Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony Paperback – May 10 1996
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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.
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 SeamanSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on Dec 31 2003 by Keith Tokash
I really enjoy this work and use it as a regular means of meditation and reflection. As to the critics regarding the etymology - they may want to search for Dr. Edward E. Thi. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2003 by taofpaul
Having read many, many books on Daoism - most of them scholarly - I still love this book. It gets to the point clearly and believably. Read morePublished on April 29 2002 by Bao Pu
This book is completely lacking in its references to insects and has almost nothing to do with entymology.Published on Jan. 31 2002 by Richard Deveno
I like to end my day by reading an entry or two from this book because the entries are insightful and succint. Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2001 by KellyAnne
Whereas 365 Tao is so non-technical as to be a beginners' text, Everyday Tao brings in more of the concepts and terminology that aren't covered in the more religiously oriented... Read morePublished on May 1 2000 by Sa Wei-Dao
The book was O.K. However, I'm not sure what the entymology of it is. I didn't see any references to bugs in it.Published on April 21 1999
Everyday Tao is disappointing in nearly every aspect that one usually uses to judge a book except for maybe its cover. Read morePublished on Dec 29 1998 by BP
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