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    $39.96 $31.95 list($49.95)
    1. Life and Teaching of the Masters
    $4.95 $3.38
    2. The Art of War
    $12.56 $11.97 list($17.95)
    3. Sex and the Perfect Lover: Tao,
    $8.96 $5.25 list($11.95)
    4. The Tao of Pooh
    $9.71 $6.46 list($12.95)
    5. When Things Fall Apart : Heart
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    6. Autobiography of a Yogi
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    7. Tao Te Ching
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    8. Tao Te Ching : 25th-Anniversary
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    9. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
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    10. The Visionary Window: A Quantum
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    11. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
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    12. Freedom from the Known
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    13. I Ching Workbook
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    14. The Cambridge Companion to Arabic
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    15. Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao
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    16. Bushido: The Way of the Samurai
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    17. Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening
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    18. The Tao of Physics
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    19. Code of the Samurai: A Modern
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    20. Guanzi

    1. Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East (6 Vol. Set)
    by Baird T. Spalding
    list price: $49.95
    our price: $39.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875165389
    Catlog: Book (1986-06-01)
    Publisher: DeVorss & Company
    Sales Rank: 9278
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (53)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Keys to enlightment....
    I bought this book a few of years ago. I finished reading only the first three volumes. It was only this past month that I have been able to read the 4th to 6th volume ..hoping to have an understanding and perspective to the events of Sept ll...New York. This is a book that may help humanity to attain world peace and harmony.
    The teachings of the Masters are valid and will make a difference in the most auspicious times...of humanity as we face the next few years....this book represents the panacea for world peace and I hope more people will find their way to this book.
    I especially value Baird T. Spauldings, question and answers pages...I hope there will be more of his books...published..

    Never in history of humanity that this book is appropriate and applicable in our circumstances of world today...the critical change is about to happen...and we all can make a difference when we learn to live according to the teachings of the Masters.

    I am amazed that this Baird Spalding was born May 26, 1857. His writings and true to life experiences are timeless and if there is any thing that each one of us needs at this time to experience his biography and teachings of the Masters of the Far East. As a Christian, and a bible student since i was 9 years old. I am bewildered why this book is not as popular. I recommend this to all sincere read this book with an open heart and mind. It is the first book that I have read which finally answered an a question of what happened to Jesus after the ressurection and his meeting with his history?

    As a child, I have always wondered why so little was written in the bible about his life after his ressurection ...and why so many churches protray the image of "Jesus as death on the cross." It has taken 62 years of my finally read a book by a man who was born in 1857...and this is the year 2001..!!!

    B. Spalding's experiences "TESTIFIES" THE TEACHINGS IN "THE BIBLE"....and validates the "resurrection" of Jesus , the Christ, THAT HE LIVES!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The book series that can provide meaning for your life
    When a friend of mine gave me this series of books as a gift, he made me promise that I would read them. He knew that I do not have much time to read. He also knew that these are rather "deep", and therefore could not be properly read in ten minute segments fit into a busy day. I waited until a recent vacation, and I took the set of books along. Once I started, I could not stop. It took me over a year to fulfill my promise, and I blame myself for losing this year of my life. These books are absolutely incredible. No matter what faith you have, or do not have, you will be inspired. Although the content is amazing and sometimes incredible, it is presented with such honesty and straightforwardness that it is believable. I found that I WANTED to believe it. And I NEEDED it to be true. All limitations have now been removed from my life, and I cannot fail in my renewed mission to serve others. Thank you, Baird T. Spalding. And of course, thank you, My God.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The lives and teachings of true alchemists
    Yes, it does seem that the practice of internal alchemy faired far better in the East than in the West. After all there are many more true masters living in India and China. One may add that the general world-view there (at least in China) is more supportive of the practices and life-style required for spiritual attainments.

    In Taoist Alchemy, there is even classification of immortals, according to the levels of attainment:

    - Human Immortals remain human, but though they eat, drink and dress like people, they can avoid the calamities of aging, sickness and death

    - Earth Immortals remain on the earth, but they are not affected by cold or heat, hunger or thirst. Though they cannot project their spirits, they can avoid the bother of food, clothing and shelter

    - Spiritual Immortals are capable of supernatural powers and transformations; coming and going at will; they can shed the physical shell to attain an ethereal independence. They can dissolve into energy or solidify into form.

    - Celestial Immortals go even further in their work. They go beyond our human world to another world that cannot be imagined by human intellect.

    Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East describes lives and provides teachings from what would in Taoist Alchemy be called Spiritual and Celestial Immortals.

    Supernatural powers emerge spontaneously at certain stages of spiritual development, as a result of one's merging with the "All", with the Infinite, with God, with Tao.

    Any person who has even meditated for any extended period of time would of necessity become aware of the spontaneous emergence of certain "powers".

    It is only natural that as one meditates upon the Infinite Life, as one holds in his awareness the Infinite Life, that one becomes filled with more Life.

    It is only natural that as one hold in his awareness that which is Infinite and Eternal, free of all limitations that the limitations would begin to fall off out of his own life.

    It is only natural that as ones consciousness is filled with spiritual thoughts, spiritual energy begins to saturate his mind, emotions and body, spiritualizing the body in the process, re-arranging one's neurology and enabling the individual to do easily what he wasn't able to do before.

    There is nothing unspiritual about using one's legs to walk, why would it be unspiritual using one's higher ability to teleport.

    When ordinary people work at jobs using their intellectual abilities, it is no more or less spiritual then doing physical labor. So why would manifesting supply directly of the universal substance be unspiritual? Energy follows thought. All that these masters are doing is using their thoughts in a constructive way.

    After all, the life on spiritual path becomes easier and lighter, as one progresses along.

    People in Life and Teachings do not use their powers to boost their egos, but when the use of these abilities is necessary. They use their powers responsibly.

    Ordinary people go to schools and universities to learn some skills and get degrees. That in itself doesn't make them either spiritual or non-spiritual. How they use their skills - to help people or to take advantage of them, their motivations for using them is what would make it spiritual or non-spiritual.

    We all have the same amount of time and energy available and we choose how we're going to use them, whether we'll just waste our lives, whether we'll develop skills to just get by or whether we'll develop skills and abilities that will enable us to live meaningful lives.

    Spirituality is not something we do in our spare moments - it is the cultivation of spiritual awareness in all that we think and say and do. And yes, bodies are necessary - that's why we're here and that's why we have them. Our bodies are our alchemical labs, the vessels in which the alchemical transmutation occurs. That is where we cultivate life, where we tend our spiritual embryo, until it is strong enough that the physical body is not necessary any more. As the spiritual embryo grows and matures, the spiritual powers naturally emerge - just like a kid or a man is able to do more than a baby. And there is nothing "unspiritual" about a man using the abilities that naturally emerged with his bigger and stronger body. It is not more spiritual to keep on crawling like a baby, when one can walk, so why should one live bound by limitations of those in "mortal consciousness" after he realizes that he is not a "mortal" and "limited" being, after he is realizes that he is still as God created him, in His image and likeness - free of all limitations.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Supernatural Nonsense Not Enlightenment
    I fail to understand whay so many people have given this book 5 stars. These books are filled with stories of the supernatural...telephathy, teleportation, immortality, etc... While such stories may be entertaining, enlightenment is not the result!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Big Secret Revealed
    This collection of material reveals to the reader the long kept secret that there are people who are living on this planet who have defeated/conquered death and are immortal. FACT not fiction. For further evidence read the following: Unveiled Mysteries and The Magic Presence by Godfre Ray King. The only books you'll ever need. ... Read more

    2. The Art of War
    by Sun Tzu
    list price: $4.95
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0762415983
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
    Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
    Sales Rank: 1309
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu is universally recognized as the greatest military strategist in history, a master of warfare interpretation. This condensed version of his influential classic imparts the knowledge and skills to overcome every adversary in war, at the office, or in everyday life. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars are you kidding me
    VERY DECEPTIVE. Makes it seem like its a hardcover book, yet it fits in the palm of my hand. its 3inches by 3inches. That is just ridiculous. On top of the deception, the "book" was a TOTAL RIP OFF.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Simply shoddy
    ``Don't judge a book by its cover.'' They could have at least gotten the Chinese characters the right way round -- the text on the cover is flipped left-to-right. I would not express surprise if this were representative of the contents (translation.)

    I can't say I'm particularly impressed with this edition of an otherwise great classic. (Allegedly. I've yet to read it. :-/)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Way screwed

    1-0 out of 5 stars Screwed!
    I expected a book not a pamphlet! Thank God I didnt pay alot or I really would have been Pis$#% Off!

    1-0 out of 5 stars I've been deceived.
    This book fits into the palm of my hand. I feel the seller deceived me in not disclosing this detail in the product description. ... Read more

    3. Sex and the Perfect Lover: Tao, Tantra, and the Kama Sutra
    by Mabel Iam
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0738704083
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
    Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
    Sales Rank: 928
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sexual desire is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When repressed or expressed inappropriately, it can create problems-but when celebrated in a loving relationship, it can take you to the heights of sexual ecstasy and emotional fulfillment.

    Sex and the Perfect Lover is a guide for those who wish to strengthen sexual relationships and discover a source of power, pleasure, and intimacy like no other. Explore the magic and power of sacred sexuality through philosophies and practices both ancient and modern:

    -Visualization and other magical techniques to increase your sex appeal -Techniques for overcoming sexual blocks and inhibitions -Instructions for how men and women can achieve multiple orgasms, and how to find and stimulate a woman's G-Spot-Illustrations and descriptions of the positions of the Kama Sutra for increased intimacy and sexual pleasure -Techniques for a perfect first time with your lover -Tips for rekindling the flames of passion in an existing relationship -How to find your twin soul and the seven golden rules for creating loving relationships ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sex,the Perfect Lover is a guide for people in love or not
    Sex and the Perfect Lover is a guide for those who wish to strengthen sexual relationships and discover a source of power, pleasure, and intimacy like no other. Explore the magic and power of sacred sexuality through philosophies and practices both ancient and modern:

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is book about sex, tantra an tao
    more clear and nice that I read

    this book give many tips very clear, about sex, love and soulmates ... Read more

    4. The Tao of Pooh
    by Benjamin Hoff
    list price: $11.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140067477
    Catlog: Book (1983-07-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 1560
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living. ... Read more

    Reviews (151)

    5-0 out of 5 stars No poo-poohing...
    'The Tao of Pooh', a fascinating synthesis of Eastern philosophy and Western children's literature, is done largely in conversational style between Benjamin Hoff, erstwhile writer, photographer and musician with a penchant for forests and bears. Thus, Pooh makes a natural philosophical companion. But, more than a companion, Pooh is, for Hoff, the very embodiment of the Tao.

    'It's about how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!' I yelled.
    'Have you read it?' asked Pooh.

    This is two-way book: to explain Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh, and to explain Winnie-the-Pooh (not always an easy task itself) through Taoism. Taoism, more academically, is a religion indigenous to China, built upon teachings primarily of Lao-tzu, with significant influence from Buddha and K'ung Fu-tse. It is in the teachings of harmony and emptiness and being of Lao-tzu, however, that Taoism draws its meaning, believing that earth is a reflection of heaven, and that the world 'is not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons.'

    As with many religions, this one took various guises: philosophic, monastic, structural, folk. But through them all, the imperceptible Tao, the essence of being, essentially undescribable, shapes the universe continually out of chaos, with a yin and yang alteration of perpetual transformation, in which nothing remains eternal save the Tao.

    This makes Pooh a perfect example and exemplar. 'For the written character P'u, the typical Chinese dictionary will give a definition of 'natural, simple, plain, honest.' P'u is composed of two separate characters combined: the first, the 'radical' or root-meaning one, is that for tree or wood; the second, the 'phonetic' or sound-giving one, is the character for dense growth or thicket.'

    Through semantic changes, perfectly in keeping with the Tao, we find that Pooh, or P'u, is actually a tree in the thicket, or a wood not cut, or finally, an Uncarved Block. And this, of course, is what pure being is.

