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Cultivating Stillness: A Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind Paperback


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Cultivating Stillness: A Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind + Nourishing the Essence of Life: The Outer, Inner, and Secret Teachings of Taoism + Taoism: An Essential Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (November 24, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877736871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877736875
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese

About the Author

Eva Wong is an independent scholar and a practitioner of the Taoist arts of the Pre-Celestial Way and Complete Reality lineages. She has written and translated many books on Taoism and related topics, including A Master Course in Feng-Shui; Tales of the Taoist Immortals; and Taoism: An Essential Guide.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Overall, a wonderful book from both a scholarly and a practitioner's perspective.
Demitri Pevzner
Due to its esoteric nature, i.e., internal alchemy ... the author, a Chinese American, was guided by a Taoist master when learning from the original text.
Erika Borsos
Wong's commentary displays deep insight into the lessons and there is much to be learned here.
Zentao

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on February 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is based on an ancient Taoist text written by Lao Tzu. It is about changing oneself ... creating and maintaining internal harmony, despite external circumstances. Due to its esoteric nature, i.e., internal alchemy ... the author, a Chinese American, was guided by a Taoist master when learning from the original text. With this book, the author becomes our very own "master", as she guides us in understanding the path to "cultivating stillness."
One gets a good description of the Chinese philosophy and underpinnings of the text via a wonderful explanation of the symbols ... we learn about the I Ching, the three treasures, the stove and the cauldron, microcosmic circulation, and cleansing all of which occur within the twelve terrestrial branches. We learn of the symbolism of "the Golden Raven, "the Jade Rabbit","the Golden Palace", "the North Sea", "the Winding River", and "the Southern Mountain." Using breath as the catalyst, the student will eventually experience the regeneration of personal energy into vital energy ... The state of "wang chi", the intermediate state between "wu chi" and "tai chi" is discussed. We learn, "wu chi" is the state of the Void, or Tao. We learn, "tai chi", is the state of differentiating yin and yang, when yin encompasses yang, and yang encompasses yin. On many levels this is a complex book. However, if the reader wants to learn Chinese philosophy, the accompanying symbolism, as well as how this knowledge can transform the human spirit this book is definitely the place to start.
This is a poetry book, a book of free verse, filled with statements by Lao Tzu which precede each chapter.
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I got this book a year ago, and read it very intensely. It was completely abstract to me and I had a difficult time understanding the meaning of the text. Then I reread the introduction and that helped me understand some of the meaning behind the symbolism.

After applying the principles to my life, I saw the influence of harmonizing with the Dao (Tao) as it manifested to me.

All these experiences were wonderful and uplifting, but it was not until I had been reading other texts and had almost completely forgotten about the book that I had the revelation of internal alchemy and what the book was actually talking about.

This book speaks on so many different levels: it is a serious read. If you are interested in spiritual elevation, internal cultivation, and enlightenment of the mind then this book shows a path that can be followed, but it is only through inner discipline that a transformation is acheived.

Be humble and wise: life is one big road with a lot of signs...
Make up your mind to face reality all the time.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By shettakaburi on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Eva Wong has done a great service in translating this mystic tome and that effort, and the excellent commentary, is deserving of 4 stars. But a word to the not so wise, this is not for the beginner. One reviewer noted that it took reading many other books before they could begin to understand this one and that may indeed be the case for all of us, because at first sight, I've got nothing. Its completely symbolic and even the commentaries generalize important aspects of the Taoist Path. It is not an instruction guide...at all. As another reviewer put it, it is a book to meditate upon.
The introduction hints at much of the Taoist meditation techniques including circulating qi and the stages of enlightenment but the book does not elaborate and the reader may find, like i did, their taste buds had been whetted for a meal that never came.
A most interesting work for anyone seeking the Tao but it is not a detailed guide, it is scripture to wrap your mind around.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
Eva Wong's translation of the Ch'ing-Ching Ching has been a constant source of elucidation to me. The text is full of traditional Daoist metaphors, but a dedicated student can burn through these with sincere effort. For the most serious practitioner, the plates in Mandarin Kaishu reveal even more than the English text - a virtual roadmap to the Way of the Sages. This is not a quick read at the beach...it is a resource that will grow more meaningful as your practice deepens. Or, maybe it is most useful at the beach...watching the action of the waves, sitting and forgetting, entering stillness...
If you're serious about living a gentle life in a gentle world, make "Cultivating Stillness" a part of your living library. LISTEN to the meaning as you read the words. LOOK at the diagrams and plates. FEEL the movement of your original nature at this time. BE Wu-Chi. UNDERSTAND Wu-Wei. Use this book and FIND the Gate to Stillness.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cultivating Stillness is a text from the Taoist canon. Its Chinese name is the T'ai Shang Ch'in-ching Ching. Cultivating stillness is a short text of twenty-four segments. An exoteric interpretation will produce a reading of Taoism that focuses on the ideas of wu-wei, simplicity, and peaceful and harmonious living. An esoeric interpretation will reveal hidden instructions on internal alchemy and meditation, nd will offer advice on a lifestyle that is conducive to the cultivation of health and longevity.

Taoist methods of health, longevity, and immortality were often presented in the esoteric terminology of alchemy, which was intended both to reveal and to hide. To those initiated in the practice, the symbolism revealed a world of inner experience. To the uninitiated, the terminology would appear confusing if not meaningness.

This book does use the language of alchemy which will be more suitable for those who are actually practicing Taoist Inner Alchemy (being familiar with I Ching will also help), but it also contains commentaries on the benefits of cultivating stillness, practicing the experience of "nothingness", and points out the obstacles on the path which need to be dealt with.

The contents of the book point the way to raising one's conscousness, merging with the spirit / Tao.

"The teachings presented in Cultivating Stillness

Are suitable for men and women, young and old alike.

When the golden metal and the jade ston merge as one substance,

Ch'ien and k'un will acend to the highest realm of heaven.
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