The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart
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The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  668 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Born in small-town Texas during the Great Depression, Willie Nelson was raised to believe in helping his neighbors and living without pretense. After many hardscrabble years as a poorly paid songwriter (often watching his work become a gold mine for other performers), Willie finally found his own voice?the gentle but unmistakably honest sound that has made him an American...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Gotham (first published May 9th 2006)
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"If you love music, then you are my friend. And furthermore,'s good to have lots of friends." -- Willie Nelson

I've loved Willie's music ever since I first heard Red Headed Stranger, then Phases and Stages. I delved into his earlier music and loved it all, too. Then forward into the present, and it's great, too. This little book is Willie's pithy take on living a good, real, honest life. Willie led me to Townes Van Zandt who, with his philosophy: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies . . ....more
Willie Nelson muses on nearly everything. Willie tells autobiographical stories about growing up in Abbott, Texas with his sister and life-long musical partner, Bobbie. When not writing about his personal life, Willie discusses politics. His views on some topics are well-known (family farms vs. corporate farms) and other topics may be news to readers (the Electoral College). Although Willie shares his opinions on politics, he devotes the largest sections of the book to his two great loves, golf...more
Max Wilson
Willie Nelson is the greatest living American philosopher. Willie Nelson is the cure for European Existentialism (or nihilism of any variety). Willie Nelson is the cure for Judeo-Christian-Islamist fundamentalism and it variants. Willie Nelson is the cure for materialist neo-fascism masquerading as patriotism in America today. He is on the middle path. He is able to laugh at himself before anyone else gets the chance to do so. He is love. He has written more than 2500 songs - just listen to 100...more
everyone should read this book
When you put your life in a good place, good things follow.

Tao - finding the balance between resistance and surrender.

The wisdom is in the moments when the madness slips away and we remember the basics

Golden Rule - Do unto others as we would have them do unto you.

Different religions are just different paths leading to the same place. A thousand paths to a single destination.

The respect of others must be earned through the positive quality of our actions.

If you throw trash along the highways or f...more
The Tao of Willie a memoir by Willie Nelson I've always liked Willie's music and his unique voice. This book gives a glimpse of the REAL Willie, no gloss, no hiding behind a false front. You get true Willie with bawdry stories, cursing, his defense of smoking pot, his dislike of certain Presidents, but also, you get to understand his love of music and his concern (after his manner) for other people. Willie throws in some quotes by Chinese philosophers and each chapter seems to relate to that the...more
Willie Nelson is an American treasure. He is a living legend. I'm happy I get to share the planet with him.

So what's not to love about this little book of his Cowboy Tao? He meanders through the years, recalling stories of his friends, family, touring, musical career, many wives, and adventures. When I sat down and actually thought about how old he is and how the world has changed while he was watching, I was even more enthralled by how forward-thinking he is. This man has a big heart, a sharp...more
May 29, 2009 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Melinda and Kerry B
Shelves: audio-book
I grew up listening to Willie Nelson, my Dad's favorite musician to this day. Before I was 10 years old, I knew every word to Whiskey River, Good Hearted Woman, and Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys. And I still have the urge to belt out the lyrics any time I'm driving in a truck on a long stretch of road.
It was a special treat to be introduced to The Tao of Willie - to come to know this man (whom my Dad reveres as a hero) in a different light than I ever expected. Who knew this...more
My brother loaned me this book. Probably if I Hhad seen it at he bookstore I would have passed right by it. That's whats so nice about surprises they sneak up on you.Willie Nelson in this book shares some of his philosphies with us in this book. This is a motto taped to Willie's coffemaker " "The ealy bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." Go ahead think about it a minute. This quote starts off a chapter about negative thinking."Either that wallpaper goes, or I do." These wer...more
Jul 15, 2009 Fox rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fox by: looked like fun
I wasn't crazy about The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes but it wasn't for the style of writing. I just didn't much like the format. Therefore, I didn't exactly have high hopes for The Tao of Willie; man, was I surprised.

This small volume was an insightful, hilarious, and well thought out book that spoke strongly to me from even the goofiest of short anecdotes. The book is essentially a collection of advice ranging from the physical (breathe deeply, drink plenty of water) to the spiritual (n...more
I love Willie and learned that he's quite the philosopher. I listened to the audio version, which I think was a mistake. Willie gave an intro and and made comments at the end, but someone else read the majority of the book. Listening to Willie's words being read by someone else was distracting. I suspect that I would have rated this book four stars if Willie had read it or if I had read the written version.
Simple, chatty, choppy and wise, Willie's book of wisdom at age 72 (he's 80 in 2013) is like running into him over and over and remembering something he's said. His values make me feel better--family and friends and love and music--he has kept them all close always. He knows himself: "I'm a troubadour" he says, and that captures it. He gives us the essential skeleton of his life, earliest family, four wives, seven children, many miles. My takeaway line is "the [Chinese] concept of Wu Wei, which...more
I read this several years ago, and the strongest impression I recall is "okayness." It was a cute book, a quick read, a happy note- but not much else.
Don Reitmeyer iii
Pronounced the Dao of Willie. Advice on life from one who has seen good times and bad and keeps a positive attitude despite life's obstacles.
Paige Mattocks
Who doesn't love Willie Nelson? Easy read...good for reading in an atmosphere where you may be interrupted a lot, such as work. Light and comical.
Willie is the man. I didn't know much about him before starting this book, but I'm so glad I got to know him. He's just great. A country-fried Dalai Lama, he's a simple, peace-loving dude who loves people, golf, and corny jokes, and just wants the world to be a happy place. Maybe it's all the weed he smokes, but there's not one mean bone in his body, and in a society that is currently fueled by vitriol and superiority complexes, this is a breath of fresh air. Don't get me wrong, Willie's no sain...more
Scottsdale Public Library
Willie mingles stories, jokes and adages with a collection of lessons he has learned in this life. Loosely based on the Tao Te Ching, Nelson advocates incorporating into one's life the teachings of that ancient work. But while the Tao inspired this book, Nelson's charming, often humorous tales of his Texan childhood, cowboy lifestyle, and famous friends make the book, which is rooted as much in down-home common sense as it is in mystical philosophy. Nelson also shares his views on subjects like...more
Marion Thompson
"What's the best age? he asks. And so far I've always said the same thing: This one."
Simple,straight and true.
Great joyous wisdom here.
Well worth your time.
David Kirschner
Cool little book of wit and wisdom from Willie. He talks a lot about peace and weed and tells a fair amount of dirty jokes. I didn't really learn a lot, but I feel like I know Willie Nelson. I want to hang out with him. Quick and entertaining read.
p. 86

