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Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions) [Paperback]

Eva Wong
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 21.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2001 Shambhala Dragon Editions
The Lieh-tzu is a collection of stories and philosophical musings of a sage of the same name who lived around the fourth century BCE. Lieh-tzu's teachings range from the origin and purpose of life, the Taoist view of reality, and the nature of enlightenment to the training of the body and mind, communication, and the importance of personal freedom. This distinctive translation presents Lieh-tzu as a friendly, intimate companion speaking directly to the reader in a contemporary voice about matters relevant to our everyday lives.

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Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions) + Taoism: An Essential Guide + Cultivating Stillness: Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; New edition edition (1 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570628998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570628993
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 519,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
LIEH-TZU WAS a humble and sincere person. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars completes the set 13 Feb 2002
I'm pleased I purchased this book, if only to complete the set of Taoist classics (along with Tao Te Ching and Book of Chuang Tzu). Although the author is herself chinese and she admits it is not a direct translation I couldn't help feeling that it has lost some of the real meaning behind some of the stories. Although I have not seen the original, some of the stories are relatively well known or also feature in the Book of Chuang Tzu. Eva modestly comments that she found the book of Chuang Tzu hard to understand initially, and I think this is why these versions have lost something. Maybe a good book for those who are just getting into Taoist thought, with snappy little stories. But much of the depth, authority and humour found in Chuang Tzu seems to be lost (though I did laugh out loud at the story of Confucious and the 2 children arguing about the sun). Possibly people will love this book because, as Eva says, Lieh Tzu talks as someone on the road to enlightenment, and not someone who had reached it. Also, interesting stories for children.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of folk tales circa 400 bce 27 Jun 2001
Eva Wong is an excellent translator of Taoist texts. Having studied and practised various Taoist arts she has a unique insight into the depth of meaning inherent in this kind of historical text. In this edition she gives us not a strict translation but the voice of Lieh Tzu. She has succeeded in capturing the essence of the spirit in which these tales were written. Each little story has something more to give, some extra meaning each time it is read. A must have book for anyone interested in Taoist philosophy or Chinese historical tales.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than I thought at first 29 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This is actually my second review of this product. After re-reading it several times I now realise how mistaken I was at first; my previous comments do not do it justice. An excellent, concise book which can be read and re-read many many times.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Taoist Work 3 Aug 2002
By Mark Pollock - Published on
The Lieh Tzu is the one of the less known Taoist classics, yet perhaps the most accessable and enjoyable one. It's a collection of 111 stories said to be by the noted scholar Leih-Tzu around the fourth century BCE. (Who's it really by? Who knows? And who cares?)
The stories cover a variety of topics, such as choosing what is important, how to lead a group of people, archery, choosing ones targets well, Confucius, why one chooses to be a Taoist, and much more.
My favorite quote is "Enlightenment is a very normal experience, attainable by everyone. Therefore, there is nothing mysterious or secretive about it."
A simply wonderful, tranquil book that is enjoyable to read and contemplate.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great material, but -- 8 Dec 2004
By wiredweird - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lao Tzu, the first author of Taoism, described abstruse, metaphorical scenes in abstruse language. Chuang Tzu uses prosaic descriptions, but still described philosophical ideal rather than gritty facts. Lieh Tzu came later. He used prosaic words to describe prosaic, everyday scenes, and to find enlightenment in them.

Many ring true for me. The "yellow mare" reminded me of a technician who was finely attuned to the circuits we used. He was always wrong in his diagnosis onf the problems he showed me. That never mattered. He was always right in pointing out that there was a problem, often based on small clues that I might have missed.

Lieh discusses honesty and friendship, poverty and happiness, great riches and death. Still, the language is always modern and clear, and a good supplement to Chuang and Lao.

My problem, though, is that this isn't a translation. It's Wong's interpretation. She says, early on, "Instead of a straight translation of the sematics of the text, I have decided to present the 'voice' of Lieh Tzu." As much as I like Wong's text, it troubles me. Translation is never exact, but there are degrees of inexactness. I am concerned about how much Lieh's text has suffered.

This is good anyway, and I'll probably come back to it eve if I find a more scholarly Lieh Tzu. This is readable and thought-provoking, no matter what it's authenticity.

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-kept secret of Taoist wisdom. 29 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book, unlike the more well known works by Lao-Tse and Chuang-Tse, is mostly made up of stories, and is very well suited to children. I read my library's copy, and I wish I could buy a copy to keep for myself, and for my children someday. It is an immensely comforting and wise text we owe to Lieh-Tse, a Taoist master who lived about two centuries after Lao-Tse.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Retelling 1 May 2004
By Joseph Morales - Published on
One point that should be clarified about this book is that it is not a direct translation of Lieh Tzu. In the intro, the author explains that her goal was to "open up" the text for modern Western readers by essentially retelling the stories in her own way. This is a perfectly valid approach, of course, since she is open about it. In some cases, her renditions sharpen the point and even improve the literary quality of the original. In others, she may have reduced some quirkiness of the original in deference to political correctness, or may have added influences from later Taoist thought. This is a good edition to read for contemplation, but if you are interested in the history of Taoist thought at all, stick with A.C. Graham's more literal translation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triple L 11 Sep 2010
By Larry Ladd - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, nicely written and laid out. After reading it through the first time I felt that I finally met the master sage. I constantly re-read it each day and meditate/reflect on each 'lesson.' Truly the book offers a guide to practical living in the Taoist manner; however, there are some 'lessons' in which the oriental mind has to be carefully interpreted into the Western understanding. If one is willing to do this: to make the 'lessons' fit into the Western way of Life, then one will gain immensely from this book. In other words, there has to be a certain effort and dedication on the part of the reader to incorporate this 'guide' into one's lifestyle. I highly recommend it; but also know that "what is one man's meat is another man's poison." So, keep an open mind and be ready for a new experience.
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