on 18 January 2008
This book is great, if you love fables, parables, good humour, little known truths about the state of our planet and us then you will love this. It is so unique and funny, a little sad in places, amazing teachings, a real philosophers gem. There is something in this book for everyone as most of my family and friends of various age, gender and walk of life have a copy. Highly recommended for the enlightened, unenlightened and soon to be enlightened. What more can I say.
on 25 October 2007
Taoism (pronounced Daoism) is an easy concept to grasp, but like all ways of thought can be a bit dry to swallow. The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet provides a much more palatable form to digest this ancient Chinese philosophy. It is even possible to see how the application of the ideas exhibited in The Tao of Pooh over the next ten years was able to influence the writing of the Te of Piglet, which is an even easier read, but provides even more depth. An outstanding two books in one cover.
on 2 September 2002
Taoism is an incredibly complicated philosophy to get to grips with. There are so many in depth points to take in and mull over that many people fall by the wayside without ever really getting into it.
The Tao follows a natural, calm, and simple path. So why are there so many books on the subject which seem to try and impress you with how clever the author is?
Benjamin Hoff has taken a very refreshing view on the subject, and setting his ego to one side has created two books which no home should be without. The basic tenets of Taoism follow a simple, effortless existence. The very state of mind which children have, and adults could do with visiting a little more often. Through the characters of Pooh and his friends Mr Hoff guides us through Taoism in a friendly, comforting way. With the contradictory Dry/Sweet humor inherent in Pooh you will find yourself happily strolling through the Hundred Acre Wood, and out the other side. Having collected a lot of the foundations of Taoism, without even having to think about it. Let Mr Hoff take you back to when you were being read stories of Pooh, and return a wiser person.
The second book takes you further into the Tao, concentrating more on Piglet, The Small. Find yourself taking part in all the stories within and realise that no matter what obstacles are ahead, nothing is out of reach, even for little Piglet.
I first read this book in a hotel room where it sat next to the Gideons Bible(No offence Gideon, but I've read it). Since that time I have found myself buying a new copy each year as a friend picks it up, starts reading, and somehow manages to leave with it.
Two beautiful books which you will want to read time and time again. As indeed will your friends.
on 8 August 2003
When I came across this book in the philosophy section of a bookstore I was both amazed and confused. I wanted to know more about so I picked it up and read the synopsis. I was so intrigued by it that I decided to buy the book. Reading the book for the first time I felt like a child again, the way the writer structured the book as a story made it so much easier to understand the complexity of Taoism. Well worth the read if you want to be enlightened and amused at the same time.
Would you like to have an understanding of the basics of Taoism? In the past have you browsed through the books on Taoism in Waterstones, read a few lines which made no sense at all and promplty returned the book on the shelf? Did you go as far as to actually purchase Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching only to have it sitting on your shelf as an ornament, occasionally picked up, a few lines read and then promptly put back in-situ (maybe I'll read it another time)? But there is something inside you of course that wants to know more about Taoism, you have a deep rooted feeling that it will be good for you, almost as if your higher self is pushing you towards it. Well all is fine, you have been going with the flow recently, taking life as it comes and finding things a lot easier, and you have ended up here reading these reviews. You will notice that everyone has given 5 stars, of course they have, this is a delightful book. This is where you will get your first understanding of the principles of Taoism, of going with the flow, of the uncarved block, etc. The principles of Taoism here are put simply (which is always better). Gone are the abstract quotes (now what do they mean by this?). It's a delightful read, with the help of our friends from the 100 Acre Wood (even Eeyore has something important to teach us), wonderfully written by the sincere and genuine Benjamin Hoff. This isn't a guy who is in this for the money, he loves his Taoism, he loves his Pooh, and wants more people to benefit from the ancient chinese teachings. You so often read claims of books that will 'change your life' but they never really do. Well this one might, probably in a gentle subtle way to begin with (which is always better). You must be on your spiritual path to be considering buying this book. Should you buy it? Well, what does your intuition say?
on 9 April 2014
I first read tao of pooh years ago, and it had a great effect on me, the message as i remember it and the ensuing experience was quite a vivid sense of trust in things and how they go.
Since then i've explored other ideas, looking at things from different philosophical angles and got flung around by life. I wanted to re-read tao of pooh because life is so overwhelming, along with all the contrasting ideas about how to be at peace with living it. But before going back into this book i wanted to get to know the actual tao te ching, a really short text, and of course closer to the origin of taoism.
The one i've listened to is read by Jacob Needleman, with his commentary following the text. I think it needs to be listened to several times to really grasp the depth and efficiency of it, and why i am rambling in this direction is that it casts a whole new light on tao of pooh, without the 'intellectual snobbery' Hoffman refers to and dismisses in the book.
Needleman discusses the popular misrepresentation and misunderstanding of taoism, and having digested the original text and Needleman's equally efficient discussion and analysis, I'm sorry to say that tao of pooh really does overlook the essence of taoism - opting for a superficial aping of 'naturalness'.. not a reconnection with a profound level of instinct and awareness.
I wish it didn't. Surely it's an interesting book, if not only because of why it has such wide appeal. But if you want true taoism you'd better go to the horse's mouth. Tao of Pooh is a good way to chill out about stuff and have more of a sense of humour - but that isn't taoism. it's far deeper and more subtle than that - but just as if not more simple.
on 12 November 2007
The Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet is an inspiring read, taking complex and often distant Taoist philosophy and bringing it into simple terms for the reader.
The book is throughout accompanied by a "feel good" comic aspect, with the author often adressing Pooh bear directly when explaining complex philosophical ideals such as "P'u"- the uncarved block.
This style of writing leaves it an attractive read to even those who prehaps rarley pick up a book, simply because of its playful nature, by bringing philosophy such as this in such simple terms to the western world Hoff has done what was thought impossible, combining the eastern, and western teaching in a, if not slightly odd, harmony.
on 26 August 2016
Read this book some time ago,lent it and of course,lost it.As a book of basic philosophy it is a triumph.
I will not lend this copy,it will remain my sensible friend ,a joy to meet up with when life gets complicated,just like a certain dependable bear.
on 8 March 2016
Although the book is aimed at delivering an understanding of Taoism in a modern, easier way it is suitable for all readers just keen to put some perspective in their lives. I really believe if everyone read this book the world could become a slightly better place. A must read top 10!
on 30 July 2013
Quite a few years ago, I saw "The Tao of Pooh" sitting on my sister's kitchen table. I opened it up, just to have a look, not knowing anything about Taoism, and really not being a Pooh fan. Just reading a small snippet, I decided I need to read this book. So, I went out and bought it. I was not disappointed. I fell in love with the characters, and could tie each one, to either some of my friends, or to any number of my own characteristics. I learned any easy lesson about the Tao, and was even able to begin seeing how much happier I became, laid back, by being more like Pooh (the ultimate Taoist).
Mr. Hoff did a wonderful job making the(se) book(s) easy to read. His interactions with the characters, are adorable, and not overplayed. This isn't a PhD book, with a lot of deep pontification, and heavy cliff notes, like many one might see in any number of book, about the "Tao Te Ching". Nor is it simply a comical Pooh book. It's a happy meet-in-the-middle.
I gave my first copy of "The Tao of Pooh" to a friend, and immediately went out to buy this set. Again, I wasn't disappointed. "The Te of Piglet" was every bit as good as "ToP". I don't remember when I gave the set away, but it went to a friend, just like the first. I absolutely had to buy the set again, and read it again. This isn't a one-time read, and I cannot be long without having it in my library. I continue to go back to it, and will continue to do so for as long as I live.