The purpose of life is not merely to serve as a warning to others.

Question: How come Hitler didn't drink?
Answer: 'Cause it made him mean.

You know inside whether it's right. But you still have to choose to do it.

P. 92

Fortunately we are not in control.

p. 96

I am the only person who can set myself free from what might have been.

p. 170

A neutron walks into a bar and says, "How much for a beer?"
And the bartender says, "For you, no charge."
Not as silly as it seems, the old man has actually lived and experienced quite a bit. Forget the stigma of the pot smokin' hippy and it is apparent that he is indeed a sage of sorts. He's still crazy but insightful. Know that the Tao is NOT a religion, just the way of being comfortable in the universe. Going with the flow, not societtically, but spiritually and naturally. You may not be able to change your current situation, but you can change your perception of said situation.
What's not to like about this collection of words to live by? Follow the golden rule, carry love in peace in your heart, enjoy life and everything else will fall into place. While none of the messages in this book are wholly original, and the author is quick to point that out from the get-go, Willie's humor and personal anecdotes sprinkled throughout make this quick read more entertaining than preachy. The audio version features some reading by him, which is a nice treat.
Willie rocks, in more than the musical sense. This is a very light-hearted, silly, sometimes cheesy, book of Willie-isms and wonderful little life lessons, lessons about living a good, happy life. I mean, why not? He teaches by leading through example, talking about the lovely people his met, just by being nice to strangers, and not letting opportunities to enjoy every day pass him by. If you're looking for a silly, feel-good, fast read, check this out.
Jean Mc
A very confusing audiobook. The reader of the book keeps the same tone within his voice no matter what he is reading. So when we change points of view there is no way of telling. Again very confusing since there are large sections in which "I" is used for any one in Willie's family. I thought this would be a very personal autobiography. It is not. I was also disappointed that Willie Nelson didn't read any of it.
Extreme liberalism... with a smattering of spirituality. I suppose it might have seemed a little more radical when it was written. Don't get me wrong- I think every one of Willie Nelson's fans who are Republicans and/or bigots should read this- if the majority of the people in this country agreed with Willie, we'd all be one step ahead. There is humor all through the book and I got many laughs out of his intentional jokes.
Greg Parrinello
Nov 12, 2008 Greg Parrinello rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: introspective people in search of life lessons
Recommended to Greg by: bookstore employee
Willie now sees life as very simple. He puts much faith in the power of love and despises the 7 deadly sins. He does not leave room for people to waiver in their dispositions. He pepper's his prose with jokes that sometimes border on risque so beware but it's worth the ride. In the end, Willie is Willie and one can learn a lot from the lessons he's learned in his long and storied life.
This was a great 80-page book. Unfortunately it's 184 pages. The first chapters are crack-a-rib funny and even insightful at times. But when he drifts into his theory of reincarnation and the virtues of biofuel, he's like that crazy uncle who was really funny until about an hour after dinner, when he was drunk, angry, and just wouldn't shut up.
Andrew Ludke
OK, this is just fun reading. It's full of good and bad jokes, snippets of wisdom, and lessons learned over an astonishing life of making music with his friends. After producing more than 300 albums and writing more than 2500 songs it's hard to believe there's more to say, but Willie is a veritable fountain of fun advise told through the tales of his life.
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Willie Hugh Nelson is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the most beloved and notorious country music singers. He reached his greatest fame during the so-called "outlaw country" movement of the 1970s, but remains iconic, especially in American popular culture. In recent years he has continued to tour, record, and perform, and this, combined with activities in...more
More about Willie Nelson...
Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die:  Musings from the Road The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes A Tale Out of Luck Willie: An Autobiography Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road

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“Let the jerks of the world serve as the perfect example of what you don't want to be. You'll be a heck of a lot happier, and in the long run, there's a chance that other person at work will end up asking what your secret is. Why are you the happy one? In other words, don't let your thoughts think you. Besides, if you're really gonna get pissed, don't waste it on your family, friends, or coworkers, save it for something that really matters.” 40 likes
“...when you put your life in a good place, good things follow.” 29 likes
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