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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  ·  741 ratings  ·  133 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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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
"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 . . .
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
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
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
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
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
Deborah J.
I was never a true fan of Willie Nelson, though I've always like his warm, nasal, simple vocal-style. As a person, I had a complete other image of him which was definitely mistaken. He is quite the philosopher, with very integral and holistic views on life - and getting through it.
(You can definitely rely on the views Christian who also believes in the Tao, I say.)
I now respect him much, much more as an artist and a man.
And I may even end up buying an album or two!
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
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.
Ginnie Grant
I picked up this book from a family member's bookshelf thinking "what could that dirty old man have to teach me?" and was very surprised. Unexpectedly bright, insightful and well spoken, as well as a light-hearted and fun. Very valid for everyday life. turns out there is a reason the dirty old man lived to be so old!
Erin  Melito
Honestly, this is one of my favorite books. I was surprised at the wisdom our dear Willie had to bestow but this is a book I'll go back and read over and over again. Willie's the MAN!
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
A pretty good book about life from the perspective of Willie Nelson. Take it for what it is.
Marion Thompson
"What's the best age? he asks. And so far I've always said the same thing: This one."
Probably the best "Zen" read ever. Humor and fun and life lessons.
Sandra Stolz
Charming and light-hearted. An enjoyable read.
Simple,straight and true.
Great joyous wisdom here.
Well worth your time.
Rosemary Jacobsen
it was a wise easy to read
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.
I didn't love this I have to say. I was hoping for something a little different. I don't know what it was but I just didn't love it.
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.
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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 On the Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and the Future of the Family Farm

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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.” 43 likes
“...when you put your life in a good place, good things follow.” 30 likes
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