For me, Taoism is the most influential tradition from the east. I encountered it very early in my development and it still speaks to me as I get older.
Taoism hovers between being a philosophy and/or a religion. In fact, there are two distinct streams of Taoist thought, one philosophical, the other religious that one can follow. I chose the philosophical stream as I found it better suited to my inclinations.
While the two main texts associated with Taoism are The Dao de Jing and the Zhuangzi, which while strongly recommended, can be difficult to understand due to being translations of Chinese concepts into English. Enter the Idiot’s Guide!
Taoism is one of the worldâs oldest tradtitions, based on simplicity and balance. However, you may not know it has important parallels with modern Western life: health, ecology, even in such pop culture icons as Luke Skywalker and The Beatles.
But you donât have to sit at the feet of a Taoist master to learn how the Taoist tradition has enlightened seekers throughout the centuries! The Complete Idiotâs GuideÂ® to Taoism will show you exactly why Taoist principles appeal to people from every walk of life! In this Complete Idiotâs GuideÂ®, you get:
–The history of the Daode Jing, the worldâs shortest core religious text, and Laozi, its mysterious author.
–The teachings of Zhuangzi, the often-overlooked master sage of Taoism.
–An explanation of ying-yang and what it represents.
— Laozi’s political view and advice to leaders (this one will surprise you)
–Taoismâs relationship to Zen Buddhism.
My only complaint about the book is the same as I have for all the Idiot’s series. The format has panels of drawings, tips, quote, etc. placed on each page to provide extra information related to the chapter. It causes the eye and attention to jump around, making simple reading more of a task than necessary.
But hey, maybe some discipline of mind needed to learn the deep lessons of Taoist thought is part of the tradition? Just sayin’!