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The Tao of Now: Daily Wisdom from Mystics, Sages, Poets, and Saints Paperback – September 5, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hampton Roads Pub Co (September 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157174584X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571745842
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Nirvana is immediate. Not hidden. Not distant. Not in the future but right in front of your face. Right now.

The Tao of Now helps readers experience the power of enlightenment moment by moment. In this book of daily meditations, Josh Baran shows readers that nirvana is staring them in the face—regardless of whether things get better, or whether true love happens, or whether the stock market goes back up, or whether they lose ten pounds. Nirvana happens when ordinary, everyday experience is freed from perpetual seeking or wishing for conditions to improve.

The Tao of Now contains some of the greatest ancient and modern teachings on the immediate experience of enlightenment from such notables as:

• Eckhart Tolle

• Rumi

• Stephen Batchelor

• Ram Dass

• the Buddha

• Jack Kornfield

• Byron Katie

• Pema Chödrön

Baran adds his own inspirational commentary on experiencing immediate nirvana to that of these teachers.

The Tao of Now is a wonderful companion for any tired seeker who wants only to know the power and peace of true, immediate enlightenment.

About the Author

Josh Baran is a former Zen monk and recognized teacher in the Soto Zen tradition and a contributor to Tricycle: the Buddhist Review. After leaving the monastery, Baran became a political activist, and is now an experienced marketing and public relations professional in New York. His clients include the Dalai Lama, Michael Crichton and Bill Gates, as well as Universal Pictures, Sony and AOL/Time Warner.

More About the Author

In 1970, at the age of nineteen, Josh Baran became a Zen monk. After seven years in the monastery he was recognized as a teacher in the Soto Zen tradition and received 'Dharma transmission'. The editor of this work he adds his own commentary to the writings. After leaving the monastery he became a political activist and is now an experienced marketer and public relations professional with extensive and varied clients from the Dalai Lama to Bill Gates, Universal Pictures, Sony, and Time Warner.

Customer Reviews

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Aphorisms, or short quotes and snippets, are great.
The tao of Now by Josh Baran is an outstanding collection of spiritual wisdom from the past to current.
Don Lubov
I've owned this book for many years and still find myself reaching for it on a regular basis.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Schell on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
"The Tao of Now: Daily Wisdom from Mystics, Sages, Poets, and Saints" is essentially a huge collection of wisdom quotes from all kinds of people, not necessarily just Buddhists. Quotes from Rumi, Buddha, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dogen, Jesus, as well as many literary notables. Edited and compiled by Josh Baran, a former zen monk and Soto Zen teacher. These are "wisdom quotes" not necessarily religious quotes, so you get ideas from every faith and outlook.

This isn't the sort of book you read through from cover to cover. It's fun to just flip through and read a page at random. There are 365 quotes, making it possible to go through one quote a day for a year with this book. Although these are not koans in the traditional sense, most are reasonably short and deep enough to allow for some real contemplation.

The introductory section is short, and explains much of the author's background and reasons for writing the book. I especially like his reasons for being a "former" monk. He got up and walked out of the monastery one day. I suspect this happens quite a lot, and his reasons are interesting. He also points out in the introduction that some of the quotes in the book are contradictory, but that doesn't necessarily make them wrong. You just need to think about where the original speaker was coming from contextually.

I'm not going to say this is a "must have" book, but it's fun, informative, and does contain a lot to think about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Poindexter on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I heard Adyashanti was visiting San Diego, I was stoked! I've spent countless hours listening/reading his stuff. I was excited and looked forward to the weekend because it'd be killing two birds with one stone: It's been some time since visiting Diego so I planned to both party hard and hit up the Adyashanti event.

Prior to the event, I was at the Barnes & Noble browsing New Age. I saw this book called "The Tao of Now." What caught my attention was the picture of a cell phone on the front cover: an opened flip-phone cell flashing a picture of clouds on the screen. What tripped me out was that I also have a picture of clouds on my cell screen.

Just the past year since "seeing" the world anew, I've noticed something about clouds that really fascinates me. I later noticed that for some reason, the non-duality books on my shelf have clouds on the cover, only clouds: As It Is by Tony Parsons, Awakening to the Dream by Leo Hartong, The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello, A New Earth, The Power of Now, and Stillness Speaks all by Eckhart Tolle. Could it be that these authors also find clouds fascinating?

The author begins by telling his personal experience of how his thoughts got in the way of an event he was looking forward to attending. When he was actually at the event itself, he couldn't enjoy because his thoughts were mucking things up. That sure hits home with me. I've had that experience many times. As I read further, I found that the book resembled one of the books mentioned earlier, "Stillness Speaks."

Aphorisms, or short quotes and snippets, are great. Because they are short and to the point, they don't add layers of thought to cloud things even further.
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Format: Paperback
First, this is a slightly revised edition of the 2003 "365 Nirvana Here and Now".

Second, in reading the author's introduction, Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer" flashed into my mind. If you're not familiar with that gem, Hoffer examines the mind of the fanatic, the zealot, the true believer.

Josh Baran is convinced of his wisdom.His self-assurance that he has achieved Nirvana is creepy.His conceit at his own imagined superiority : "When I returned to America, I found that I could no longer stomach many of the spiritual books in my apartment". Ah, yes, he had the Truth!

The bottom line is that Baran, whatever his state of enlightenment, has gathered "nuggets" that are supposed to unlock your mind, "strung them together" and "joyfully" offers them to the unenlightened.

In other words, this is a book of quotations from here and there.

A majority of the quotes are taken from Buddhist sources. Others come from figures as diverse as Paul Cezanne, the artist, to Thoreau and unknowns.

Accompanying far too many of these "nuggets" are Baran's unctuous, often nebulous comments such as "To look, really look at another, is to see ourselves for the first time".

Baran is, however, a good compiler, an excellent editor. Taken alone, the collected quotations on the whole are inspiring and uplifting.

It is Baran's self-aggrandizement and his projecting himself into the collection that detracts from the appeal of "The Tao Of Now". It is quite likely that the true devotee will find Baran's comments worthy of interest: the casual reader, in my opinion, will not.

Overall, I would suggest that unless you already have an interest in Tao, Buddhism and such, that you will find more motivating inspiration elsewhere.

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. BISHOP on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have collected quotes for over 30 yrs. and found my own collection much more inspirational. I really resented that after you read the quote, the author added his own idea/interpretation/direction below many of the quotes. I found that to be irritating and it interferred with my own thoughts concerning the quote. The cover is a turn off..a cell phone? What were they thinking? Buy yourself an exquisite journal and start collecting your own quotes. You'll enjoy it much more.
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