    Pooh, in his journey through the Tao, with the Tao, of the Tao (it is a hard one to nail down, isn't it?) encounters many. This includes Eeyore, the terminally morose, who represents Knowledge for the sake of Complaining about Something. It also includes Owl, the Western successor of the 'Confucianist Dedicated Scholar', who believes he has all truth as his possession, and studies Knowledge for the Sake of Knowledge (even if it isn't always the best knowledge). 'You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.'

    Of course, all of the knowledge of the Owl, accompanied by the variable helpfulness of Rabbit who cannot stop activity in favour of just being something, couldn't figure out what had become of Christopher Robin, who left the Very Clear Note on his door:


    Who or what is a Backson? Backsons are those people trying to outrun their shadows and their footprints, not realising that to stand still and rest in the shade defeats the power of both. And of course, the Bisy Backson is never at a standstill. And of course, one cannot experience the Tao, be the Tao, know the Tao (well, you get the Tao) if one is perpetually on the run.

    The Bisy Backson is always


    or, maybe GONE SOON. Anywhere. Anywhere he hasn't been. Anywhere but where he is. Of course, the idea of not going anywhere is abhorrent to him, and there is no concept of being able to do nothing.

    Nothingness frees the mind. Nothing works like nothing. For there is nothing to distract you. Nothing to get in the way. Nothing to hinder you. Nothing means anything.

    Now, read that last sentence again, carefully.

    Nothing means anything.

    Any thing is by definition itself, but when it is no thing, it can become potentially any thing.

    'Oh, I see,' said Pooh.

    Wisdom lies in the way of Pooh, who shirks the busy-ness of Rabbit, the intellectual hubris of Owl, and the doom-saying of Eeyore. Pooh simply is, and enjoys being who he is. Pooh is a Master, who knows the Way. Learn from him. Learn to be with him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous explaination of a difficult topic
    Benjamin Hoff has taken an intricate and complex philosophy and distilled it to its essence in the delightful Tao of Pooh. This is much easier to read and understand than the I Ching (Book of Changes) or the Tao ti Ching (Book of the Way.) With Pooh as your guide, Hoff clearly articulates the lessons and tenets of the Tao ("the Way").

    Taoism, a Chinese peasant religion and philosophy, was founded by Lao Tzu in the 5th century BC. Essentially it urges its followers not to resist the natural ebb and flow of life - after all, nature will always win, so why waste the energy? Hoff, using Pooh and the other characters of the Hundred Acre Wood, illustrate how "the Way" is practiced in day-to-day situations.

    Yet there is more to this wonderful little book than an elucidation of Taoism in practice. Hoff takes neither himself or his subject too seriously, often times having "conversations" with Pooh who, in his almost child-like simplicity, both emphasizes and embodies living "the Way".

    This is no children's book - but it is fun to read for its message, its messenger and its content. I recommend it without reservation.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Loveable, huggable, simple-minded Pooh
    This book completely expresses the simple-mindedness of Pooh & the simple-mindedness of Taoism. The author explains things that normally would confuse people in the plain 100-acres woods way so that everyone can understand. From the over thinking Owls to the Quiet minded Poohs. I read this book ever few months when I start to feel myself sway from quiet realistic thoughts. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who may be alittle confused or need alittle clarity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a great introduction to the Way
    I bought this book in '95, and re read it about once a year. If you want a simple, wonderful introduction to how life can be, you might want to read this book.

    I do not agree with the other reviewers in this thread, who say this book is against the western lifestyle. The author does have criticism about the western civilisation, and if you think about it, it all does make sense.

    Thanks to this book I have found my path, and inner peace that goes with it. It has so many treasures inside, that I cannot even begin to mention them all...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Of Vinegar and Honey
    This is a wonderful book with a few minor flaws. Even if you have no wish to follow Tao, it can be taken as a fresh and light-hearted look at many of the timeless truisms we may already know but choose to ignore. It's also a jolly read.

    So it's a shame to quibble, but quibble I will. The first tale we are given is that of the vinegar tasters. Unfortunately Benjamin Hoff fails to heed the lesson as he repeatedly grimaces at the bitter taste left by western civilisation. Some sections are even likely to irritate (see other reviewers).

    p.s. some of my favourite ways of doing nothing include running, swimming and the gym; so I don't know what Hoff would make of me. ... Read more

    5. When Things Fall Apart : Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)
    by Pema Chodron
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570623449
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-26)
    Publisher: Shambhala
    Sales Rank: 2456
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    How can we go on living "when things fall apart" – when we are overcome by pain, fear, and anxiety? Pema Chodron’s answer to that question contains some spectacularly good news: there is a fundamental happiness readily available to each one of us, no matter how difficult things seem to be. But to find it, we must learn to stop running from suffering, and instead actually learn to embrace it – fearlessly, compassionately, and with curiosity. This radical practice enables us to use all situations, even very painful ones, as means for discovering the truth and love that are utterly indestructible. ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Advice is not very useful
    This book caught my attention in a bookstore at a time when I was going through a lot of stress due to things "falling apart" in my life. Basically, I was in a situation where just nothing seemed to be going right. I bought this book and started reading it. It gets very quickly into the teachings of buddhism. The primary message that I got from the book was that of "letting go". Yes, this is one way of dealing with things when they get overwhelming. But there are other, far better ways, I think. This book is a valuable read for understanding buddhist philosophy. But, if you're looking for inspiration during trying times in your life, you'll have to look elsewhere--and there are plenty of such inspirational books. A good example of such a book is "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Brian Weiss.

    When one is going through difficult times, I don't think one should just give up and stop trying. But that is the recommendation of this book. Instead, I think one can change one's thoughts and one's expectations. But one should not stop making an effort altogether and just "let go" completely. The book's title is misleading; it won't really help someone whose life is falling apart. I know for sure that it didn't help me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Leaning into life's sharp points.
    Life's difficult times may be inevitable, but they're not a prerequisite for appreciating the 146 pages of wisdom found in this book. Pema Chodron is the director of Gampo Abbey in Pleasant Bay, Nova Scotia. WHEN THINGS FALL APART pays respect to her teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We learn in the book's title essay, before becoming a Buddhist nun, Chodron survived the anger of a failed marriage. In truth, she writes, it saved her life (p. 10).

    Chodron's experience illustrates the point of the 22 "teachings" contained within this book: "Life is a good teacher and a good friend" (p. 10). Life, Chodron observes, "is like riding a train sitting backwards" (p. 143). Leaning into the sharp points along the way is the kind of instruction we can apply to our lives to bring about "revolutionary changes in how we perceive things" (p. 139). The thorny path through hope, fear, death, loneliness, opinion and chaos should not be avoided. It is the goal.

    I have now read Chodron's book twice. It is like a heart-to-heart encounter with an insightful friend. Thank you, Pema Chodron.

    G. Merritt

    5-0 out of 5 stars Infinite Power for Living
    I grew up and was deeply involved in a moderate Baptist church. For much of my life I considered myself a "good" Christian who knew that Jesus died for my sins and therefore I also knew that I was bound for heaven. But it wasn't until I was 40 years old and had seen my life fall apart that I decided to let go of my life completely, and give it to God.

    Interestingly, after this total commitment and release to God, I was immediately and strangely drawn to the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. Many wonder why this book was included in the bible because it seems to contain nothing but the pervading theme of hopelessness. Yet, its words seemed to give me comfort and a source of spiritual strength. It was difficult for me then to explain this to other Christians.

    Pema's book is a kind of contemporary practical application of the teaching found in Ecclesiastes. Of course our lives and our world are utterly evanescent. Nothing lasts. Yet, most of us become quite delusional during our lives by effectively denying this fact. We grab hold of anything we can that can give us a sense of a sustainable and unique identity... including our religious tradition. But any or all of this can be taken away in an instant. Both Pema's and Ecclesiastes' teachings have the power to bring us home by helping us to discover our eternal identity in the unmanifest... in the mystery of Infinite Spirit. Once we find our home there, nothing can shake us. There is a power and a joy that is not fully describable with words... because its source lies beyond words, beyond creation.

    In one of Jesus' prayers he asks God to bring all people into Oneness... "may they be One as we are One." Pure Oneness implies the loss (even death) of a separate identity, and the realization of a universal identity as One. Pema's use of the idea of hopelessness is really the movement through the death of our false and fleeting separate identities into the ultimate home of Oneness with each other and with God. I believe that Pema's teachings can aid any one that is ready, whose ego has been broken enough, to discover their eternal home even as they live in this manifested world. This can be a liberated life filled with the courage and fearlessness to bring Unconditional Love to the whole world, and especially to the seemingly unlovable.

    2-0 out of 5 stars OVERATED and MIND NUMBINGLY BORING
    I do not understand the fascination with Pema Chodron's works. Her voice sounds like somenoe who has never known a day of joy in her life. She is extremely repressed sounding and sucks the life out of LIFE. I felt like I was chocking on cardboard listening to her. While I agree with her that we shouldn't contine to believe that we can creat a permanence to our lives her way is just as devoid of seeing the truth. Lovingkindness and Compassion are what makes life worthwhile but I felt like my mind was being dragged over cement listening to how she thought we should go about accomplishing this. There are plenty of teachers who are better such as Jack Kornfield or Sharon Salzburg who seem to convey some of these ideas in a way that feels compassionate. I think Pema just has catchy titles for her books. She also offers no reasonable way to live out these teachings in a way that works towards peace or the caretaking of our planet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great work
    Pema Chodron is a beloved American Buddhist nun who trained under Chogyam Trungpa, the at times controversial Tibetan meditation master. Yet whatever qualms you may have in mind about him, please don't let that taint your perception of Pema. She is truly a shining, clear and loving teacher among us today.

    In this book Pema draws from the traditional Buddhist wisdom in order to give us thorough and kindhearted advice on what to do when, as the title suggests, "things fall apart." There is only one approach that grants lasting benefit, Pema tells us here, and that entails approaching these situations with openness and inquisitiveness. Teaching us to embrace our painful emotions, she shows the way on how to gain both wisdom and compassion not just towards and for ourselves, but for all people.

    "The Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen To Good People." - Publishers Weekly

    "This is a book that could serve you for a lifetime." - Natural Health Magazine ... Read more

    6. Autobiography of a Yogi
    by Paramahansa Yogananda
    list price: $6.00
    our price: $6.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0876120796
    Catlog: Book (1979-06-01)
    Publisher: Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers
    Sales Rank: 7941
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (167)

    A spiritual classic would be to grossly understate its potential effects; this book of truth and divine wisdom in this age makes it a true-godsend from one united with the Lord. Reading it a few months ago, I couldn't help but realize how all the people in our world could enlarge their realm of happiness with the tinge of divine sweetness by grasping this book's eternal essence and practicing its doctrines to lead one to soul freedom. Meditation on the Lord is our eternal birthright and duty, without it, that "something" else will never appear. Please, I urge anyone to read this book and practice the science of Kriya Yoga. Give it a try, for a day, a week, or month; however longer you persevere the effects of harmony will increase. I speak from my practical experience, to those that scoff at the possibility of the human soul and vitalism, I ask then, what do we then live for? A hundred hours of sensual satisfaction can not dare compare to the gentle aura of soul bliss one can experience during attempts at God-communion. When we once realize the eternal soul as Paramahansaji states, that something else has been realized.

    Set aside your beliefs and pre-suggested notions of life for one moment, spend a few dollars for eternal knowledge that will unlock the door to the realm of infinite bliss, and you will see the practicality of the book will in itself lead you to seeking more. In that pursuit, you will find yourself!

    As a long time student of comparative religion the discovering of this spiritual classic "Autobiography of a Yogi" set my thinking and life experience in a very new and unexpected direction. Until I became familiar with the great avatar "Paramahansa Yogananda" my superficial philosophical adventure seemed fulfilling enough. Now I am seeing the deeper aspects of the spiritual life and many new understandings and revelations are being opened to my consciousness.

    I also read the original edition of this book, which I find somewhat incomplete, as Yognanda himself began seriously revising this book with each new edition. So the reader will get the most complete and most accurate teachings of this great Yogi from the latest editions published by Self-Realization Fellowship publishers, via Amazon books.

