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Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony Paperback – May 10 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (May 10 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062513958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062513953
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #258,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this companion volume to 365 Tao, Deng Ming-Dao explores the central features of Taoism and their application to everyday life. Divided into sections with names like "Nature," "Silence," "Devotion" and "Self," Deng's individual meditations focus on virtues like charity, kindness, patience and diligence. Each meditation is preceded by a drawing of an ancient Chinese ideogram of which Deng offers a translation and an extended reflection on the drawing's meaning, or instruction, for following the Tao. For example, in his reflection on travel, he illustrates the various ways in which the act of traveling is synonymous with following the Tao. In his words, "to travel means to trust the Tao." Deng's poetic conversations on the harmony and balance of living the Tao in everyday life should have broad appeal.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ming-Dao's 365 Tao has sold 125,000 copies over the last four years, paving the way for this accessible and illuminating guide. In his introduction, Ming-Dao explains that Tao is "literally the movement of all life . . . the total ongoing of the universe," and that to live according to Taoist principles is to go along with this movement, this flow. Ming-Dao notes eight "special qualities" of people who internalize Taoism: simplicity, sensitivity, flexibility, independence and being focused, cultivated, disciplined, and joyous. The body of the book consists of texts based on Chinese characters emblematic of certain aspects of the Taoist way, including specific aspects of nature, silence, conduct, moderation, devotion, teaching, self, and union. In his clear and concise definitions of each concept, Ming-Dao provides a running history of Tao, a summary of Tao practice, and suggestions for how the study of Taoism can enrich everyday life in the Western world. Donna Seaman

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
E(n)tymologically correct or no, the information in this book is immediately applicable and simply stated. Really it's a collection of abbreviated essays, reflections, that the author has... given the inspiration he draws upon Chinese characters.
Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong, maybe he's accurately reporting folk tales... does it really matter if he is the utmost authority on Chines etymology? Not if you are looking to use this book in the manner in which the title implies, Everday Tao, Living with Balance and Harmony. These are offerings for you to have new inner dialogs with yourself.
A previous reviewer recommended looking to this book for answers in a similar fashion one might look to the I Ching. He recommends looking up the character with a meaning most specifically correlated with your problem or question, and reading the corresponding passage for further reflection. I don't see how that could hurt. But i think you'd also be missing a lot if you left it at that.
My recommendation is that you read the passages in no particular order, and then maybe again in some specific order, seeing how the author has organized them in the TOC. Reflect without the desire to solve. Reflect without trying to remember. Let go of your egoistic needs -- you won't need them to enjoy the text.
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Format: Paperback
Despite some people's attempts to bash this wonderful book, this book is a very entertaining book and is a nice relaxing study on Taoism. Though some people seem to think the etymolgy is incorrect, I think that maybe Deng Ming-Dao may know what he is talking about. You must remember that he is probably about 45-50 years old now, and that when he grew up, this is probably what he was taught. Remember that many things have been altered since then. I doubt he is purposefully trying to decieve Western audiences. That would be very un-tao-like of him. And by this book, he proves he knows a lot more than the average person about Tao. He studied for 13 years with probably the best Taoist master of our time here in America, Kwan Saihung. You can read about this wonderful man's life in another of Deng Ming-Dao's books, Chronicles of Tao. Others say that this book says nothing about Taoism and has no moral value at all. They claim to have an understanding of Tao by saying that this book says nothing about Tao, and yet the very act of protesting this book is against Taoist principles anyway. So, even is some people don't agree with the etymolgy or the principles or whatever, this book is of great moral value and outlines basic principles that originated in Taoism that are good and healthy for everyday life.
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Deng, despite the "13 years spent studying with a Taoist master", demonstrates not even a basic understanding of etymology. Chinese characters are based on pictures, and ALL the ones I randomly sampled were wrong. The character "lai", to come, is NOT a picture of the number ten with two people underneath. The two "people" are actually ears of corn hanging from the stem of the plant, the staple of Zhou dynasty eaters. It has no semantic connection whatsoever with its modern meaning (p.191). On page 255, the character for "demon" has a small hook-like stroke that Mr. Deng says means "singular". This is also incorrect. It is actually a picture of the swirling trail of air left by a moving ghost. The list is endless.
These are incredibly basic facts, and I found 6 other misrepresented characters in the book. In the introduction, Deng says "it is startling to see how direct an understanding one can get from contemplating diagrams". Well, Confucius said that "contemplating the sublime does not excuse ignoring daily responsibilities"--like research.
Furthermore, the characters have no connection whatsoever with Taoism, as his new age rambling suggests. The pictures represent objects and sights common to Chinese at that time. They were chosen because they represented the ideas and objects that needed to be communicated, as in any language, not for their spiritual significance. Any other meaning was completely and falsely imposed on them by the author.
Many westerners are interested in Chinese thought, but because of the difficulty of the language, many are forced to rely on the interpretation of people like Mr. Deng. While Chinese philosophy seems benevolent and peaceful, one should still beware of false prophets.
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By A Customer on Sept. 28 1999
Format: Paperback
I usually skip over the entymology and pictographs and go straight to the text. Each page dwells on a concept from the taoist point of view. Very relaxing to trip on a subject that is affecting your life at a particular time. If you flip through the I Ching looking for that random nugget of wisdom and find nothing but vague hints, this book would be very useful for establishing equilibrium and bringing resolution. Of course no book does that, you have to find what page is applicable to you and read it and reflect on it.
It is definitely a layman's text, not a religious historian's, so don't judge it on the wrong terms. If you prefer to read Stephen Mitchell's reworking of the Tao teh ching over Jim Cleary's translation you will like this book.
I am a westerner who applies the kernels of truth that have kept the Chinese civilizations strong for last few thousand years, not a starry-eyed new ager looking for their next guru to throw my cash at, and find it a useful book. Romanticization implies wishing to be in another era other than the present, but on the contrary, this book helps me make sense of the present moment, my present (and future) relationships, and my surroundings in late 20th century San Francisco.
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