Chuang-Tzu: The Tao of Perfect Happiness - Selections Annotated & Explained

Author:   Livia Kohn ,  Livia Kohn Phd
Publisher:   Jewish Lights Publishing
ISBN:  

9781594732966


Pages:   240
Publication Date:   17 February 2011
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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Chuang-Tzu: The Tao of Perfect Happiness - Selections Annotated & Explained


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Overview

The timeless wisdom of this classic Taoist text can become a companion on your own spiritual journey. The Chuang-tzu is the second major text of the Taoist tradition. It was compiled in the third century BCE and follows the lead of the best-known and oldest of all Taoist texts, the Tao-te-ching (Book of the Tao and Its Potency). Representing the philosophy of its main author, Chuang Chou, along with several other early Taoist strands, the text has inspired spiritual seekers for over two thousand years. Using parable, anecdote, allegory and paradox, the Chuang-tzu presents the central message of what was to become the Taoist school: a reverence for the Tao-the Way of the natural world-and the belief that you are not truly virtuous until you are free from the burden of circumstance, personal attachments, tradition and the desire to reform the world. In this special SkyLight Illuminations edition, leading Taoist scholar Livia Kohn, PhD, provides a fresh, modern translation of key selections from this timeless text to open up classic Taoist beliefs and practices. She provides insightful, accessible commentary that highlights the Chuang-tzu's call to reject artificially imposed boundaries and distinctions, and illustrates how you can live a more balanced, authentic and joyful life-at ease in perfect happiness-by following Taoist principles.

Full Product Details

Author:   Livia Kohn ,  Livia Kohn Phd
Publisher:   Jewish Lights Publishing
Imprint:   SkyLight Paths Publishing,US
Dimensions:   Width: 14.00cm , Height: 2.00cm , Length: 21.60cm
ISBN:  

9781594732966


ISBN 10:   1594732965
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   17 February 2011
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

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Reviews

Catholic monk Thomas Merton had a special place in his heart for the Chuang-tzu, the third century Chinese text of Taoism. The same can be said for Taoist scholar Livia Kohn who has provided a vibrant modern translation of its philosophical observations, stories, and playful observations. Kohn has assembled insights and interpretations that shed light on these paradoxical messages and animal parables. In the style of the Skylight Illuminations series, the Taoist text is on one page with a facing page of commentary.The book takes its name from its main writer, Chuang Chou (ca. 370-290 BCE), an erudite government servant who taught his philosophical ideas to disciples, and throughout the text, the sage is referred to as Chuang-tzu. Kohn gives us a sense of his perspective on the Way by the thematic heads in the paperback: (1) Universal Patterns, (2) Body and Mind, (3) Self-Transformation, and (4) The New Life. One of the essential messages of this storyteller and mystic is criticism of a life of excess and praise for moderation as an ideal. For the Taoist, even monitoring of the primordial ch'i is important: you want to have this energy flow balanced and not in excess or deficiency.In one story, Chuang-tzu's wife has died. He scandalizes many relatives by showing up at her funeral with an instrument and singing happy songs. He refuses to weep since she's returning home in his eyes. Of course, the sage is also refusing to run away from the fact of the impermanence of life.In another selection, the Chuang-tzu equates calmness of mind with giving up the attempt to change the world and relaxing with who we are and where we are in life.Kohn covers a wide-range of material in her commentaries including the meditative trance, remaining in a state of unknowing, the various aspects of Taoist immortality, the paradox of the Tao which is beyond time and space and in the world, the meaning of the Great Peace, the idea of uselessness, the art of seeing everything