    I highly recommend this edition to all truth-seekers and students of comparative religion as a major key to unlocking our past conditioning and broadening many narrow views that we become attached to in our earlier development. Here is a balanced and insightful approach to world religion and spirituality that gives true ecumenical recognition to all the worlds major saints and prophets. This spiritual classic will contribute much to bringing harmony, peace and mutual respect to this world of so many varied belief systems.

    The author, with his unique blend of wit, wisdom, insight and intuition has shown us the primary elements and truths that are the foundation of all religions. He does this without criticism, judgement, or error. His is the same eternal message that was given the world by other great saviors such as Krishna, Buddha and Jesus.

    I have no doubt that millions of lives have already been changed by this sacred literary revelation................

    This is surely the work of a God-Realized bieng, a wonderful experience awaits the sincere reader. Don't make the mistake of only reading it once!!!

    LIST OF SUBJECTS: Author's early life... Meeting your Master... The Master-Disciple relationship... The Science of KRIYA YOGA... Meditation and prayer... Lives of many modern Eastern and Western Saints.. Law of they work... Principle of Raja Yoga... How great masters teach their disciples... the inner meaning of Christ and Krishna... The Astral world... Reincarnation and Karma... How to find your true Path... Travels in India... The Spiritual heritage of India...

    the Importance of Yogananda's founding of the Self-Realization Fellowship as his only authorized channel for His writings and Kriya Yoga............ Footnotes on yoga and religious history.. Mans purpose and goal in life.......... AND MUCH MORE-------------

    ALSO RECOMMENDED: Man's Eternal Quest... Divine Romance... Journey to Self-Realization... The Science of Religion... God Talks With Arjuna(Bhagavad Gita)... Where There is Light...

    1-0 out of 5 stars A WORK OF FICTION
    The panegyrics stinks.

    Individualistic biases and notions of the famed author-guru built and sustained VERY BIASED and very romantic notions that later cramped and hampered a realistic outlook on the nation India, Indians, and *having sex* - which is not specially advocated in the book - and far, far less among monks and nuns that publish it. Said a lay members wife once about Yogananda, "He has destroyed my marriage."

    The work carries with it some negative effects.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Revelation for Sincere Seekers in the worlds Religions
    A Monastic Yogi was invited to represent Hinduism by the American Unitarian Association in Boston in 1920.

    In so doing this great mystic managed to enlighten Christians and other religionists by showing the unifying principles of the great religions.
    This served to bring many Christians from the erroneous dark Roman age concepts of divisiveness of exclusivity, of dogmatism and hell-fearing guilt, to the refreshing wisdom of harmonizing pluralism and the higher levels of spiritual understanding.

    But the really special feature of Paramahansa Yogananda's message was that like Krishna, Buddha, & Jesus, He is a living example of that life.
    A life that show to have all the light and glory of divine inspiration and presence.

    He fully represented that wisdom and the life and the truth, and taught it with an unparalleled clarity.
    "Wide is the gate that leads to destruction and the majority will go that way, narrow is the way that leads to life and few there will be that find it.?" JC .

    Paramahansa Yogananda brought us that life giving way. Not the politically correct way of the churches - but the way the Jesus [one of the world's many Christs/Avataras] taught us.

    After the passing of such a great prophet/Avatara, there will always be varying opinions as to what He actually did or represented and taught. This is especially true in the Christian tradition which not has about 2400+ cults and sects. Human nature requires that this naturally happens.

    It is unfortunate that even though it takes years of study and practice to understand such a life, many fast reading intellectuals will assume they understand it from a quick glance. This is how the untrained ego misleads us. Do you want a quick assessment or an accurate report?

    His wonderful teachings included various ways of transforming our identity with the limited ego into the limitless soul consciousness. Which results in the enhancement of all ones life abilities and attitudes for those who practice the methods of Yoga with regularity and understanding.

    This fact in general is why Yoga is in the early stages literally sweeping the world.
    Bringing with it very healthy and wonderful transformations of the Character, health, & personality of many millions. I have also personally experienced these blessings in my own life.

    While reading Yogananda's writing, one is struck by the fact that He always made it clear that devotees/disciples were not serving Him, but that they were clearly Gods Disciples.

    The cooperation & submission is the key to transformation, love cannot be known without surrender of ones sense of separateness and egocentric pride.

    The attitude of this book shows that by the normal teacher student cooperation one can gain the greatest amount of personal growth and self-realization/Salvation. Especially if the teacher is there to show one the way. It that teacher has reached God-Consciousness, His passing will not end his personal guidance. Many testify to the ongoing help of Yogananda.

    More recently, some of the stories in this book have been published by others in Yogananda's tradition as well as many others not in His tradition, and even though they are different stories, they are still very consistent with what we know about the great master.

    The book has been edited and changed by the author and his trained/appointed editors in chiefs to enhance the presentations of His final teachings. The latest editions are consitent with the masters teachings.

    No one ever claimed here to demonstrate infallability, a status that this world does not have the elements to support. This is one of the common errors Yogananda did not get caught up in.

    The Fellowship the yogi started, has avoided becoming a cult by the open and compassionate attitudes begun by Yogananda that avoid forcing rules on followers.

    Yogananda brought out the best of Krishna's and Christ's teachings to create a more compassionate and harmonious world, to show us how to reach that true state of Christ consciousness where the truths of enlightened pluralism/ecumenicism will flourish for the benefit of humanity. This is the harbinger of the world's future peace.

    Be sure to read Yogananda's most recently published book, "The Second Coming of Christ; Raising the Christ Consciousness Within You." Then you will gain a clearer picture of what spiritual freedom is!

    1-0 out of 5 stars GURUS AND MASTERS HAILED
    A hindu monk was sent to the West back in 1920 to spread kriya yoga teachings. In so doing he infiltrated Christianity by using Hindu concepts to explain away the claims of Christianity, and let people think he stood for perfect harmony between Hinduism as taught by Krishna, and Christianity as taught by Jesus. That has probably served to take many Christians in. Some parts of these teachings entered his autobiography too.

    His teachings also include demands to "kill the ego" - which is a necessary, integral part of your personality - and the demand may be used against duped followers - it serves guru dominion far and wide. Moreover, the insensible claim could work harm to the personality development.

    The attitude of the book shows "devoted servility" - submission - as a means for spiritual freedom - and major effects of giving away one's natural human rights in such a vein may turn unwholesome or disastrous. The author tells many stories to drive home guru submission messages.

    More recently SOME of the stories of this book have been published by others in Yogananda's tradition, and suffice to say they are different, and by far less fanciful in those other versions - and that many interesting stories of the guru's autobiography bear some resemblance of tales from Arabian Nights too. However, Yogananda, who was sent to address scientists and great minds, according to the book, has by and large omitted given proper documention of some of his most remote claims. They involve converting the body into light and resurrections. Lots of evidence for many of the claims is lacking.

    The book has been edited many times after the guru's death, and some changes don't seem to have been done by the author. Odd, very queer misconceptions have entered at least one peculiar footnote about maya.

    The fellowship the yogi started, has been called a cult with more than one disappointing sides to it - A few years ago one third of its monastic members quit.

    Here I have focused on showing important sides of the book in wider contexts. Much and deep submission is found and may be generated on top of the book as well. It is done in part by swollen, irksome claims - for example of many baffling "Hindu Christs". There are such mentions in the book too. It may be good to beware of Hindu infiltration that gives wrong premises to base one's life on. ... Read more

    7. Tao Te Ching
    by Stephen Mitchell
    list price: $8.95
    our price: $8.06
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060812451
    Catlog: Book (1992-10-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 4658
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living, and one of the wonders of the world. In eighty-one brief chapters, the Tao Te Ching looks at the basic predicament of being alive and gives advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit. This book is about wisdom in action. It teaches how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao (the basic principle of the universe) and applies equally to good government and sexual love; to child rearing, business, and ecology.

    Stephen Mitchell's bestselling version has been widely acclaimed as a gift to contemporary culture.


    ... Read more

    Reviews (112)

    2-0 out of 5 stars new age taoism
    As a Taoist I am offended when I read people saying that it's irrelevant whether Mitchell's interpolation is a good "translation" of the Tao Te Ching, irrelevant whether this is a good introduction to Taoism -- what matters to these people, and nothing else, is whether this book "moved" them.

    Imagine you're a devout Christian, and someone has read a particularly beautiful, but misleading and inaccurate, translation of the Bible. Suppose you complain that Christ's message has been garbled and distorted by the "translation" -- by someone who knows no Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek -- and this person replies: "It's pretty irrelevant to me whether this is a 'proper translation' of the Bible. If a piece of art, writing or performance touches you to the core of your being then all criticism is really obsolete," etc.

    Okay, quick quiz: Who of you think it would be right for someone to misinterpret the Bible into having Jehova or Christ saying things They didn't say, and then defend that interpretation because it is relevant to them? Well, you might say, it's their right to see the Bible that way, but it's certainly not Judaism or Christianity, now is it?

    Just as Mitchell's so-called "translation" is _not_ Taoism. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Of course New Agers simply don't care; if it makes them happy, "moves" them, and reifies beliefs they already have, who cares about us cynics complaining about the inaccuracies of the text itself? Just accuse us of being obsessed with textual criticism, languages, and with our petty, close-minded insistence on understanding Taoism and not twisting the Tao Te Ching for its easier but uninsightful digestion by Westerners with little or no concern about actually expanding their understanding of othr belief systems.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching is definitive.
    Next to the Bible, the most translated book in the world is the Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of the Way. It lays the philosophical foundations for one of the world's great wisdom traditions, Taoism. Written approximately 2,500 years ago by the legendary sage Lao Tzu, this classic continues to inspire readers today. To translate a work that has been translated so many times before--and so well--may seem almost an act of hubris. But as the English language continues to evolve, it is the duty of the translator to attempt to restate a classic for his or her generation, in a language that they can best understand. Stephen Mitchell, in Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, has done that for our generation. And to him we owe a debt of gratitude. Huston Smith has called this translation "definitive," and he has spoken well. At first, a traditionalist may be startled by, for instance, Mitchell's referring to the master as alternately "he" and "she;" whereas, the original refers to the master as masculine, only, thereby reflecting the truth of things in sixth century B.C. China. But when one remembers that the translator is duty-bound to bring the ideas of the text to his or her contemporaries in a way that will have most meaning for them, then one can see the wisdom of taking such a liberty. And, after all, it is in the spirit of Taoism to adapt to the circumstance. As water sometimes comes to earth in the form of rain, sometimes snow, and sometimes sleet, but always in accord with the season, so this classic comes to us now in a form that is right for our own day. Thus, once again, this time with the help of Stephen Mitchell, the Tao Te Ching speaks to humanity, pointing the way.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I am very confused as to how exactly this book got Published
    My copy of the Daodejing is a wood-block print edition from China in traditional characters, thus, I don't really bother with buying new English Translations, especialy ones prepared for hippy wannabees by scholars with no credentials playing off of New Age fantasies and pop-culture.

    Still, a freind of mine was given this book and brought it to me for evaluation, and honestly, I am very confused. I am confused as to why someone who does not speak Chinese would translate a book that is, even to Chinese speakers, elusive and dificult.

    I am confused as to why a person would seek to rephrase a work that has already been translated inumerable times when they have nothing new to offer in it's study. Rephrasing other English language works is not typicaly something people pay for... other wise I will get right to work on rephrasing the works of Ernest Hemingway, and we'll see if the same publisher would pay me to do it.

    I am confused as to why it is so hard for someone to get published if they have degrees and years of study in Chinese philosophy when apparently this novice can waltz in and publish something that isn't even good. I swear, I want his agent. He could probably sell snow to an eskimo.

    I am confused as to why so many people would seem to get their study of philosophy from sources no more sophisticated than a shopping mall or a quote of the day calendar. New Age spirituality in America is very confusing to me, because it is taken so serriously, but it is so superficial. Anyone who had their 'mind totaly blown' by this book, or who gained a deep reverence for the ways of the east after reading it should realy realize they know nothing about what they are talking about, even if it does impress their friends at the coffeeshop.

