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on February 15, 2013
I have read many of Thomas Merton's works. I enjoy his introductions in the main, but this time I thought the introduction "awfully wordy;" not incorrect, or poorly thought out; just full of verbiage. This is my only complaint.

The approach with Taoism, by a Cistercian Monk seemingly moving away from dogma -- but not really away from dogma -- a kind of Chuang Tzu approach is welcomed in a world where Catholicism is being challenged more and more. I am a lapsed Catholic that "religiously" prays the Liturgy of the Hours.

This book gives a novel way of approaching whatever we consider reality. It does not suggest a way to God, it suggests an approach in living and thinking.
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on December 5, 2015
Love this book and especially this format. Would like to see more, as this one is currently out of print and hard to find. Regardless, Merton retells these stories more credibly than other translations I've read.
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on February 18, 2015
Merton's translation is infinitely readable. My favorite of the many out there. His intro is brilliant as well—except for that one part about comparing Changzi to the Apostle Paul (go figure!).
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on June 17, 2016
A book that should be in the curriculum of every well rounded individual.
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on May 31, 2010
I throughly enjoyed this interpretation of the writings of Chuang Tzu. Thomas Merton's translation of this spiritual classic is complete with the humor and shock methods in Chuang Tzu teachings. Much of the material show the ironies of conceptual thought as a placement for levels of consciousness. Dualistic thinking is also made fun of and even attacked when seen in places of power, such as the political realm. It is amazing how true that still is today.

This material is timeless, it shows much of the faults of the human condition, the limited perspectives of those dominated by the ego. However examples are also given on good leadership; promoting community by letting each individual contribute in harmony with the Tao. The words are also very poetic and stimulate far reaching thoughts of who we are, what we are, and Where we are going.
The simple answer being all things, nothing, everywhere, nowhere, no beginning and no end. If such thoughts aren't interesting to you then you most likely won't appreciate this book.
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on July 18, 2007
I am a recently retired teacher who for thirty-five years have begun every class (Theology, Sexuality, Physics, Chemistry, Math and in summers Arts and Crafts to kids 4-12 years old) with a sounding of small brass cymbals (Tibetan), a minute of silent breathing followed by a short reading from the Tao Te Ching, Emily Dickinson, a portion of the Sermon on the Mount, or the Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton.
I meet former students now pushing into their fifties who baldly admit that those moments have stayed with them all these years and they have included meditation as one of the most important activities in their lives.
Thomas Merton's Introductory Notes say it far better than I ever could and should be read .
I can only wholeheartedly recommend that you buy this book and keep it at your desk or bedside for a quick straightening out of your mind concerning what is really important in life.
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on October 2, 2017
wonderful quotes from old school Chinese soul challenging
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on October 9, 2015
An excellent, thought provoking book. It leads us to an innate understanding of "the way" as illustrated by the short stories of Chuang Tzu. I would have liked more of Thomas Merton's thoughts regarding these snippets, however, he probably allowed us more freedom with regard to this.
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on January 31, 2017
I've read this book over a dozen times. Merton in his opening puts the books poem in a Christian context that makes them more relevant to my journey. When working with individuals and teams on individual and team interactions, I often refer to a set of the poems.
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on January 14, 2014
There is something so mesmerizing about Chuang Tzu, so loving and necessary.
Reading it again, is to find Tao in every page.
Going back to the little stories, made each day for me, a unique one!
A nice remainder of what is really important in life!...
NOTHINGNESS....contains everything!
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