Mantak Chia is the director of the Tao Garden Integrative Medicine Health Spa and Resort training center in northern Thailand and the author of 35 books including Emotional Wisdom. He thinks that people in the West get too caught up in our productivity and our self-protection games to ever let go and go with the flow. In this accessible and illuminating resource, he suggests a different approach:

"As energy continues to flow and you gain more and more confidence in letting go, a strange thing happens. You learn to flow with it and your life becomes effortless. This really is the path of the Tao."

A central problem is that we are enslaved by our monkey minds (or ego) instead of following our hearts. The Taoists, according to the author, see three paths to enlightenment: prayer and worship, good works, and self-discovery. The ladder is the way of Tao where we have neither friends nor enemies, only teachers. We manifest the truth that is within us. But that takes some nurturing — like helping a tree to grow by regularly watering it and protecting it from harm. This is a fitting metaphor since Taoists have a great respect for the natural world.

One of the very special dimensions of the Tao is that it "teaches you how to breathe, sleep, urinate, defecate, sit, stand, walk, and exchange sexual energy in harmony with the natural flow of the universe." Chia covers many of these topics in chapters on foods that heal, cosmic purification, money, hot and cold, and total awareness. Chia concludes that in Taoism "there is no best. There is no worst. There is only another mountain to climb, another becoming and another understanding."