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Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior Paperback – May 11, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812931580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812931587
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In ancient China, barefoot doctors traveled from village to village without concern for financial or personal gain. Their aim was helping people stay healthy and in good spirits, explains author Stephen Russell, who for the past 20 years has considered himself to be the modern-day "barefoot doctor." Applying the principles of ancient Chinese Taoism, Russell dishes out irreverent advice for how to find peace and prolong life while keeping one's Donna Karan designer clothing and urban lifestyle.

The first step, claims the barefoot doctor, is to recognize that we're all urban warriors, engaged in a spiritual struggle between the forces of light and darkness within us and around us. Rather than get into "inner street brawls" with these opposing forces, Russell suggests that readers learn to live in balance by following one's Tao or "The Way." Russell humorously yet wisely illustrates how readers can follow the Tao, including short chapters on "Manners," "Condoms," "Cults, Gurus," "People Surfing," and "Intuition." This is a somewhat glib but surprisingly sensible spiritual guidebook for those who like their teachers to be streetwise as well as enlightened. --Gail Hudson

From the Inside Flap

Barefoot Doctor's Healing Prescription

Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao is a modern approach to an ancient art that will give you the tools you need to survive and thrive amid the growing pressures of modern life.

Here is the Tao with hipness, humor, and a complete lack of inscrutability. The Tao, which translates roughly as "The Way," is a basic philosophy for focusing the mind, channeling energy, and strengthening the spirit. Genuinely erudite but also highly practical, this book will help you learn the skills of meditation, psychic shielding, mindfulness, and magic to enhance your experience of reality. You'll also pick up instant advice on hundreds of challenges facing today's busy urban warrior:
¸  work  ¸  sex  ¸  money  ¸  success  ¸  politics  ¸  travel  ¸  relationships  ¸  drugs  ¸  healing  ¸  technology  ¸  freedom

For anyone striving for inner harmony on our messy old planet, let Barefoot Doctor walk the Tao for you.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I found this book to be engaging, humorous and informative.
Amazon Customer
Some will read this book and hungrily move on to more serious books on the Tao, while others will want to keep it in their backpack and think on it for a long time.
"inama"
This is a great book for all the citizens of the real world who want to explore the Tao, but don't want to become great scholars.
C.M.Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By blair on July 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found this quite down to earth, no flowery philosophy like other books which had previously made if difficult for me to learn about Taoism. The exercises are straight forward and cover 2-3 pages each. This is a book that works for me as a beginner and will continue to be in my library for years as I refer back to it to get a greater sense of Self Spiritual Understanding. I highly recomend this to anyone who likes answers and straighforward instruction.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C.M.Smith on October 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I like my life and my stuff! I don't want to cloister myself on some mountain top and eschew the modern world. This is a great book for all the citizens of the real world who want to explore the Tao, but don't want to become great scholars. Taoism is about being and experiencing, not about pouring through ancient tomes for answers other people have found. If you'd rather get a few pointers on how to be a little more Tao, get this lovely little book. It is truly a diggable and easily portable guide to life on the cooler side of the fence.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is definitely not a book for those who want to be scholars of the Tao. However, I thought it was a great tool for those who actually want to participate and use the Tao in day-to-day life. The author stresses personal responsbility and helps you reconsider both what is really important to you and how to concentrate on it. It seems especially relevant to younger folks or those in the club scene, but I imagine anyone with an open mind and an interest in living healthy and happy would enjoy it. The writing is very lively and you really get a good sense of the guy's personality.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Crowhurst on December 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
In my opinion the product being marketed here under the catchall brand `Tao' is a toxic concoction of New Age quackery and mental hopscotch masquerading as spiritual guidance. When I acquired this book many years ago I was in my mid-20's. At that time in my life I was interested in spiritual practices based on Taoist philosophy. Having attempted to put some of the cockamamy ideas contained in this book into practice I ended up steering myself needlessly and recklessly into a bad place of confusion and uncertainty. I cringe at the thought that I didn't immediately see through the blatant charlatanry that is this book.

I am now in a vastly better place in my life due in no small part to my discovery of the teachings of Buddhism. One of Buddha's most important introductory teachings, the Kalama Sutra, applies perfectly to my experience with books of this sort. In it Buddha warns of would-be spiritual guides who 'expound and explain their own doctrines' with the admonition that when a teaching is put into practice and the results are observed and found by the practitioner to lead to harm and ill, such things should be abandoned. Suffice it to say there is a reason why Buddha's teachings have survived 2,500 years and why books such as this inevitably end up in rubbish heaps where they rightfully belong.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "inama" on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're curious about Taoism that's good. A dedicated scholar is even better. But if you can't manage to do that in your hectic daily life, behold this book! It explains the Tao in an easy going style with plenty of humor and lots of good old common sense. Even concepts that seem otherworldly will start to make sense when you read it a second time. It is thorough, yet manages to avoid intimidating the reader with archaic language. There are many books on the tao, from the spiritual to the scholarly. This one manages to bring it straight to the people with no frills. And while some reviewers think it advocates drug culture, I believe the author is patently aware that you cannot preach to most people or convince them to stop self destructive behavior even if they know you're right....so it is best to arm them with practical knowledge and let THEM do the changing. And that is the essence of the Tao. Ever changing--ever learning. Some will read this book and hungrily move on to more serious books on the Tao, while others will want to keep it in their backpack and think on it for a long time. I am doing both.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter Herman on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found Barefoot Dr's book on the Tao excellent. It explained concepts in a clear and hip manner and provided exercises to incorporate the teachings in a practical way. The work is also in my opinion quite comprehensive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff B on October 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book several years ago and I thought it was one of the best books I have ever read on a "spiritual" subject. The Barefoot Doctor is extremely funny and brings the complex and mysterious subject of Taoism down to a level that anyone can understand. There are also wonderful and simple exercises included in the book. I gave my copy away to someone I felt needed it. But, just recently I purchased this book again, because it is that good. I have also ordered 4 of his other books from Amazon.UK, as they are hard to obtain here in the U.S.

Blessings, Rev. Jeff, Professional Psychic, Reiki Master
(...)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be engaging, humorous and informative. I just picked it up one wet afternoon and couldn't put it down. This is the first book that I read by the Barefoot Doctor and it related Taoism to my world in a way that other texts couldn't, while making me look at life in a new and positive way. You can read it straight through from cover to cover or dip in at random according to your mood. I have read it many times and just keep getting more from it. Once you've read this one, you'll want to read more - good thing he's just written his 5th book - Liberation.
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