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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: #83,309 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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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
OK, I wasn't going to bother writing a review for this book until I saw the other reviewers complaining about the incorrect entymology of the characters. Alright so they know more about this subject than I do ... but not one of them managed to address the fact that the author says in the intro that he's using the ANCIENT INTERPRETATIONS! Of course there will be problems with the modern entymology. These critics could very well have taken this into consideration but by not mentioning it (one reviewer simply sampled them randomly, thus admitting he never read the book) their criticisms are not particularly helpful. Not that they would be anyway, which leads into my next point.
The quality of the lessons in this should not be overshadowed by technical arguments that have no bearing on the actual discussion. The entymology was a framework that is (or should be anyway...) easily discarded if one is not interested in it. I'm active in martial arts and one constant theme I encounter is people "thinking too hard". Many times someone will be doing fine until they start getting overly-analytical and then they flop. I do this myself. The point here is that if you get stuck on petty details you will miss *so* much.
So in summary, this is a great book if you allow it to be. If you are going to nitpick and argue technicalities then you have missed the whole point of this book, and likely missed the beauty of Taoism in general.
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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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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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