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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Chinese Secrets Revealed: For Those Who Are Ready, 21 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Cultivating Stillness: Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind (Paperback)
This book is based on an ancient Taoist text written by Lao Tzu. It is about changing oneself ... creating and maintaining internal harmony, despite external circumstances. Due to its esoteric nature, i.e., internal alchemy ... the author, a Chinese American, was guided by a Taoist master when learning from the original text. With this book, the author becomes our very own "master", as she guides us in understanding the path to "cultivating stillness."
One gets a good description of the Chinese philosophy and underpinnings of the text via a wonderful explanation of the symbols ... we learn about the I Ching, the three treasures, the stove and the cauldron, microcosmic circulation, and cleansing all of which occur within the twelve terrestrial branches. We learn of the symbolism of "the Golden Raven, "the Jade Rabbit","the Golden Palace", "the North Sea", "the Winding River", and "the Southern Mountain." Using breath as the catalyst, the student will eventually experience the regeneration of personal energy into vital energy ... The state of "wang chi", the intermediate state between "wu chi" and "tai chi" is discussed. We learn, "wu chi" is the state of the Void, or Tao. We learn, "tai chi", is the state of differentiating yin and yang, when yin encompasses yang, and yang encompasses yin. On many levels this is a complex book. However, if the reader wants to learn Chinese philosophy, the accompanying symbolism, as well as how this knowledge can transform the human spirit this book is definitely the place to start.
This is a poetry book, a book of free verse, filled with statements by Lao Tzu which precede each chapter. On another level, it is a depth psychology book for the reader who applies some of the techniques in learning about themselves. On yet a separate level, it is a history book about how the Chinese philosophers, primarily Lao Tzu, viewed mankind and the universe ... a place of energy and form, in an eternal dance ... and lastly, it is an artistic book, filled with wonderful explanations about Chinese ideagrams. Although it is a highly complex read, therefore not for everyone, it is a thoroughly enjoyable book for those who are patience and interested in experiencing a unique culture and understanding its viewpoint. Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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Location: Gulf Coast of FL, USA

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