    Finaly, I am confused and so is Mr. Mitchell. He explains that he is qualified to make his marginal contribution because he spent a lot of time in Zen training. I'm a scholar of religions, so I don't want to make this too technical, but Zen is a form of Japanese Buddhism (it's Chinese counterpart is Chan) and the Daodejing is a work of Chinese Taoism. If he came face to face with Lao Zi during his Zen training, then I would hope his Roshi hit him really really hard with his Zen Stick.

    Zen is Buddhist, the Daodejing is Daoist. Buddhist pracitioners venerate the Buddha, Daoist venerate the Dao, hence the names. Although there is some question of the integration of early Taoist principles into Chinese Chan Buddhism, the overlap is a concern for accademic scholars at best, and certainly, no Zen monastery keeps a copy of the Daodejing or a picture of Lao Zi around. Can we presume that Mr. Harrison was not paying enough attention during his Zen training to realize that modern Japanese Zen Buddhism and Chinese Taoism have nothing to do with eachother? What kind of training did he have?

    In the end, I am just confused as to why someone would pay money for this book when there are others much better out there, others that are, for instance, actual translations.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Liberal translation of an ancient classic
    Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao te Ching is a refreshing departure from most literal translations of such works. The fact that he attempts to translate the meaning as opposed to the language of the text is what makes it refreshing as well as suspect. The reader must rely upon Mitchell's spirtual background to have faith that they are reading a book by Lao Tzu as opposed to Stephen Mitchell. This is a good book for a reader seeking an easy to read Tao. More serious readers should consider reading a more standard translation prior to reading this book. Despite this caveat, I found this to be an excellent second book and read it more often that the more literal translation that I also own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT INTERPRETATION

    8. Tao Te Ching : 25th-Anniversary Edition
    by Lao Tsu
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679776192
    Catlog: Book (1997-03-04)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 3279
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Scholars say that the original Tao Te Ching is a poem. Like a poem, this version of the Tao Te Ching is not meant to be read in one breath from front to back, but is to be at intervals internalized and contemplated. Jane English's haunting black-and-white photos that undulate in and out on every page act as glycerin elixirs, helping the words slide into our souls for patient digestion. The photographs--of a glistening spider web, cloud-enveloped mountain tops, reflections on water, leaves in the sunlight--are as serenely lyrical as the ancient text, itself. ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not Scholarly--Experiential!
    "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao."

    So begins this version of the Tao Te Ching. This book provides an experience of the Tao like few others. First, there is the blank page. Lots of white space. The absence, the void.

    "The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used, but never filled."

    "Profit comes from what is there, / Usefulness from what is not there."

    Emptiness is the vessel which contains the words and images of this experience. Each chapter is written in both English and Chinese. I don't even pretend read Chinese, but the characters evoke a sense of something beyond ...

    "The form of the formless / the image of the imageless / it is called indefinable and beyond imagination."

    The English translation reads smoothly. This is not the awkward prose frequently stumbled over when a scholar attempts to reproduce the ambiguities of the original in a foreign tongue. These words play smoothly together. The text does

    "not tinkle like jade / or clatter like stone chimes."

    The final element in this alchemy is the photographs:

    "Less and less is done / until non-action is achieved. / When nothing is done, nothing is left undone."

    Absent in this volume are the reams of footnotes which clutter most Taos I've read. Absent, too, are chapters on historical background and the relationship to Confucianism. If you seek these things, seek elsewhere.

    For me, this book has opened a way to the Tao.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 'This is called "following the light."'
    It is hardly difficult to understand the enduring quality of the Tao Te Ching. Written by Lao Tsu in the sixth century BC is a simple, quiet book that reflects upon our true nature and our behavior. Broken up into 81 'chapters' or short poems, it comprises a mere 5,000 words. Every other sentence is a memorable quote, and one can read it in an hour and study it for a lifetime.

    What I do find remarkable is the durability of this particular edition. My copy is ancient, dating back to my college days. At frequent intervals it seems to come to hand and I will peruse it again and enjoy the clarity of this translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. They have carefully chosen a simple, accessible style which I feel completely captures the nature of the Tao. "What is a good man? A teacher of a bad man.

    What is a bad man? A good man's charge."

    Accompanying the text are many fine examples of Gia-Fu Feng's calligraphy and Jane English's photographs. While I like Chinese calligraphy, I lack the understanding to make any judgement. I can only report that it shows flow and grace, and works perfectly with English's photographs. These latter capture, most often with natural images, a play of contrast which often is as calligraphic as the accompanying handwriting. Thus, the book itself is a careful balance between content and form.

    At the end of the day, or in an otherwise tense moment, this volume has often been the source of the tiny bit of sanity that makes the next day possible. There is much to meditate on here and this edition is a precious resource for the seeking mind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple wisdom for eternity
    This was the only personal book I had in my possession during my junior year of highschool when I was living with my paternal grandparents (most of the rest of my family's possessions were in storage in my other grandparents' house; long story). Since I discovered it on my parents' bookshelves in January of 1995, I have read it many times and never fail to experience the same sense of awe and agreement as I did the very first time. The ancient and beautiful words of Lao-Tzu helped to get me through a very tough year, and the description of the Tao as one, eternal, forever unchanging, the mother of the ten thousand things, unfathomable, unable to be truly grasped, nameless, elusive and intangible, and hidden deep yet ever present, strikes me as very similar to the Jewish belief in one God, one Divine Force which never changes and is unable to be fully grasped either. There are so many beautiful lines in here, so many true observations about human character, the Tao (or God, the Divine, Vishnu, Goddess, Great Spirit, however you call it), virtue, human nature, the nature of things. So many times Lao-Tzu points out that we cannot know something (like beauty, good, high, low, short, long, harmony, or softness) without experiencing its opposite. We are only able to see good as good because there is Evil in the world too, and beauty as beauty because there is ugliness. He also often mentions how these opposites can contrast and complement one another, follow one another, and overcome one another. One such example is that a small country can overcome a large nation which conquers it by submitting to it. I also love Chapter 31, which states that "[g]ood weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them," going on to say that a wise man (or woman) only uses weapons when one has no choice, and that "war is conducted like a funeral."

    This is one of the most famous and important holy books in world religion, yet unlike the longer and more complex works such as the Bible, Koran, and Vedas, this is amazingly simple, easy to interpret, not hard to read or to study, and easy to sum up: "Simply be."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Wisdom For Eternal Application. 10 Stars!
    Written centuries ago, the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tsu, brings humanity profoundly enlightened wisdom that when applied, will lift you into BEING, and free you from the pain of seeking.

    This 25th anniversary edition is beautiful, with illustrations, calligraphy, and breathtaking quotes that you can share with others to uplift their lives. A GREAT book to bring with you and look through whether you are waiting in an office for an appointment, in stand-still traffic, or especially if you are out in nature, and want to inhale the wisdom that best accompanies a natural environment.

    The words are timeless and priceless because of the profound truth they bring.
    You will learn much, and gain a great deal from the wisdom in this book.
    Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English did an outstanding job in translation. Highly Recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Gate to all Mystery
    I first encountered this translation in college as part of a comparative Chinese/Western philosophy course. At the time it went completely over my head; I preffered Confucius' "Anelects" and "Mencius." While I would highly recomend both of those to anyone interested in Eastern philosophy, it's impossible for me to describe the profound effect that the Tao Te Ching has has on my life. When I picked up this book again a few years after college I was stunned by it's simple beauty and staggering relevance and depth. A rare and priceless book, it touches on all aspectes of human existence- from metaphysics, to ethics, to the completely mundane.

    I've had the chance to check out a few different translations but this one is by far the most effortles and poetic. Not wordy or didactic It allows the reader to "experience" Lao Tsu's words and to draw their own conclusions. (along with some helpful notes by the translator) This is essential in conveying the words of a thinker who "Teaches without teaching" and, in itself, is more true to the elusive "Tao" than versions that attempt to explain Lao Tsu's words. At the same time this ellegant translation is both clear and accesible.

    The bottom line is that anyone interested in this work, whether they are aproaching it from a scholarly, aesthetic, religious, philisophical, or purely personal perspective, whether they are new to these words or not, will find far more than they expect in these pages. ... Read more

    9. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
    by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, William Scott Wilson
    list price: $9.00
    our price: $8.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 4770011067
    Catlog: Book (1992-01-01)
    Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN)
    Sales Rank: 9921
    Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Hagakure ("In the Shadow of Leaves"') is a manual for the samurai classes consisting of a series of short anecdotes and reflections that give both insight and instruction--in the philosophy and code of behavior that foster the true spirit of Bushido--the Way of the Warrior. It is not a book of philosophy as most would understand the word: it is a collection of thoughts and sayings recorded over a period of seven years, and as such covers a wide variety of subjects, often in no particular sequence.

    The work represents an attitude far removed from our modern pragmatism and materialism, and posesses an intuitive rather than rational appeal in its assertion that Bushido is a Way of Dying, and that only a samurai retainer prepared and willing to die at any moment can be totally true to his lord. While Hagakure was for many years a secret text known only to the warrior vassals of the Hizen fief to which the author belonged, it later came to be recognized as a classic exposition of samurai thought and came to influence many subsequent generations, including Yukio Mishima.

    This translation offers 300 selections that constitute the core texts of the 1,300 present in the original. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An accessable understanding of the Bushido
    The Hagakure explains the Japanese warrior code (Bushido) simply and elegantly, and in a much more accessable manner than "The Book of the 5 Rings," considered THE authority on the subject. The observations, thoughts and reflections of the author reflect the Zen aspect of the samurai code ("a samurai should reflect daily and in the most graphic manner his demise"), as well as the strong Confucian influence on Japanese culture (the tale of his Master, Nabeshima Mitsushige, covering his face with his sleeve in order not to see his men flustered when a wounded boar lunged at a hunting party) in addition to the crisis of peace the samurai faced under the Tokugawa Shogunate (providing advice on how to practice severing heads on the condemned.)
    All in all it was fascinating, and a marvelous "picture in time." I recommend this before reading Sun Tsu ("The Art of War") or Mushashi ("A Book of Five Rings.")

    4-0 out of 5 stars The lesser known 'Way of the Samurai'
    "Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai" was written by a samurai who never once fought in a battle and, being denied the "honorable" samurai death (ritual suicide) when his lord died, became a Buddhist monk for the last 20 years of his life and faded into historical obscurity. And yet, the book which is his legacy, a transcript of conversations collected over 7 years, grasps the heart of the samurai spirit so prevalent one hundred years before his time.

    Less abstract than Miyamoto Musashi's famous "Book of Five Rings" - a similiar work by a famous swordsman and samurai who came about his enlightenment after a lifetime of hacking, killing and dueling; and less concerned with military/political tactics than Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", "Hagakure" espouses a mixture of Confucianism, Zen and fanatical personal loyalty and devotion to samurai duty and responsibility and provides an often fascinating look into the ideals of the samurai warrior.

    For example, there is the popular warrior class obsessive focus on death. According to Tsunetomo, one's death should be fixed in one's thoughts upon waking and kept throughout the day. This allows one to serve his lord admirably without cowardice, attachment or distraction creeping in.
    There is a stong anti-materialistic bent ("Both riches and honour will blemish a retainer...") as well as plenty of Confucianistic thought on proper social graces - from it being bad taste to yawn or sneeze in front of others (including how to repress or hide it) to how to carry a letter properly. Some of it seems laughable in today's Western culture. Yet, without battles to focus on, its as if Tsunetomo, unable to turn his passionate warrior's focus outward, brought it inward, or at leat to the little things in life.
    There is also a Zen-like self-help bent - a serious perfectionism, which I feel probably drove Tsunetomo in everything he did. "Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never ending."(pg. 27) He summarizes the synthesis of his self-discipline, his perfectionist drive, and the 3 schools of thought which influenced his life: warrior, Confucist and Buddhist:

    "Never be oudone in the Way of the Samurai.

    To be of good use to the master.

    To be filial to my parents.

    To manifest great compassion, and to act for the sake of Man."

