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Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Lieh-tzu is a collection of stories and philosophical musings of a sage of the same name who lived around the fourth century BCE. Lieh-tzu's teachings range from the origin and purpose of life, the Taoist view of reality, and the nature of enlightenment to the training of the body and mind, communication, and the importance of personal freedom. This distinctive transla ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 11th 2001 by Shambhala (first published 1987)
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Aurelien
One of the three Taoist pillars with Chuang-Tzu and Lao-Tzu, Lieh-Tzu is also the most accessible of them all. Based on a succession of short stories, little tales and fables each with a sound teaching and great moral implication to get by in our daily lives, we have here a good practical manual to better walk the Taoist way. It's simple, yet striking, astonishing and inspiring all at once.

Clearly divided in eight parts, each focusing on one particular aspect relevant to Taoist living and philos
...more
Jib
If Carnation Instant Wisdom was a marketable product, it would look like this book.

That was pretty lame. But it's true. I refer to this book all the time, and I'm blown away by how deeply these stories sink into my mind over the weeks/months I spend thinking through them/the themes they address. And they never get old. It's like a massive collection of zen koans (to me they read just like zen koans, anyway -- just as much to think about, and it's the same "I just swallowed a ball of hot iron and
...more
Daniel
Apr 07, 2007 Daniel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Eastern interest/simple truth seekers
Shelves: oldfavorites
A great day-to-day about how the greatest teachers of the Taoist tradition were simple and made mistakes, taking their strength from recognizing errors, delineating the causes, and refraining from perposterous arrogance about accomplishing their view of the world. Reading this book makes being a human being a bit easier, and though it isn't as 'magical' as the Tao Te Ching, it is far more humane in its inclusions of those who err in the vast breadth of individuals who touch the Tao without knowi ...more
Colin
Another great Taoist text! Unlike Lao-Tzu and to some extent Chang-Tzu, Lieh-Tzu writes for everyone. In other words, you can practice Taoist principles and not be a hermit out in the woods. I mean no disrespect, and indeed Eva Wong in her intro comments on this point! Essentially Lieh-Tzu took Taoism to the masses, and I found I could relate to his realistic applications.
Bob
The book's subtitle sums it up best. It's a collection of very short stories meant to illuminate the Taoist way of thinking as it applies in everyday situations. The anecdotes are often charming and always thought-provoking. A very good follow-up to the Tao Te Ching in any would-be Taoist's reading program. I digested this one in small snippets over the course of many days. That still seems the perfect way of approaching this work, as it gave me plenty of time for ruminating on what I'd just rea ...more
Tom
A pretty loose "translation" of the Leizi, which makes all kinds of historical mistakes, adds a good amount of its own views into the text without making a note of it, and generally just tries to ignore any difficult. To Wong (a self-described "practicing Daoist," whatever that means), the Daoism of Liezi is essentially late 20th-century Western New Age spiritualism. It embodies everything that Americans get wrong about medieval and ancient China.
Marts  (Thinker)
A collection of 'wisdom writings' presenting teachings on varied elements of life, and expressed in a sort of parable-like or short story form by a philosopher by the same name of Lieh-Tzu...
Joe Green
A slightly disappointing book. Some good knowledge in spots, but not nearly as "Taoist" as I was expecting. Definitely not up to Chuang Tzu or even Lao Tzu.
Bill Currie
Many interesting short stories and parables that attempt to explain the purpose of life. Yet profound, there is a glint of humor in much of what is said.
Felix Terkhorn
The most accessible of the Taoist classics. Wong's translation uses contemporary English, while presumably retaining the spirit of the original work.
Legendoftheundead
an awesome book that talks about the values to Taoism, it's relgion and philosophy through Lieh-Tzu's journey toward enlightenment.
Laurie
I loved the shorts stories about Lieh-Tzu. A practical application of Taoist theory which I gained hope and information from.
Tom
One of the best translations of the Liezi (or Lieh-tzu) out there, succeeded only by my own (in progress).
Will Brown
A most interesting read on the writings of Lieh-Tzu. Very nicely done. Love it.
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  • Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings
  • Wen-Tzu
  • Tao: The Pathless Path
  • The Shambhala Guide to Taoism
  • The Wisdom of China and India
  • Selected Writings
  • Religion and Nothingness
  • The Limits of Thought
  • Master Dogen's Shobogenzo: 1
  • Taoist I Ching
  • On Dialogue
  • 365 Tao: Daily Meditations
  • Tao: The Watercourse Way
  • Mencius
  • Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy
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Liezi was the third greatest Taoist philosopher in history of Taoism next to Laozi and Zhuangzi, roughly living in the early period of the Warring States. His philosophy is rooted in the basic thoughts of Emperor Yellow and Laozi and emphasized Tranquility and Inaction. Historically, Liezi was not a pure Taoist, just written into the masters list after the establishment of Taoism as a religion.
More about Liezi...
Taoist Teachings: The Book Of Lieh Tzu (Forgotten Books) The Book of Master Lie O praznini Das wahre Buch vom quellenden Urgrund (German Edition) Resshi

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“If a branch is too rigid, it will break. Resist, and you will perish. Know how to yield, and you will survive.” 1 likes
“Some people think they can find satisfaction in good food, fine clothes, lively music, and sexual pleasure. However, when they have all these things, they are not satisfied. They realize happiness is not simply having their material needs met. Thus, society has set up a system of rewards that go beyond material goods. These include titles, social recognition, status, and political power, all wrapped up in a package called self-fulfillment. Attracted by these prizes and goaded on by social pressure, people spend their short lives tiring body and mind to chase after these goals. Perhaps this gives them the feeling that they have achieved something in their lives, but in reality they have sacrificed a lot in life. They can no longer see, hear, act, feel, or think from their hearts. Everything they do is dictated by whether it can get them social gains. In the end, they've spent their lives following other people's demands and never lived a life of their own. How different is this from the life of a slave or a prisoner?” 1 likes
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