Perhaps the most important study of Taoism available in English. - In the early 1960's Shipper was in Taiwan researching Taoism. Frustrated by the limitations of dealing with the Chinese cultural association he set out to observe Taoism at first hand by himself. He discovered in the Heavenly Masters tradition, a continuous living tradition that traced directly back to the fourth century AD on mainland China. He was then accepted for training as a Taoist priest. Four years of training and two decades of further scholarship led to the publication of this fascinating book. The concept of the Taoist Body contains both heaven, humanity and earth and also our individual bodies which form a microcosm of the universe. Rich in detail both in textual study and first hand descriptions of Taoist ritual, this text is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Taoism (although complete newcomers to the subject need to spend a little time on the Tao Te Ching/Chang Tzu first)I could not recommend it more highly.
...for whoever wants to be introduced in the Daoist world. It has been written few decades ago and it is referred mainly to the Taiwan scene, but remains one of the fundamental introductory works by one of the few Western insider scholars.