    Also check out "The Book of 5 Rings" by Musashi, the Samual B. Griffith translation of "The Art of War" and "Mastery" by George Leonard who uses Aikido as his metaphor for "the Way".

    4-0 out of 5 stars For the Quite Mind
    I read this book when it was near/below freezing outside; I sat on a metal bench. I read with such intensity, that I needed the cold to dedicate my mind to the words I was reading. I was often confused by the writings, where I would think about them in great detail until the message became clear. Each paragraph is very important. It is a short book, but it should take longer to read than the Bible. I read it in two weeks, thanks to the cold, but, still, I missed more than I can imagine. Should your eyes miss one word, or a single thought take you away, you need read the passage again and again. This book will change your perspective... change how you view life. It is VERY philosophical, if you concentrate on the reading. I recommend it to those who need change in their lives, those who feel powerless but especially those who feel they cannot control their thoughts. This book is about concentration, dedication and loyalty. This is an important piece of literature!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mishima and Hagakure
    The bulk of the reviews prior to my own do a great job of covering the books aspects. However, I wanted to make one point in regards to those who, after reading the book, were really impressed by it. If you enjoyed reading the book, also try and find a copy of "The Way of the Samurai Yukio Mishima on Hagakure in Modern Life" from a library or used book store. It is out of print for the time being, but if you can get ahold of a copy you will get even more out of Hagakure after reading this book. I was fortunate enough to obtain both books around the same time and this really fostered my interest in bushido and the samurai culture in a very profound way as well as lead me to discover Mishima's works and life in regards to the samurai ideals.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of bushido axioms.
    Hagakure offers an introduction to the much revered Samurai code of Bushido. Originally serving as a secret code of duty and honor, Bushido has become the cornerstone of the Japanese warrior spirit. The book is comprised of around 300 selected sayings of the seventeenth century Samurai turned monk, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. They vary in scope from social etiquette to dying with honor. Hagakure is a must own for anyone who truly wants to understand the history and motives of Samurai Bushido. ... Read more

    10. The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment
    by Amit Goswami, Deepak Chopra
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $34.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0835607933
    Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
    Publisher: Quest Books
    Sales Rank: 61641
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE AHAH! BOOK
    I was about four years old when I discovered that things die, and the outrage that I felt at this news has fueled a fifty year search to understand what we're doing here. This is not my only literary quest, but it is a big one, and it has taken me all over the map. When I studied relativity and quantum physics in college, I saw - 'through a glass darkly' - that this was an important piece of the puzzle, but real understanding eluded me. I just bought the The Visionary Window, and I knew almost immediately, that this, for me, was the Ahah! book - the one that brought all the pieces together. I recommend it highly.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hold a Webster with you for this
    Although the book seems to be sincere effort in terms of the treatment of subject, but the language is too tricky with very very esoteric terminology used. Also the use of word 'quantum' seems to be too casual and thus the terms such as 'quantum monad' seem too ambiguous. Perhaps when Mr Goswami has finally reached some perspective about 'truth', he will realize that any truth that can be expressed, ceases to be 'the truth'.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, Unification of Eastern and Western thought.
    Many students of philosophy understand and appreciate both
    Western materialist philosophies and Eastern philosophies
    more centered on consciousness. Like looking at an atom,
    and looking at a galaxy, these two philosophies needed a
    middleground to connect them
    In this book, Goswami is the first person ever to unify
    the two seemingly disparate ideologies. He provides the
    middleground in a way that books like "The Tao of Physics"
    fail to do. (They only "hint" at the connection).

    I am very happy that I bought this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very highly recommended reading for students of physics
    With his insightful and occasionally inspiring observations and commentaries integrating the spiritual with the scientific, Amit Goswami's The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide To Enlightenment to present a new scientific paradigm placing human values as paramount. He shows how the principles embedded and revealed through the new science of quantum physics can help the reader tap into an inner creativity, deepen spirituality, and life a life of liberation and fulfillment. The Visionary Window is very highly recommended reading for students of physics, metaphysics, and spirituality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Visionary Window
    Unlike Dr. Goswami's other books, which often meander and seem too technical for a layperson, this book is extremely well-written and easy for anyone interested in the new physics and spirituality to understand. This is a fascinating account of exactly how quantum physics might be used to explain such complex spiritual phenomenon as reincarnation, karma, shaktipat, the chakras and physical death. Dr. Goswami's father was a Hindu guru in India. However,as a small boy hiding in an English library during the Indian War of Independence, his son read all of Einstein's works and began a lifelong journey to find explanations in the laws of physics for the most mysterious spiritual tenets of the ancient Upanishads. Today, Dr. Goswami teaches quantum physics at the University of Oregon, and is a scholar in residence at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Consequently, he seems the most qualified of the "new physicists" to integrate Eastern spirituality with Western science. This books offers people in the West nothing less than a real opportunity to understand God, and, as such, is probably the most spectacular book you'll ever read. ... Read more

    11. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
    by B. K. S. Iyengar
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $21.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0007145160
    Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
    Publisher: Thorsons Publishers
    Sales Rank: 68973
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This book provided readers with a fresh and accessible translation of this ancient text. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The theory behind the practice
    There was yoga before the time of Patanjali but it was not written down, or at least no text survives. We find elements of the practice in the Upanishads and of course in the Bhagavad Gita. But before Patanjali's codification there was no systematic text to guide the aspirant. Since then Patanjali's sutras have been translated into many languages along with commentary to elucidate the concise text, with Vyasa's commentary from the ninth century--upon which Iyengar makes some reliance--being the most important.

    With the publication of this book a decade ago, B.K.S. Iyengar laid his claim to being one of the world's foremost experts not only on the practice of yoga--which he certainly is--but on its theory as well. Mark well that the bulk of what we call yoga stems from these pithy aphorisms first written down by the Indian sage Patanjali some eighteen hundred years ago.* One can see in this authoritative, comprehensive--indeed, nearly exhaustive--translation and commentary that Iyengar aspires to take his place among the great yogis of history.

    For each of the 196 aphorisms (most texts have 195 omitting number 3.22 as superfluous, which Iyengar includes), Iyengar gives first the Sanskrit, then the Sanskrit in transliteration. Then he breaks down the expression into its individual words and gives an English translation of each word. Indeed he often gives several possible English equivalents for each Sanskrit word. Then he gives his English translation of the aphorism. In this way the reader can judge the fidelity of Iyengar's expression. Better yet, the reader can have reference to another translation (I have Ernest Wood's, Alistair Shearer's and Barbara Stoler Miller's in front of me, but there are many others) and compare the results, and in doing so, come to a fuller appreciation of Patanjali's sometimes enigmatic words.

    Finally there are Iyengar's commentaries on each of the aphorisms, some of which cover several pages. Occasionally Iyengar gives tables for further clarification; indeed there are 18 tables and diagrams spread throughout the text. The sutras and commentary are framed with an Introduction, an Epilogue and four Appendices. There is a Glossary and an Index.

    To be candid, there is more in this book than can be assimilated by most persons interested in yoga. Even the most sincere practitioners will find the information and interpretation given by Iyengar daunting. Some may also object to Iyengar's non-secular presentation. While he stops short of calling yoga a religion, it is only the word "religion" that is left out! Iyengar makes his position clear from the opening sutra which he translates as "With prayers for divine blessings, now begins an exposition of the sacred art of yoga." Usually this opening statement is rendered simply as, "Now, instruction in yoga." In the Sanskrit there are only three words. Iyengar even identifies Patanjali as "an evolved soul incarnated of his own will to help humanity" who has "assumed human form, experienced our sorrow and joys, and learned to transcend them." (p. 1)

    Clearly Iyengar is taking a more spiritual position in this book than he took in his famous treatise on hatha yoga, Light on Yoga, first published in 1965, although even there he calls yoga "the true union of our will with the will of God."

    Personally, I have no problem with this. Properly understood, yoga is a religion if one so desires; and properly understood yoga is not a religion if that is what is appropriate. Most authorities believe that yoga works best as an adjunct to religion so that one can practice yoga and remain devout in one's own faith; in fact this is the usual practice. Furthermore, the emphasis here, as in all of Iyengar's work, is on the practical and the non-sectarian so that Iyengar's yoga is accessible and appropriate for persons of all faiths, and is in negation of none.

    I should add that from the spiritual yogi's point of view the idea of God is not personal. Although Patanjali refers to Isvara as our Lord and as God, many authorities believe that this is an inexplicit augmentation of his text that one may take or leave as one sees fit. Indeed most yogis who embrace God embrace a God similar to the God of the Vedas; that is a God that is Ineffable about which nothing can be said, a God beyond any human comprehension, a God without any attributes that we could name.

    By the way, Patanjali's yoga is often referred to as astanga yoga (astanga meaning "eight-limbed") because there are eight limbs or steps leading to liberation. It is also called raja yoga, the so-called king's yoga that comes after one has mastered the preliminaries of hatha yoga. More correctly however, hatha yoga and raja yoga are both integral parts of Patanjali's program with the purely physical aspects including asana and pranayama being mentioned but without any exposition. It wasn't until the middle ages and such works as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svatmarama that hatha yoga gained prominence as something separate.

    There are four other yogas that have come down to us from ancient times that should not be confused with Patanjali's yoga. They are bhakti yoga, the yoga of faith and devotion; karma yoga, the yoga of selfless work; jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge; and tantric yoga, the mystical yoga of self-indulgence. All but the latter are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.

    *Iyengar identifies Patanjali with the grammarian who lived some four hundred years earlier, but this is more of a traditional understanding than it is historical; most scholars including Georg Feuerstein and Mircea Eliade believe that Patanjali the grammarian and Patanjali the author of the Yoga Sutras are different persons who lived at different times.

    Bottom line: this is as close to an essential work on Patanjali as I have read. Any serious aspirant should have this book and study it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well intentioned
    Mr. Iyengar's translation and commentary on the Sutras is heavilly weighted and biased by his lifetime focus on hatha yoga. As a result, his commentary has neither the completenes of Satchidananda's "Yoga Sutras" nor the insightfulness of McAfee's "Beyond the Siddhis". But it does shed a different light on the sutras that can be appreciated by most of his yoga followers.

    Barring his leaning toward arcane yogic language, the book is well written and easy to read. For completeness, all serious yogis should have a copy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Guide for the Aspiring Student
    In today's world, the main problem with acquiring the knowledge of a new subject is the lack of contact with a learned teacher. Between traveling, busy daily schedules or just living in a place where there is no access to a learning facility, it is very difficult to pursue the topic of interest. Where the subject of yoga is concerned, B.K.S. Iyengar, a master of yogic knowledge and methods of practice, helps the hopeful student transverse this barrier by bringing to the masses his knowledge and direction in a series of wonderful books. He further enables the aspirant to better practice the vidhya (science) by developing easy to learn techniques and availing props to help in the process of practicing the techniques.

    This particular book, Light on the Yoga Sutras, is an in-depth exposition of the philosophy behind the science of Yoga. It provides the student with the original sutras (verses) as written by Patanjali, the Indian sage who compiled the knowledge of yoga into written form over 2,000 years ago. The book then offers a translation and explanation of these sutras, effectively filling in the gaps of knowledge left by the intensely compact form of the original sutras.

    From all my research into the subject when I first wanted to learn more about yoga, I can definitely say that this is one of the best books on the subject I have ever come across. B.K.S Iyengar provided me with the guidance and knowledge I needed to confidently pursue the subject without becoming discouraged.

    I would recommend B.K.S Iyengar's Light on Yoga in addition to this book, for where this book provides the theory; Light on Yoga provides the practical methodology.
    It is essential to fully understand both the practical and the theory to fully reap the benefits of yoga.

    For those who want to delve even deeper into the science of yoga, Light on Pranayama the Yogic Art of Breathing provides one with the techniques and insight into the methods of breathing. It is a good addition as a learning aid, but not necessary until you are at ease with the asanas (postures) and have a good grasp of the theory and knowledge of yoga and are ready for more.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite translation of the yoga sutras
    This is my favorite translation and commentary on the yoga sutras. Mr. Iyengar's direct way of communicating, along with his decades of deep personal practice, provide an insight into the sutras that few others can offer.