[A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. Robert Cummings Neville, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, Boston Confucianism and Ritual and Deference [Kohn's] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA; coauthor with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. Rodney L. Taylor, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained Catholic monk Thomas Merton had a special place in his heart for the Chuang-tzu, the third century Chinese text of Taoism. The same can be said for Taoist scholar Livia Kohn who has provided a vibrant modern translation of its philosophical observations, stories and playful observations. Kohn has assembled insights and interpretations that shed light on these paradoxical messages and animal parables. In the style of the Skylight Illuminations series, the Taoist text is on one page with a facing page of commentary. The book takes its name from its main writer, Chuang Chou (ca. 370 290 BCE), an erudite government servant who taught his philosophical ideas to disciples, and throughout the text, the sage is referred to as Chuang-tzu. Kohn gives us a sense of his perspective on the Way by the thematic heads in the paperback: (1) Universal Patterns, (2) Body and Mind, (3) Self-Transformation and (4) The New Life. One of the essential messages of this storyteller and mystic is criticism of a life of excess and praise for moderation as an ideal. For the Taoist, even monitoring of the primordial ch'i is important: you want to have this energy flow balanced and not in excess or deficiency. In one story, Chuang-tzu's wife has died. He scandalizes many relatives by showing up at her funeral with an instrument and singing happy songs. He refuses to weep since she's returning home in his eyes. Of course, the sage is also refusing to run away from the fact of the impermanence of life. In another selection, the Chuang-tzu equates calmness of mind with giving up the attempt to change the world and relaxing with who we are and where we are in life. Kohn covers a wide-range of material in her commentaries including the meditative trance, remaining in a state of unknowing, the various aspects of Taoist immortality, the paradox of the Tao which is beyond time and space and in the world, the meaning of the Great Peace, the idea of uselessness, the art of seeing everything in its own right, the ideal of nourishing life and the ability to know when enough is enough. --Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality and Practice (08/04/2011) [A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. Robert Cummings Neville, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, Boston Confucianism and Ritual and Deference [Kohn's] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA; coauthor with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. Rodney L. Taylor, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained Catholic monk Thomas Merton had a special place in his heart for the Chuang-tzu, the third century Chinese text of Taoism. The same can be said for Taoist scholar Livia Kohn who has provided a vibrant modern translation of its philosophical observations, stories and playful observations. Kohn has assembled insights and interpretations that shed light on these paradoxical messages and animal parables. In the style of the Skylight Illuminations series, the Taoist text is on one page with a facing page of commentary. The book takes its name from its main writer, Chuang Chou (ca. 370 290 BCE), an erudite government servant who taught his philosophical ideas to disciples, and throughout the text, the sage is referred to as Chuang-tzu. Kohn gives us a sense of his perspective on the Way by the thematic heads in the paperback: (1) Universal Patterns, (2) Body and Mind, (3) Self-Transformation and (4) The New Life. One of the essential messages of this storyteller and mystic is criticism of a life of excess and praise for moderation as an ideal. For the Taoist, even monitoring of the primordial ch'i is important: you want to have this energy flow balanced and not in excess or deficiency. In one story, Chuang-tzu's wife has died. He scandalizes many relatives by showing up at her funeral with an instrument and singing happy songs. He refuses to weep since she's returning home in his eyes. Of course, the sage is also refusing to run away from the fact of the impermanence of life. In another selection, the Chuang-tzu equates calmness of mind with giving up the attempt to change the world and relaxing with who we are and where we are in life. Kohn covers a wide-range of material in her commentaries including the meditative trance, remaining in a state of unknowing, the various aspects of Taoist immortality, the paradox of the Tao which is beyond time and space and in the world, the meaning of the Great Peace, the idea of uselessness, the art of seeing everything in its own right, the ideal of nourishing life and the ability to know when enough is enough.--Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality and Practice (08/04/2011)


[A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. Robert Cummings Neville, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, Boston Confucianism and Ritual and Deference [Kohn s] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA; co-author with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. Rodney L. Taylor, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained


[A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. <strong>Robert Cummings Neville</strong>, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, <em>Boston Confucianism</em> and <em>Ritual and Deference</em></p> [Kohn's] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. <strong>Michael Winn</strong>, Healing Tao USA; coauthor with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong</p> An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. <strong>Victor H. Mair</strong>, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania</p> Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. <strong>Rodney L. Taylor</strong>, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, <i>Confucius, the</i> Analects: <i>The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained</i></p> Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! <strong>Derek Lin</strong>, author, <em>Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained</em></p>


[A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. Robert Cummings Neville, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, Boston Confucianism and Ritual and Deference [Kohn s] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA; co-author with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. Rodney L. Taylor, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained


[A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. Robert Cummings Neville, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, Boston Confucianism and Ritual and Deference [Kohn's] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA; coauthor with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. Rodney L. Taylor, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained Catholic monk Thomas Merton had a special place in his heart for the Chuang-tzu, the third century Chinese text of Taoism. The same can be said for Taoist scholar Livia Kohn who has provided a vibrant modern translation of its philosophical observations, stories and playful observations. Kohn has assembled insights and interpretations that shed light on these paradoxical messages and animal parables. In the style of the Skylight Illuminations series, the Taoist text is on one page with a facing page of commentary. The book takes its name from its main writer, Chuang Chou (ca. 370 290 BCE), an erudite government servant who taught his philosophical ideas to disciples, and throughout the text, the sage is referred to as Chuang-tzu. Kohn gives us a sense of his perspective on the Way by the thematic heads in the paperback: (1) Universal Patterns, (2) Body and Mind, (3) Self-Transformation and (4) The New Life. One of the essential messages of this storyteller and mystic is criticism of a life of excess and praise for moderation as an ideal. For the Taoist, even monitoring of the primordial ch'i is important: you want to have this energy flow balanced and not in excess or deficiency. In one story, Chuang-tzu's wife has died. He scandalizes many relatives by showing up at her funeral with an instrument and singing happy songs. He refuses to weep since she's returning home in his eyes. Of course, the sage is also refusing to run away from the fact of the impermanence of life. In another selection, the Chuang-tzu equates calmness of mind with giving up the attempt to change the world and relaxing with who we are and where we are in life. Kohn covers a wide-range of material in her commentaries including the meditative trance, remaining in a state of unknowing, the various aspects of Taoist immortality, the paradox of the Tao which is beyond time and space and in the world, the meaning of the Great Peace, the idea of uselessness, the art of seeing everything in its own right, the ideal of nourishing life and the ability to know when enough is enough.--Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality and Practice (08/04/2011) [A] lively English translation [and] earthy commentary from one of the world's most distinguished sinologists and Taoist scholars . A welcoming introduction for the novice and a subtle revisionist interpretation that will not be lost on scholars. Robert Cummings Neville, professor of philosophy, religion and theology, Boston University; author, Boston Confucianism and Ritual and Deference [Kohn's] most luminous work . Brilliantly distills Taoist notions of self, death, dreams, fate, cosmos and happiness . Whether seasoned Tao adept or beginner, this book is essential reading. Michael Winn, Healing Tao USA; coauthor with Mantak Chia of seven books on Qigong An illuminating guide to this great classic of Chinese literature and thought by Livia Kohn, indefatigable explicator of the Taoist tradition. Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Pennsylvania Wonderfully accessible transcribes the text s subtlety and mystery for a broad readership . Brings a fresh perspective to the work. Rodney L. Taylor, professor of religious studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; author, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage Selections Annotated & Explained Reading this book is like attending a lecture by Professor Kohn. You get not only an interesting selection of Chuang-tzu texts, but also extensive commentaries infused with her personal touch. A perfect fit! Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained Catholic monk Thomas Merton had a special place in his heart for the Chuang-tzu, the third century Chinese text of Taoism. The same can be said for Taoist scholar Livia Kohn who has provided a vibrant modern translation of its philosophical observations, stories and playful observations. Kohn has assembled insights and interpretations that shed light on these paradoxical messages and animal parables. In the style of the Skylight Illuminations series, the Taoist text is on one page with a facing page of commentary. The book takes its name from its main writer, Chuang Chou (ca. 370 290 BCE), an erudite government servant who taught his philosophical ideas to disciples, and throughout the text, the sage is referred to as Chuang-tzu. Kohn gives us a sense of his perspective on the Way by the thematic heads in the paperback: (1) Universal Patterns, (2) Body and Mind, (3) Self-Transformation and (4) The New Life. One of the essential messages of this storyteller and mystic is criticism of a life of excess and praise for moderation as an ideal. For the Taoist, even monitoring of the primordial ch'i is important: you want to have this energy flow balanced and not in excess or deficiency. In one story, Chuang-tzu's wife has died. He scandalizes many relatives by showing up at her funeral with an instrument and singing happy songs. He refuses to weep since she's returning home in his eyes. Of course, the sage is also refusing to run away from the fact of the impermanence of life. In another selection, the Chuang-tzu equates calmness of mind with giving up the attempt to change the world and relaxing with who we are and where we are in life. Kohn covers a wide-range of material in her commentaries including the meditative trance, remaining in a state of unknowing, the various aspects of Taoist immortality, the paradox of the Tao which is beyond time and space and in the world, the meaning of the Great Peace, the idea of uselessness, the art of seeing everything in its own right, the ideal of nourishing life and the ability to know when enough is enough.--Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality and Practice (08/04/2011)


Author Information

Livia Kohn, PhD, a leading Taoist scholar, is professor emerita of religion and East Asian studies at Boston University. She is author or editor of over twenty-five books and many articles on Taoism and East Asian religions, including Daoism and Chinese Culture; Daoism Handbook; Health and Long Life: The Chinese Way and Chuang-tzu: The Tao of Perfect Happiness-Selections Annotated & Explained (SkyLight Paths). She teaches workshops all over the world, spearheads international conferences on Taoist studies and is executive editor at Three Pines Press and the Journal of Daoist Studies.

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