Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Gifts Gifts for Her Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Holiday Music in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now DOTD

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $14.99
  • Save: $1.71 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Secret of the Golden ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The cover has visible markings and wear. The pages show normal wear. All shipping handled by Amazon. Prime eligible when you buy from us!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Secret of the Golden Flower Paperback – March 12, 1993

31 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$6.07 $1.86

$13.28 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Secret of the Golden Flower
  • +
  • The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life
  • +
  • The I Ching, or,  Book of Changes (Bollingen Series XIX) (Bollingen Series (General))
Total price: $38.91
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Cleary is the preeminent translator of classic Eastern texts, including The Essential Tao, The Essential Confucius, The Secret of the Golden Flower, and the bestselling The Art of War.


Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (March 12, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062501933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062501936
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By John S. Klingler on October 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a practitioner in the Tibetan Vajrayana for over thirty years. This short book, which I have put into daily practice has corrected mistakes in my practice to such an extent that I feel I have wasted thirty years. This, of course, is not entirely true. Because of the extensive study during those years I could appreciate the depth of Cleary's translation and commentary as one who has successfully practiced this meditation.

With practice, the book gets more and more profound and the practice more refined. It subsumes the whole of the Buddhist canon and that of Taoism and Confucianism and Christianity as well. In particular it brings one to the realization that scriptures, while valuable, have the danger of enmeshing one in words and concepts. On a more personal note, it has helped free me from trying to reproduce past experiences of enlightened mind, which are now just memories and therefore also concepts and ideas.

I have waded through Stopping and Seeing, also translated by Mr. Cleary in volume V of his collected translations, and would advise against it. It is very similar to Ashvagosha's Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, translated by D.T. Suzuki, which I studied at length many years ago. After your practice has reached a certain point, perhaps it might be of value to study such treatises.

Another thing that commends Mr. Cleary's translation is that he puts his commentary at the end so the translated text is presented without distractions. For this I am also grateful.

One thing that is not addressed in this or other meditation texts, nor by the meditation instructors I have had, is the basics of sitting meditation.
Read more ›
11 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Cleary writes an excellent translation of a foundational text. This is not a book that can be understood unless one has a general familiarity with Taoism and Buddhism. As a person follows either one of these disciplines, he or she may use the book as a sort of a gauge as to the depth of understanding one has gained. Each time I reread the book, I find that the content becomes clearer. In this sense it is excellent. It compliments other books in an eastern philosophy student's library.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful By V. K. Lin on December 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had difficulty with this book. As I've stated before, finding
English translations on any text is difficult, because Chinese
ideograms are themselves sometimes associated with different
meanings based on context, and because, especially with regards
to religious symbolism and internal alchemy, the symbolism can
be quite esoteric.
This book is divided into sections. The first is Cleary's
direct translation. The second is his commentary for each verse.
The last is an afterward regarding the "technques" espoused in
this book relevant to modern life.
Personally, I would have found the commentary more useful
integrated directly after each verse. The translation is still
highly symbolic, and the commentary adds a little to
understanding what is trying to be said. As it is, I found
myself re-reading the translation verse by verse, at the end of
each verse thumbing to the appropriate commentary. I did not
find the direct translation so poetic that the interruptions
would have destroyed any aesthetic sense from reading it. At
the very least, commentary at the end of each chapter would
have been better.
To a layperson like me, this book provided illumination in
glimpses only. It was hardly direct, clear, or straightforward.
A very strong working knowledge in Chan Buddhism or the
Completely Real School of Taoism would have served me well, but
alas, I don 't have that. The symbolic content was frankly
overwhelming, and it wasn't until I re-read along with the
commentary that I had a sideways understanding of what the goal
of "turning the light around" actually meant.
In fact, much of this book is written like a dissertation.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Butch on May 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
FYI: You might want to read the Translation Notes at the end of this book before tackling "The Secret..." Some books are better read backward. Another tack would be to read Cleary's "The Essential Tao" before tackling "The Secret...".

"The Secret of the Golden Flower" is about a Taoist method of turning our attention from involvement in exterior mental objects to focusing on our interior essence or source of mind. Making our inside the outside, being aware of the projector and not merely the screen. A theme alluded to in the "Matrix" movies, what is real and what is simulation and which is better, choices, choices, choices. The "Secret" is about discovering that we have free will, that we choose our reality, that we are not only observers of but participants in reality. About finding ourself, our true self. We choose to see the glass as half full or half empty, same glass of water, different perceived reality, the power of intention is a great mystery, the mysterious pass. Looking at reality as though it is something completely exterior to us creates separation from reality, separation from ourselves, the Fall into Duality. This is the root cause of much of our World's inhumanity to Man and Nature. We are estranged from our lives. It's only a movie. We are focused on things instead of essence. We have taken the blue pill believing that ignorance is bliss. It is not. Ignorance is the source of pain and suffering for it is ignorance that clings to that which cannot be grasped, the simulacra. Ignorance is being attached to things outside ourselves, temporal things. We, on the otherhand, are eternal. Truth is found within. There is a spark of Divinity within each of us. One way of waking up to the truth is through mind altering drugs, the red pill of "The Matrix".
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Secret of the Golden Flower
This item: The Secret of the Golden Flower
Price: $13.28
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: zen flowers, carl jung, three treasures taoist, secret book in chinese philosophy