    The practice of yoga does not require one to follow any specific religious discipline or belief, and this book reflects this. As Mr. Iyengar says, the Yoga Sutras provide one of the clearest descriptions of the human psyche ever written. Those wishing to deepen their understanding of this, through the practice of yoga or not, can benefit from this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Central to Yoga
    Yoga and meditation are brought forth by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras and most modern Yoga systems and teachings are based on what Patanjali wrote.BKS Iyengar has been practicing and teaching Yoga for more than 60 years, so it is only natural that he should give us his work on the Sutras.As all readers who really delve into this book will find, the sutras are very dynamic, their interpretations changeable, deeper and richer as the reader matures.This is the kind of book that never has to leave your side.You will be surprised how something that you've read again and again all of a sudden has new meaning and gives new perspective to your life and hopes. ... Read more

    12. Freedom from the Known
    by Jiddu Krishnamurti
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060648082
    Catlog: Book (1975-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 10521
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Krishnamurti shows how people can free themselves radically and immediately from the tyranny of the expected, no matter what their age--opening the door to transforming society and their relationships. ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    4-0 out of 5 stars revolution inside
    I have read several Krishnamurti books, all of them great. After reading them I lend them out and usually don't get them back. But that's good because those people will probably lend them to other people, and so on.

    One need only read a single Krishnamurti book because they all contain the same themes, most important of which is the idea that "truth is a pathless land." He states that if one wants peace in the world, TRULY wants peace, he/she must abandon the following: organized religion, nationalism, sociological ideology (capitalism, communism, socialism, etc.), leaders, teachers, the past, and more. That doesn't sound possible, does it?

    As well, he claims that true meditation is not sitting in the lotus position and pushing away thoughts or chanting mantras. Rather, true meditation is "choiceless awarness," meaning simply observing life without judgment. Don't ever judge at all? That doesn't sound possible either, does it?

    He says that love is all important, and we must learn to be more sensitive and compassionate. Often, he talks about sitting and looking at a beautiful sunset, or a tree, or a bird in flight. These are simple things that are full of meaning if we just take the time to admire them. They are so beautiful that just for a moment you forget about yourself, and your "self" is the cause of all your suffering.

    Though he rejects all organized religion, it just so happens that his remarks are quite similar to what a Buddhist would say. He's big on compassion, "meditation," and living in the present. But what is refreshing about Krishnamurti is his bluntness. He doesn't hesitate to call all religions "stupid" or "foolish" because they separate people, and that separation causes conflict.

    The most profound thing that I have read by Krishnamurti is about forgiveness. He said that feeling insult and then trying to forgive the offender is USELESS! If you are hurt it is already too late. Instead, let go of your own precious self- image and such attacks lose their effect. No one has ever put it like that before! It is such wisdom that makes reading Krishnmurti so enjoyable.

    The trouble is that his advice works beautifully in one's own mind, but not so well in action. One still feels angry, jealous, and afraid. There is still war, starvation, and malice in the world. And just when you think you've stopped following leaders or gurus, you realize you have not. Your guru is in fact Krishnamurti.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best single K book
    I've read (and re-read) about 15 of K's books. This is the single best, most concise, most thorough of the them all, in my humble opinion. I bought 20 copies of it and gave them all to friends, family, co-workers, and some of my students (I teach at a college). I probably will buy 20 more (at least) of this book to give to others. I would also highly recommend "The First and Last Freedom" and "Total Freedom" for good, more in-depth and relatively thorough overviews of K's teachings; as well as "On God" (for those seeking "god"); "On Relationship" (for those looking for relationship advice); "On Right Livelihood" (for those considering career choices) "On Education" (for teachers and students) and "Think on These Things" or "Life Ahead" as two simply-worded introductions that even children can read and undertand (K was speaking to schoolchildren and their parents). "Krishnamurti's Journal", "Commentaries on Living, First Series", "Krishnamurti's Notebook" and "Krishnamurti to Himself" all offer beautifully poetic descriptions of nature and people, as well as answers to questions, all of which are fabulous for meditation. "Freedom, Love and Action" is a relatively short read compared to most of K's books, but I've found it to be particularly touching. But then, I would *strongly* recommend *all* of K's books for those so inclined! But if I had to pick ONE K book to share with the world (as I have done) THIS is that book. And every time I read it (about half a dozen times now) it speaks volumes every time. But as other reviewers have warned, don't read anything by K unless you are ready and willing to have your entire current belief system cut to shreds, as all your most "sacred" beliefs and values are exposed for the false, conditioned ideas that they are . . .

    5-0 out of 5 stars Search no more...
    I have never read anything so simple and clear in my life. I have read this book numerous number of times since my childhood. It draws our attention to the truth and nothing but the truth all around us, and to be able to see things as they really are. Some people find K very difficult to understand. That's because his teachings are way too simple. It may be possible for a child to understand him better than a grown up highly conditioned mind.
    (It's such an amazing coincidence that in so many years I decided to write a review today only, May 11th, K's birthday!!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fatally Narrow Mind
    Mr. Bankard is obviously one of those individuals with a seriously narrow mind, It seems to be pretty well cluttered up with DOGMA, not allowing much room for dialog. Lighten Up!!! All K. says is follow no man, know your own heart, for you are the world...

    5-0 out of 5 stars the only essential thing in life
    This book and all other Krishnamurti's books are great. The
    books cover everything deep down in the human psyche and life.
    However, the teachings from Krishnamurti's books are very far away from what one can see actually happening in one's life.
    That means Krishnamurti's teachings are extremely serious, so profound that one has to apply all one's energy and life to learn, to investigate, to observe infinitely without even knowing
    where one is because the moment one knows one is back to the old.
    It is not a book to read and rate but to read and apply to one's own life right to the end if one is really serious to find out if there is anything beyond the deeply sorrowful existence. One can say by reading Krishnamurti that one has got the right tool at hand, and the rest of one's life is to use that tool to find out
    for oneself what is the truth in life. ... Read more

    13. I Ching Workbook
    by R.L. WING
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $21.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 038512838X
    Catlog: Book (1978-12-19)
    Publisher: Main Street Books
    Sales Rank: 42038
    Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
    This book is indeed a Workbook for using the I Ching. There are so many books about the hexagrams, but not many go into enough detail as to how to really USE them from a practical perspective, and leave the reader to figure it out for him or herself. R.L. Wing's interpretations of each hexagram are more detailed than one usually finds. As the other reviews indicate, Wing keeps a impartial distance, however, and that requires the user to read between the lines to apply them to their own circumstances.

    For each hexagram, he gives several paragraphs where one gives an interpretation if you're asking on a personal matter, another if the question has to do with career, another if your question is about family relationships, etc. For myself, I used it heavily when I found myself in a new job or with new acquaintances and found it to be extremely useful in navigating the political ups and downs and figuring out who to trust. I spent a while asking deeper and deeper questions into each area and it helped me to transform my professional relationships and find a more meaningful career. Thanks, R.L. Wing!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Oracle is a living thing
    I first encountered this R.L. Wing's version of the I Ching many years ago,and it remains to this day the best and most understandable I have ever seen. This book has a personality - I don't know of any other way to describe it. It has an astonishing ability to answer even the most direct and pointed questions with a relevant response and sound advice. If you have ever had the slightest curiosity about the I Ching or the Tao, you must have this book. I've replaced my copy of this book 3 times now, having worn out the previous ones. Be prepared - you don't read this book, you converse with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I CHING demystified!
    While I am still a novice at working with the hexagrams, I was frustrated with trying to make sense of I Ching, until I found this workbook. Sometimes, it just takes a picture or a simple chart to make things clear.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finding your Tao
    This is a wonderful book for those not interested in deciphering the English translation, which can be most difficult. It is straight forward, with all the information needed for imediate use. It stirs your imagination to desire the highest ideals, and gives information on exacting those ideals or actions. Years ago I studied an english version of the I Ching, but never understood it as clearly as I do now, and therefore only applied it to problems. After reading the brief but concise info on how and why this book is used, I am applying it to all aspectds of life, living, my enviornment, and more; with ease and awe!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Meet a new and treasured friend!
    I've had this book for more than 20 years. It is in almost constant use. It is truly like conversing with another entity. I own many different copies of the "I Ching", but this is my most valued. It is a beautiful translation and in keeping with the spirit of the "I Ching". ... Read more

    14. The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $29.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 052152069X
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-17)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 143053
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    Book Description

    Representing one of the great traditions of Western philosophy, philosophy written in Arabic and in the Islamic world was inspired by Greek philosophical works and the indigenous ideas of Islamic theology. This collection of essays, by some of the leading scholars in Arabic philosophy, provides an introduction to the field by way of chapters devoted to individual thinkers (such as al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes) or groups, especially during the 'classical' period from the ninth to the twelfth centuries. ... Read more

    15. Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age
    by John Heider
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0893340790
    Catlog: Book (1984-11-01)
    Publisher: Humanics Ltd Partners
    Sales Rank: 40307
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Tao of Leadership is an invaluable toolfor anyone in aposition of leadership. This book provides the most simple and clearadvice on how to be the very best kind of leader: be faithful, trustthe process, pay attention, and inspire others to become their ownleaders. Heider's book is a blend of practical insight and profoundwisdom, offering inspiration and advice.This book is used as aManagement/Leadership training text by many Fortune 500 corporations,including IBM, Mitsubishi, and Prudential. ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full of wisdom, interesting approach
    In this book, Heider guides the reader down the long path to enlightened leadership. Leadership is not about manipulation or command and control, says Heider; the leader should at most be a catalyst for what the group should come up with themselves. Interesting stuff. The gold nuggets of wisdom that Heider gives in this book are reason enough to buy it, even if you are not a leader. It goes without saying that Taoism encompasses much more than mere leadership and I finished the book wanting to know more about Taoism. My one criticism of this book is that it is not for everybody. What Heider purports, essentially, is a very specific, idealised form of leadership (in real life, you have to learn to have a forceful presence, not just be wise and harmonious). But if this sounds like your type of book, then buy it, along with Max Depree's Leadership Is An Art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent thoughts for reflection.
    Each page gives you a lot to think about and to reflect upon.
    Don't bother with this book if you want something to give you
    the quick and dirty answer, this ain't it.

    But, it will get you to stop and reflect upon yourself and your effect
    upon the world and others. It will get you to find your own
    answers if you slow down long enough to sense them.
    This book is best a few pages at a time. It can get deep if you let it.

    The thing that would make this book a 10 is if it were focused a little less
    on "leadership". Maybe something like; The Tao of Life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Lead Without It
    I've used this book for over 10 years as my leadership support tool. As General Manager of a $200MM business, I need perspective and support on a daily basis - and Heider's book provides it. I love that the persective is NOT a management flavor of the week, but a view on leadership that stands the test of time.

    I've given this book as a gift to peers, friends, and family for years - just purchased copies last week for my new staff. It provides us with a common framework and a vision of where we're taking our organization.

    Thanks, Heider, for great thoughts, great lessons, and great leadership!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great Source, Bad Translation
    I have read several translations of the Tao Te Ching and was very disappointed in this read. I feel as if much of the strengths from the original text are lost in this author?s choice of words and examples. This translation loses the beauty and appreciation of nature that the original texts focused on. (He refers to calculators and computers in some instances) I was also bothered by his addition of the Christian understanding of God as a character in his translations. Over all I really recommend finding a better translation than this to read if you are a first timer. (such as translation by Victor H. Mair) It is a bit more of a heavy read but caries over the interesting paradoxes that make the ancient document so intriguing.

    Also read ?The wisdom of insecurity? By Allan Watts (a Beatnik) if you like the idea of Taoism

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good
    Important lessons for all leaders ... Read more

    16. Bushido: The Way of the Samurai (Square One Classics)
    by Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Justin F. Stone, Minoru Tanaka
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0757000266
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: Square One Publishers
    Sales Rank: 3799
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you want to know the world of the samurai
    This is a quick read and very informative.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A look into the warrior's mind
    This book was written at the very start of the 19th century, by a samurai in retirement. It gives a unique look back to the late 18th, when Yamamoto was active as a samurai. The view is unique, in part, because Japan was unifying and there was less need for each minor lord to have an armed class. The warrior ethic was changing as war became less common. In part, these notes seem to mourn the passing of the clearest, purest form of that ethic.

