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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance Paperback – May 15, 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Authors combine sound scholarship with the knowingness of practitioners and an unerring sense of what will interest readers most…" —Booklist

About the Author

Drs. C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins live in San Diego and are both psychologists who have specialized in studies of the mind. They have devoted many years to the study of hypnosis and have taught meditation skills to people of all ages. They have also spent the past 25 years involved in the martial arts as practitioners, instructors, and writers. Their work in meditation spans their two worlds of professional interest: martial arts and psychology, adding a unique and comprehensive perspective to this book. In addition to contributing regularly to martial arts publications, they are the authors of Principles of Meditation, Living Meditation, Zen Around the World, and Meditation from Thought to Action, all published by Tuttle.
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Product Details

  • Series: Simple Series
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Original ed. edition (May 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804831734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804831734
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is organized into three parts: 1. History of Taoism, 2. Definition of Taoist Concepts, and 3. Taoism in Practice.

The second section is easily the best, most objective and least analytic. The authors define Tao, Te, wu-wei, ying and yang, p'u and chi. Taoism *is* "simple"; it isn't easy to practice, but far too many authors tend to analyze and over-analyze while defining, which is the precise antithesis of Tao. The second section of this book takes a solid Taoist approach by simply defining the terms; you use them your Way.

The third section, Taoist Practice, represents the authors' mindset. It is how they practice Taoism -- they write about some Taoist arts but not others and don't mention that this was their writing approach. Likewise for The first section, Taoist History. It reads as well-researched but speaks only of certain elements.

The problematic part is that book is written as though all concepts presented are in equal measure the essence of--and necessary to--Taoism, with no mention of elements left out. I bought this for a friend who was interested in the basics of Taoism, and I picked it up to see what I'd be giving him. I ended up reading it; it's very short and fast and I liked it a lot. I thought highly of it. Then when I gave it to him I found that I wanted to explain which elements could be appropriate or not for him, or what he doesn't need to take as "fact" of Taoism as it's presented here.

I've considered Taoism indespensible in my life for over a decade and while this book is quite a good introduction, it has a somewhat one-sided view that's presented as universal, which makes this a good primer course but requires supplemental information.
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If you already know the history of Taoism and are looking for a more practical, modern guide, this probably isn't the right book. This book takes a much more traditional view of Taoism, teaching the reader about t'ai ch'i and other activities. Presenting Taoism more as a faith than a philosophy, it's just not what I was looking for in a more practical guide to living with balance in one's life.
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I have been involved in Taoism for many years and found this book to be very true to the spirit of Tao. It clearly and beautifully explains the important concepts and people in straightforward language so that modern readers can not only understand it, but apply it! I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing more about Taoism.
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A great little book that discusses the history of Taoism and it's basic principles into short, easy-to read little chapters. Has a few of the exercises at end. It is NOT a bible or encyclopedia of Taoism, explaining all the variations etc, but it a great introduction to anyone who is curious--and really, I hope everyone is curious, because it is really fascinating. I found that the principles were compatible with both my christian upbringing/schooling (12 yrs), and some New Age ideas, and echoes ideas found in native American philosophies (which I personally found fascinating, since they developed on opposite sides of the world).
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I can't seem to get into this.The writing style isn't engaging and very factual without anecdotes that don't really appeal to my senses or entice. Very boring.Informative thus far, but I've had it for a while and can't get past the first 25 pages.
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Format: Paperback
Once you start telling people how to live, the whole idea of Tao is gone. The whole point of Tao is to live, in the constant stream of life, in the way that lets you blend with the environment. You can't tell someone how to do that. There is no guide to how each person should live their life. Tao is finding the way that works for you, and the rest of the world, in harmony on your own path, no guides.
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I am pleased that this book was easy to read and understand. I have resumed exploring more reading topics in the areas of spirituality, Eastern and Western religious practices, as well as tools to use for meditation. I will continue reading items with this particular school of thought
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Format: Paperback
Simple Taoism provides a handbook for life. Deceptively brief, it explains in plain language the basics of Taoism and builds on these with simple exercises to help you put the theory into practice. It gently persuades you to look at your life again. Stand back and let things take their course - let your true nature emerge. A book that was meant to find its way onto my shelf. Feet on the ground stuff, but providing spiritual insight. An inspiration!
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