The Tao of Pooh Paperback – Jul 28 1983
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Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.
From Library Journal
Author/narrator Hoff calls Winnie the Pooh a "Western Taoist" and uses the unassuming bear to introduce Eastern philosophical principles. Pooh epitomizes the "uncarved block," as he is well in tune with his natural inner self. Pooh enjoys simple pleasures and the daily progress of life. Hoff contrasts this unpretentiousness to other characters created by Winnie - the - Pooh author A.A. Milne, including Owl, whom he describes as a "mind that tries too hard," and Eeyore, the eternal pessimist. In a clear and crisp voice, Hoff explains the central tenets of Taoism and further illustrates them with familiar excerpts from The House at Pooh Corner stories (1923), Chinese proverbs, maxims, and tales from Lao Tzu and others. The result is at once thought-provoking and charming. This is a small literary event that will leave all who experience it a little more serene. For most collections.
- Jeanne P. Leader, Western Nebraska Community Coll. Lib., Scotts bluff
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The idea here is simple - Benjamin Hoff uses these perfect Pooh stories to explain the fundamental concepts of Taoist belief. Whether he is pointing out our contradictory beliefs or educating us on finding our paths, he does so with humor and compassion, always smart and simple. One of my favorite examples of our silly Western contradictions is where he talks about time-saving devices. In Western culture, we are constantly surrounded with time-saving devices, from alarm clocks to microwaves to computers to cell phones... yet we rarely have enough time. Then what happens when you go to a place where there are no time-saving devices? All of a sudden you have all the time in the world!
Have you read from the Tao Te Ching? I have spent hours contemplating one tiny passage before it even started to sink into my thick skull. What a difference it is to have Pooh and his crew as your guides! Hoff brings new meaning and understanding to these texts, creating a strong foundation for you to continue along your way. I have recommended this book to friends in all walks of life and with varying degrees of education and I always have received a more than enthusiastic reaction.
For me, the Toa of Pooh is as much a place as it is a book. I can read a chapter and suddenly find myself in a more relaxed space, maybe a little higher up where I can get a little more of the big picture. I hope it can do the same for you.
I'm not much of a fan of "organized religion", so the thought of criticizing other religions doesn't upset me per se: it's just that I find no place for it in a book like this. This should be about the uplifting, enlightening spiritual values of Tao. The recurring stabs at what he obviously views as competing philosophies struck a very discordant tone. I couldn't get past this to enjoy the educational elements of the book.
'It's about how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!' I yelled.
'Have you read it?' asked Pooh.
This is two-way book: to explain Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh, and to explain Winnie-the-Pooh (not always an easy task itself) through Taoism. Taoism, more academically, is a religion indigenous to China, built upon teachings primarily of Lao-tzu, with significant influence from Buddha and K'ung Fu-tse. It is in the teachings of harmony and emptiness and being of Lao-tzu, however, that Taoism draws its meaning, believing that earth is a reflection of heaven, and that the world 'is not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons.'
As with many religions, this one took various guises: philosophic, monastic, structural, folk. But through them all, the imperceptible Tao, the essence of being, essentially undescribable, shapes the universe continually out of chaos, with a yin and yang alteration of perpetual transformation, in which nothing remains eternal save the Tao.
This makes Pooh a perfect example and exemplar. 'For the written character P'u, the typical Chinese dictionary will give a definition of 'natural, simple, plain, honest.' P'u is composed of two separate characters combined: the first, the 'radical' or root-meaning one, is that for tree or wood; the second, the 'phonetic' or sound-giving one, is the character for dense growth or thicket.Read more ›
Those who didn't like this book for some reason are missing the point. The "Tao of Pooh" was never meant to be the definite treatise on Taoism, or the dispassionate comparison of East and West. As a matter of fact, this book is classified under "Humor". In fact, it is this humor of pooh which lends itself so aptly to introducing Taoism. Since reading this book, I became interested in reading the other book by John Tyerman Williams called "Pooh & the Philosophers". What a disaster that turned out to be! See, the defining character of Pooh is that he never really takes himself seriously, which is perfectly in line with the attitude of major Taoist philosophers.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great book for reading when you are in a contemplative mood, despite its apparent simplicity, you will find great truths within. Read morePublished 5 months ago by J Neville
Encourage everyone to read this book and the follow up The Te of Piglet. Will change your outlook and so change your life.Published 7 months ago by Shannon
My wife got this book for me as a gift this holiday season. Along with the Tao Te Ching, It is one of my favorite books ever. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Leo Lefty
Intellectual and funny and pratical. Very easy and engaging read that you can instantly take something away from chapter to chapter.Published on Sept. 27 2013 by Michael Thomas
To be honest, I am not a big "Winnie the Pooh" fan, and I was going to put this book down after the first 30 pages, but I am thankful that I kept reading. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2013 by Tiny Thought Guy
This was an explanation of Taoist philosophy, as told through the mouths of the classic Winnie the Pooh characters. It is very interesting reading. Read morePublished on June 5 2013 by GDokk
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