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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

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  871 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
Gently based on the principles of Tao Te Ching, this inspiring and entertaining book of Willie wisdom takes readers from his roadhouse days, when he united redneck rockers with straitlaced country music fans, to the megasized benefit concerts and environmentalism that define his boundless heart.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Gotham (first published May 1st 2006)
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Paul Nash
Sep 25, 2016 Paul Nash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breathtaking!! A solid 5 stars!

Rich or poor...rap, country or rock and roll, this book is for YOU!!!

Willie has inspired me beyond words! He is literally the coolest, most positive person I have ever read about!! His words and advice are golden!

If you hate your life and are struggling or if you feel like the happiest, most blessed person on would benefit from reading this wonderful gem!

The Tao of Willie is the way I want to live my life! If every human, (red, yellow, black or white) t
Dec 10, 2008 Sibyl rated it it was amazing
"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 . . .
Apr 12, 2014 John rated it really liked it
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
Dec 01, 2011 Max Wilson rated it liked it
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
Adam Sprague
Aug 05, 2016 Adam Sprague rated it it was ok
Sadly, he talks more about himself and his music career than philosophy. About two paragraphs of actual deep thinking, a lot of music lyrics, and a ton of self praise.
May 02, 2013 Laci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
everyone should read this book
Jul 23, 2015 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love Willie...
Oct 25, 2016 Lupe rated it really liked it
I love Willie! There is not much else to say. He wants us to love each other. Everything else will just fall into place.
Oct 14, 2016 Zia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Willie!
Sep 26, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Simply a wonderful, easy-to-read book that has you laughing as often as it makes you realize timeless truths. Excellent read.
Apr 19, 2010 Kimberly rated it really liked it
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
May 29, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Dec 04, 2008 jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
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
Sep 26, 2008 Patrick rated it really liked it
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 07, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2009 Hilary rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hilary 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
Vania Cherveniashka
Изобщо не съм подозирала, че Уили е бил такъв мъдрец, кога се е превърнал в такъв, дали когато е споделял музиката си с хилядите си почитатели, или в самотните часове, които е прекарвал наблюдавайки пътя от караваната си – „Бодлива роза“, това може би и самият той не знае, но фактът си е факт. Уили е отделил достатъчно време да помисли, за наистина важните неща и е стигнал до онези на пръв поглед простички изводи, които крият в себе си истината за живота.

Уили е развил усет за стойностните неща,
Jan 14, 2013 Kay rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 10, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 15, 2016 Suzy rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books! I stumbled upon it at a library book sale a few years ago, and reread it every once in a while to remind me of all the good things that I have in life. It is very inspirational in a good-hearted, non-preachy way. I enjoyed reading about Willie Nelson and his easy-going attitude in life, despite the hardships. It reminds me to be a better person, and reminds me to relax and enjoy my own life more- sometimes I need those little reminders, because life gets too str ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2013
Edition 978-592-40287-8

NOTE: joke about prist and nun playing golf

Thinking about the wolves already growing within him, the boy asked, 'Grandfather, which wolf wins?' And the old man replied, 'The one you feed.'"

Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.

NOTE: joke about not drinking enough water

NOTE: joke about confession and wife poisoning husband
Clean living and dirthy thoughts are not mutually exclusive.

The truth is frequently subversi
Apr 16, 2014 Deborah rated it liked it
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.
Mar 09, 2009 Mhp rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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."
Nov 16, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 02, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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.
Jean Mc
Jan 12, 2013 Jean Mc rated it liked it
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.
Mar 20, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
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.
Deborah J.
Feb 03, 2015 Deborah J. rated it really liked it
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!
Nov 25, 2013 Damien rated it liked 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.
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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
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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.” 50 likes
“You'll never get ahead by blaming your problems on other people.” 35 likes
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