12 Basic Books

Chuang-tzu by Livia Kohn provides a vibrant modern translation of this text by a Taoist scholar known for its philosophical observations, stories, and playfulness. What comes through is praise for moderation as an ideal.

Entering the Tao by Hua-Ching Ni offers a smorgasbord of insights into Taoist wisdom as a path of transformation and nurturing the true Self. The student of the integral way is "gently in motion" avoiding the excesses of stagnation and restlessness.

Living in the Tao by Mantak Chia and William U. Wei focuses on three Taoist paths of enlightenment: prayer and worship, good works, and self-discovery. It takes plenty of practice to follow our hearts.

Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer presents commentary and spiritual practices on 81 short verses from the Tao Te Ching, which Dyer calls "a manual on the art of living."

A Path and a Practice by William Martin contains his translation of the Tao Te Ching and a section designed to mine the meanings of the text in depth. The author has done an impressive job giving us a vivid sense of this spiritual classic and its relevance to our lives.

T'ai Chi as a Path of Wisdom by Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt affirms this meditation practice and path of wisdom as one which has given her energy, patience, and a sense of being in sync with the rhythms of the universe.

Tao in Ten by Annellen Simpkins and C. Alexander Simpkins discusses the integral way as a path for developing your natural talents and intuition. In a chapter on wu-wei they claim it is possible to accomplish more with less and to give up attempts to control the future.

The Tao of Motherhood by Vimala McClure shares three treasures from this tradition for parents to pass on to their children: kindness, humility, and charity. The author also salutes parents who admit that they don't know and who tell the truth.

The Tao of Walt Whitman by Connie Shaw, Ike Allen, and Walt Whitman takes this celebrated poet's love of nature and his ability to see spirituality everywhere as signs of his alignment with Taoism. In the 52 weeks of material, you will find Whitman's takes on paradox, silence, compassion, wonder, mystery, reverence, and more.

365 Tao by Deng Ming-Dao is a top-drawer collection of meditations on this ancient path. Whether writing about opposites, withdrawal, acceptance, or yielding, the author brings the wisdom of Taoism into our daily lives with panache. For more of his meditations, see The Lunar Tao.

The Wisdom of the Taoists by D. Howard Smith is a superb collection of sayings and stories from Lao-Tzu and Chuang-tzu that delineates the mystical perspectives of Taoism. Both believed that since everything is temporary, it makes no sense to be attached to things.

Working Out, Working Within by Chungliang Al Huang and Jerry Lynch is a user-friendly handbook with invaluable advice on replacing perfectionism with excellence, making a sacred pledge to perseverance, nurturing the wisdom of moderation, and going with the flow.