Book: Everyday Tao Living With Balance And Harmony by Ming Dao DengIn 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.
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.
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.
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