chinese Religion A valuable source of insight for those with an interest in modern Chinese culture and beliefs
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:
Presented in both the original Chinese and Mike O'Connor's beautifully crafted English translation, When I Find You Again, It Will Be in Mountains brings to life this preeminent poet and his glorious religious tradition, offering the fullest translation of Chia Tao's poems to date.