    The warrior ethic only changed, though and still underlies many aspects of modern Japanese thought and policy. The feudal caste system still gives a fair decription of different levels of management.

    This book is not just about a time and a culture different from that in the modern West. It teaches personal responsibility, a lesson that many too many people still need. In part, this means responsibility to one's self, in maintaining professional skills and personal credibility. It also means responsibility towards one's employer. I do not feel crass in saying that, by accepting the pay that feeds and houses me, I have a duty to return the value given. Self interest, if not personal honor, should encourage me to support my employer well enough to keep supporting me and to support me better in the future.

    I was also interested to see that a strict code of honor can include a strictly preserved set of personal freedoms. Yamamoto stresses the need to tolerate a few flaws in order to use a person's strengths. He also notes that samurai - or, I think, any professionals - can be effective only when free to make decisions on their own. This is not insubordination, quite the opposite. The skilled employee must be able to make decisions based on that skill. Too tight a managerial rein just strangles the professional's effectiveness.

    I was surprised (but perhaps should not have been) that this book describes the modern professional so well. Yamamoto's advice is right in line with my own business experience. I think that more of today's skilled workers, and their managers, would be more effective if they applied this book in their lives.

    It was also surprising, but satisfying, to read Yamamoto's most secret advice: to do what you love most. I certainly see why this maxim must be held back. This advice can only enrich a person who is already so trained that their loves are honorable, loyal, and productive. Keeping with Yamamoto's Zen spirit, though, I would say that such people do not need that inner secret. Today, as then, such people already follow what they love.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Creating Super-men...
    The Hagakure was dictated by Yamamoto and later scribed verbatim by Tsuramoto Tashiro over a period of seven years (1710-1716) in which they lived together in a far off mountain retreat in Japan. Tashiro was sworn to secrecy over the texts contents because the author believed the teachings to be far too radical and too militaristic for the then peaceful times during the Shogunate Rule (1603-1867). During this time of unusual calmness, the teachings of Buddhism and the ethical codes of Confucius permeated Japan, enriching every aspect of her culture from arts to politics. But the old Samurai, Yamamoto, believed (though acknowledging the Buddha and the tenets of Confucius) that the Samurai, as a class, had become effeminate and weak. Yamamoto's basic premise was that the Samurai could not serve two masters (religion and the Clan) and by doing so had become less effective. The service of the lord and the clan should come first, and once this was done, one could then amuse oneself with the studies of the humanities. In writing the Hagakura, Yamamoto hoped that someday the Samurai would return to the purity of its strong and compassionate past. More than this, however, he wanted to create a class of super-men. As Tanaka explains in his historical overview:

    "In his (Yamamoto) talks, he wanted every Samurai to become a super-man. But he wanted super-men who were capable of gaining great power, not for their own self-interest, but for the interest of the clan. He wanted super-men who were capable of operating effectively for the solidarity of the clan." (xv)

    This is the key to the power and longevity of the way of the Samurai, and that is its notion of devout loyalty to the Lord of the Clan and the Clan itself. All other concerns in life are simply deemed irrelevant. Moreover, that other essential dictum, do your duty to your parents. And lastly, but most importantly, ensuring compassion for all sentient beings and the devout service of others. By devoting oneself to these vows of allegiance and practicing them, Yamamoto believed the Samurai would attain super-man status.

    This particular translation is divided into eleven books, covering personal, social and philosophical advice from How to Excel Above Others, How to Conduct Yourself, Spiritual Vigour and Conceal Your Wisdom. These titles really speak for themselves.

    This is an excellent text to prime oneself on the foundational tenets of the way of the Samurai and a good introduction to the history of Japanese culture and thought in terms of social discourse and philosophical perspective.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Correcting a previous review ...
    Regarding the comments, " leaders in Japan today all study Kendo" and, "...It's wise not to take Japanese women in business lightly. They nearly all study naginata in school."

    I know Japan enough to say that these comments are not true, in other words lies. One may have special feelings for Japan, the same as I do, but these comments are misleading.

    The Samurai teachings live on in Japan as a part of society, but are considered modern and not solely of that era.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good information for both martial arts AND business
    Often, if you take a course in business strategy, it will include the wonderful Art of War by Sun-Tzu. Sometimes you are asked to read Mushashi's Book of Five Rings, which is Japanese in origin, not Chinese like Sun-Tzu. It's more philosophical and etherial than Sun-Tzu's book, which can be compared to Von Clauswitz's "The Nature of War." But--if you study martial arts, or plan to work in Japan, have Japanese partners, or if you just enjoy learning about military philosophy as a part of business strategy, then "Bushido: The Way of the Samurai" is a fascinating book with a lot to offer the reader. In fact, this is probably one of the best books I could recommend to get to know the mindset of Japanese business leaders. Man of them come from old Samurai families, whose history and traditions go far, far back in time.

    In particular, the book outlines the aspects of Bushido philosophy:


    The book of course gives the meaning of Samurai rituals, including seppuku (hari-kiri) and discussing the training of a warrior. Lest you think this is old hat, business leaders in Japan today all study Kendo, the martial art of the sword and the closest to Bushido's heart.

    Even women are not exempted from the Bushido code. They are expected to do their part as warriors, and women traditionally have used the naginata (halberd or pike) as a defensive weapon. It's funny to think that the naginata is considered "effeminate" and watch a Japanese sportswoman wielding that deadly blade against eight opponents during a martial arts demonstration. It's wise not to take Japanese women in business lightly. They nearly all study naginata in school.

    I've worked briefly in Japan and have studied Aikido in the past. I found "Bushido" to be one of the most valuable books I own on the subject of Japanese culture and mindset, as well as an additional good book on military philosophy. ... Read more

    17. Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening From the Alan Watts Audio Archives
    by Alan Watts
    list price: $99.95
    our price: $62.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591791650
    Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
    Publisher: Sounds True
    Sales Rank: 57980
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    Book Description

    Since the publication of his first book, The Spirit of Zen in 1936, Alan Watts has brought the essential teachings of the East to generations of seekers, suggesting the need to "go out of your mind in order to come to your senses." Carefully distilled from hundreds of hours of never-before-released material, Out of Your Mind presents a philosophical tour de force from this legendary self-described "spiritual entertainer" – 12 lucid sessions sparking insights into the nature of reality; death and rebirth; the dilemma of polarity; the suspension of judgment; the art of contemplation; and much more. ... Read more

    18. The Tao of Physics
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570625190
    Catlog: Book (2000-01-04)
    Publisher: Shambhala
    Sales Rank: 5662
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    First published in 1975, The Tao of Physics rode the wave of fascination in exotic East Asian philosophies. Decades later, it still stands up to scrutiny, explicating not only Eastern philosophies but also how modern physics forces us into conceptions that have remarkable parallels. Covering over 3,000 years of widely divergent traditions across Asia, Capra can't help but blur lines in his generalizations. But the big picture is enough to see the value in them of experiential knowledge, the limits of objectivity, the absence of foundational matter, the interrelation of all things and events, and the fact that process is primary, not things. Capra finds the same notions in modern physics. Those approaching Eastern thought from a background of Western science will find reliable introductions here to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism and learn how commonalities among these systems of thought can offer a sort of philosophical underpinning for modern science. And those approaching modern physics from a background in Eastern mysticism will find precise yet comprehensible descriptions of a Western science that may reinvigorate a hope in the positive potential of scientific knowledge. Whatever your background, The Tao of Physics is a brilliant essay on the meeting of East and West, and on the invaluable possibilities that such a union promises. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (62)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and Inspirational Classic
    This is one of the most wonderful books relating modern science to Eastern philosophical traditions. I have always combined an interest in physics as well as an interest in eastern philosophies, so it was natural that I get attracted to this book. I have read the second edition nearly 15 years ago, and can certify that this book delivers what it promises. Recently it has become a phenomenon to see "Tao of ..." or "Zen of ..." books that are really deficient in many respects: some books know little about the Eastern philosophies they claim to compare to, others know little about the Western science, and yet others fail to point to more than a flimsy relationship. It appears "Tao of something" has become a major marketing scheme and not much more.

    "The Tao of Physics" however is free from those weaknesses. In fact, it is in a class of its own - possibly one of the most thought-provoking and inspirational texts in the modern world. Written by a world-class Indian physicist, this book exhibits the deep understanding of its author into the myriad complexities of modern physics. The beauty of it all is that some of the most complex ideas are explained in very simple language that even a high school student can understand: quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, particle physics, string theory, symmetries, etc.

    This strength in physical understanding does not weaken the depth of perception regarding Eastern mysticism. Au contraire, the second part of the book, describing Eastern philosophy, is a tour de force of the various branches of Eastern thought: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, etc. Topics like the I-Ching, the mythology of the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, and the Tao Te Ching are introduced in very clear language aimed at capturing a Western audience.

    The third and largest part of the book is devoted to drawing parallels between the two traditions: the Western scientific and the Eastern philosophical. Of course, at this stage of human development one cannot reach certainties about such thing, and the discourse is restricted to pointing out the parallels and illustrating the convergence of thought. More questions are raised than are actually answered, which is perhaps the signature of a really good book. Since reading it I have become fascinated with modern physics and pursued a science education. My interest in Eastern religions has also been enhanced. Currently I am in the process of re-reading this gem. I definitely recommend it to everyone seeking substance in "Tao of ..." books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a classic
    From the back cover:

    "A brilliant best-seller... Lucidly analyzes the tenets of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism to show their striking parallels with the latest discoveries in cyclotrons."
    --New York magazine

    "Fritjof Capra, in The Tao of Physics, integration of the mathematical world view of modern physics and the mystical visions of Buddha and Krishna. Where others have failed miserably in trying to unite these seemingly different world views, Capra, a high-energy theorist, has succeeded admirably...I strongly recommend the book to both layman and scientist."
    --V.N. Mansfield, Physics Today

    Truly a worthwhile book. The man who wrote the Foreword to my own book, THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS, John Cantwell Kiley, M.D., Ph.D., attempted a similar feat in his doctoral dissertation, which did not have the popular circulation of Capra's book, of course, and was far more abstruse.

    Kiley's book, EINSTEIN AND AQUINAS: A RAPPROCHEMENT, is an attempt to compare Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist, with Saint Thomas Aquinas, although they would seem to have little in common. Kiley studied at Princeton when Einstein was there, and so had a close up view of him, and he knew Aquinas from his studies of the Saint. He found the rapprochement he sought in their respective epistemologies.

    Kiley says he is seeking to bring his book back into print, but it is a harder read than Capra's. I recommend Capra's book.

    Joseph Pierre,
    author of THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Profoundly Important Book
    A Profoundly Important Book

    I am aware of the much resistance of the ideas purported in this book, both from the scientist/skeptic league and mystic/philosopher league for diametrically opposed reasons. I will try to address them (please visit my website for a complete review) and highlight the biases of these people. Before I go further, I would like to comment on one of the reviewers here from Detroit who referred to quantum physics as objective and Eastern mysticism as subjective. This is an extremely, unbelievably inane comment from someone who apparently hasn't read the book thoroughly which in the first place talks about why physics or science can't be considered objective truth anymore. Capra, throughout the book, clearly and repeatedly speaks of cases and solid arguments in which science falls short of being called objective in the classic way. Today, no body can deny that science, with its strict boundaries and fragmented world-view, could merely talk about approximate descriptions instead of reality or truth.

    One of the prominent critics of this book form the mystic/philosopher league happens to be Ken Wilber, whose genius is a source of my inspiration. It needs to be taken into account that Wilber's background is science (biochemistry), which he left because of its extreme limitation for an intense, scholarly study of consciousness. Let me quote what he said in Grace and Grit, "I disagreed entirely with books such as "The Tao of Physics" and "The Dancing Wu Li Masters," which had claimed that modern physics supported or even proved Eastern mysticism. This is a colossal error. Physics is a limited, finite, relative, and partial endeavor, dealing with a very limited aspect of reality. It does not, for example, deal with biological, psychological, economic, literary, or historical truths; whereas mysticism deals with all of that, with the Whole. To say physics process mysticism is like saying the tail proved the dog......Simply imagine what would happen if we indeed said that modern physics support mysticism. What happens, for example, if we say that today's physics is in perfect agreement with Buddha's enlightenment? What happens when tomorrow's physics supplants or replaces today's physics (which it most definitely will)? Does poor Buddha then lose his enlightenment? You see the problem. If you hook your God to today's physics, then when that physics slips, that God slips with it."

    It's clear that Wilber's objection is based on his adoration of mysticism, especially Buddhism, over science and motivated by his unnecessary "paranoia" that the dynamics of science will adversely affect the "reputation" of the "object of his fixation." Like Wilber, I am a number one fan of the Buddha but I don't see this observable fact -not a mere idea-- of parallelism as a threat to his unblemished integrity; nothing could be as 2500 years of his Dharma have proven its timelessness and sensibility beyond the shadow of a doubt. As Capra pointed out in his answer to this particular criticism, much of his concern is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of scientific research that it could arbitrarily change the results of previous researches (which is not the case at all). Nobody is trying to prove anything with anything else here, what Capra does is simply bringing to a coherent, systematic erudition something that many people could see for themselves the way they couldn't mistake the blaring morning sun. What I naturally object from these instant critics is that after someone has dedicated years of research and carefully transferred the results in over 350 pages, then out of nowhere, these people, with a modest one or two sentences, vehemently rejects his work. Excuse me? You need a whole bloody book in itself, or at least a thesis with a decent amount of pages, to refute it. You need to elaborate which points/parts of his book that are distorted and why and please provide the likely alternative explanation or argument to them.

    What is rather perplexing is the fact that in "No Boundary," Wilber basically purports the same parallels between modern physics and eastern mysticism so I wonder why he sort of changed his mind.

    I didn't know anything about this book when I was in High School and trying to explain the Buddhist concept Anatta (without "I" or without soul) to a non-Buddhist friend. The interesting part was I, inevitably, always ended up using the analogy of the ever- divisible atom to describe this most profound concept because, even as a 16 year old who knew very little about physics or chemistry, I could see the striking parallel between the atomic principle and Anatta and knew no other more accessible way to describe the latter. In fact in the Buddhist metaphysics book, the Abhidhamma, Buddha talked about the smallest substance of matter that he termed paramanu, which he said didn't exist independently but composed of interdependent elements. And he, in relation to this no-basic-building-block-of-the-self-and everything-else-in-the-universe concept, further postulated that "all compounded things are impermanent, " the same exact conclusion that physicists reached 2500 years later to describe the dynamic nature of quantum phenomena. And are you going to just dismiss it by saying that both are mere coincidence? I don't think so. And for Wilber to have such a fragmented world-view -something that he through his books is very much critical of- that the world that modern physics talks about is entirely different than the world of mystics is most ironic. As Capra wrote and I very much agree with, there is only one world -this awesome and mysterious world. One might deal with the world infinitely small, and the other infinitely vast but both are different aspects of one and the same reality and that's why both speak in the same language. Remember, all parts have an intimate, harmonious and interdependent correlation with the whole. The fact that someone of Wilber's calibre -who is aware that opposites, in both scientific and mystical point of view, are the product of mind construct or abstraction that has little substance- could have missed it is mind-boggling.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Do not trust this book
    In the 70s it was an original book.
    I was amazed to see that today, after the existence of quarks was proven by experiment (at CERN and Fermilab) the so called "new" editions still doubt the existence of quarks because they do not fit the grand scheme of the thesis of the book. Better avoid this book. Its not trustable.
    (The author is a Physics Prof at the Weizmann Institute)

    3-0 out of 5 stars interesting but somewhat over-reaching
    I'm one of those who believe that Eastern philosophies and religions are, in many respects, superior to Western scientific knowledge and values. Although this is a very interesting book, the author appears to have tried too hard to find analogies for modern physical concepts about the universe in Eastern philosophies. ... Read more

    19. Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinsu
    by Yuzan Daidoji
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0804831904
    Catlog: Book (1999-01-01)
    Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
    Sales Rank: 6352
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Code of the Samurai is a four-hundred-year-old explication of the rules and expectations embodied in Bushido, the Japanese way of the warrior.bushido has played a major role in shaping the behavior of modern Japanese government, corporations, society, and individuals, as well as in shaping the modern Martial Artsl arts within Japan and internationally.The Japanese original of this book has been one of the primary sources on the tenets of Bushido, a way of thought that remains fascinating to the modern world, East and West. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good book to read and reread
    I bought this book out of interest in samurai philosophy and culture that originates in my study of jujutsu. Part of my own personal development that coincides with my physical training is that I read everything I can on the lives, deeds, and philosophy of the samurai. This is where the art I've chosen to study originates, and I want to try my best to understand those original intentions for the physical skills I'm learning.

    This book does an admirable job of detailing the warrior's life and the expectations that are upon him. However, since I am not educated in the Japanese language, I can only read it in this English translation. I think the original intent is still there, but a lot of the translation sounds as if it was written with businessmen in mind, much like many translations of Musashi that are also translated with that audience in mind.

    Since I would not buy a book after reading something like this in a review, let me say this: The translation, I feel, could be more true to the setting in which the book was written, but the lessons put forth are the same ones that the samurai were to learn and follow. That is the intent of the book, and that is what a close reading will reveal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The REALISTIC guide for the samurai
    The first time I read a book about samurai philosophy and customs, it was the Hagakure. After reading it, I felt sick and even embarassed that I was so heavily into martial arts having origins in such a death-focussed, suicidal, slavish mentality. After reading it, I lost most of my interest in the origins of the Japanese martial arts, and Japanese culture. How mistaken I was... Two years ago, I bought the "Code of the Samurai", and my interest immediately returned. This book was written one hundred years earlier than the Hagakure and thus it was written closer to the time when the Samurai were in fact warriors and not so only in theory (as they were at the time of the publication of the Hagakure). Both books have in intention the reformation of the Samurai class to what the authors consider to be proper moral standards. But after reading both, it seems evident that the Hagakure is a forlorn attempt to recreate some kind of "glorious" suicidal mindset that never existed much in reality. The "Code of the Samurai" gives suggestions for every facet of behaviour... Everything about this book is remarkably humane, and very well thought out. It promotes responisibility to all one's aquaintances, colleagues, and leaders. This book could be retitled as "How to be a Responsible Citizen". It is about how to live well, not about how to die. For those martial artists who are interested in learning about the cultural roots of their Japanese "ways" (DO), and about how they can model their lives in part on the lives of the samurai, or for those whose interest is simply in Japanese culture, this book is critical reading, even more so because it will take away the inhuman face given the Japanese by English translations of books like the Hagakure, and not confront the reader with the kind of bewliderment faced when reading the combination of practical and mystical found in the "Book of Five Rings". Do not be put off buying this book because of its "mere" ninety-eight pages. Every page is packed with fascinating ethical and corporate lessons. One can get more out of this book than tomes hundreds of pages long written by modern Westerners who have never lived in 17th Century Japan. The ideals held within the covers of this book are those that have been striven after in the Japanese martial arts right up to the present day, and, for those interested in the lives of the Samurai, this covers every significant factor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still applicable today
    At first glance, this is just a wonderful historical relic. It's stiff and formal, as you might expect of a guide to proper behavior. It was meant to guide young men of the warrior class in an era when war was a fading memory. Even in its day, somewhere around 1700AD, during the Tokugawa era, it was probably a bit old-fashioned.

    For all that, Shigesuke's advice is remarkably applicable to modern society. Things like loyalty to an employer have almost gone out of style. Today's employers are different, but some employees need the reminder that a paycheck imposes obligations on the receiver. The advice about treating one's wife with courtesy is painfully up to date, as counter-examples in every day's news will show. The idea of maintaining professional skills, even when not immediately needed, is still quite current. So are the needs for basic skills in social setting and for basic education.

    I am not a student of martial arts. I am a participant in today's business world. This slim volume still has something to say to me, in this different place and century.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Death is the central issue...
    In a time of peace, at the end of the Tokugawa regime, (1603-1867), the Samurai extended their duties into the administrative class, developing from mere 'attendants' to philosophers, scholars, physicians, and teachers, creating concise systems of mental and moral training. This class influenced the country's culture in profound ways, which continues to be felt and seen in modern day Japan. Fearing that the Samurai would lose their basic purpose and essential character, author Taira Shigesuke, (1639-1730) a Confucian scholar, wrote this handbook for the novice knight. For the beginning knight, this book would have been indispensable, in terms of conducting oneself in the true spirit of the Samurai.

    The book is structured in three parts, including subjects ranging from education, familial duty, frugality, courtesy and respect, laziness, discretion to military service, vassalage and loyalty to dealing with one's superiors. What is so valuable about this book for the modern western reader is that it provides age-old ethical guidelines that are exceedingly practical and relevant to the present day.

    Central to the Samurai philosophy is the notion of concerning oneself daily with death. Shigesuke emphasises from the outset, that, "As long as you keep death in mind at all times, you will also fulfil the ways of loyalty and familial duty." In other words, everything else follows from this basic attitude - a long life, and a character that will improve and virtue that will grow. This makes sense, of course, because as the author points out, when you think your time here will last, you're inclined to take it for granted, thereby saying things you shouldn't say and letting important matters slide because " can always be done tomorrow."

    This powerful little book is as compelling and relevant as it was over 400 hundred years ago. It will not take more than an hour to read, but its contents hold treasures that should be referred back to in order to remind one that life is short and should never be taken for granted. This book is also recommended to students of Asian studies as it provides a fundamental understanding of Japanese culture.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good summary of Bushido concepts
    This book provides a good introduction to the concepts of Bushido, namely Loyalty, Duty and Courage. On the surface, the book goes to excrutiating detail on how to show these traits. This is useful, but not profound. When you apply the duties of a knight to his overlord in the context of modern business, it helps explain the salaryman phenomenon in Japan Inc. This is the true value of the book.

    This book is about individual performance, though and not strategy. As such, the lessons are more along the lines of "The Book of 5 rings" than "The Art of War". I found the overall lessons less profound than those classics, but that is not the responsibility of the translator.

    Cleary is an expert at translating Eastern thoughts for Western readers. My one complaint on the translation is the use of metaphors such as, "at the end of one's rope". It leaves the reader questioning the translation - was he trying to tranlate another metaphor, or is he turning a concrete concept into a cliche? ... Read more

    20. Guanzi
    by W. Allyn Rickett
    list price: $145.00
    our price: $145.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691048169
    Catlog: Book (1998-03-16)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Sales Rank: 313634
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    Book Description

    Named for the famous Chinese minister of state, Guan Zhong (d. 645 B.C.), the Guanzi is one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese writings still in existence. With this volume, W. Allyn Rickett completes the first full translation of the Guanzi into English. This represents a truly monumental effort, as the Guanzi is a long and notoriously difficult work. It was compiled in its present form about 26 B.C. by the Han dynasty scholar Liu Xiang and the surviving text consists of some seventy-six anonymous essays dating from the fifth century B.C. to the first century B.C.

    The forty-two chapters contained in this volume include several which present Daoist theories concerning self-cultivation and the relationship between the body and mind as well as the development of Huang-Lao political and economic thought. The "Dizi zhi" chapter provides one of the oldest discussions of education in China. The "Shui di" chapter refers to the circulation of blood some two thousand years before the discoveries of William Harvey in the West. Other chapters deal with various aspects of statecraft, Yin-Yang and Five Phases thought, folk beliefs, seasonal calendars, and farming. Perhaps the best-known chapters are those that deal with various methods of controlling and stimulating the economy. They constitute one of the world's earliest presentations of a quantity theory of money. Throughout the text, Rickett provides extensive notes. He also supplies an introduction to the volume and a comprehensive index.

    ... Read more

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