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The Second Book of the Tao
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The Second Book of the Tao

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  30 reviews
"A twenty-first-century form of ancient wisdom . . . Mitchell's flights, his paradoxes, his wonderful riffs are brilliant and liberating." -Pico Iyer
The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao-tzu's "Tao Te Ching," or "Book of the Way," is the classic manual on the art of living. Following the phenomenal success of his own version of the "Tao
ebook, 224 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 414)
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Will Jeffries
This book is TRULY amazing. There are so many wonderful sayings compiled into this treasure-trove by Stephen Mitchell. I am so glad that he decided to come out with The Second Book of the Tao - because it sheds some new light on the Tao te Ching-a-ling.

Some profound insights that I gathered from this book:
1. We are close to waking up when we dream that we are dreaming.
2. We're all doing the best we can with what we've been given.
3. Become like the ocean: though there are waves on its surface, in
Jun 22, 2010 Sidewalk_Sotol rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sidewalk_Sotol by:
This is a fun, gender-pronoun-flopping version of several Daoist(Taoist) classic poems and stories attributed to the sage Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) and to Confucius' grandson, Tzu-ssu.

I can't comment as someone who has read numerous iterations of the Dao de Jing (or Tao Te Ching as most older books in English refer to it) or of the classics attributed to Zhuangzi. I therefore can't compare it other books about the Dao. Mitchell admits to playing fast and loose with various English translations of t
Stephen Mitchell did an excellent job in selecting and elaborating upon the wisdom and spiritual insight of Chuang Tzu and Tzussu in "The Second Book of the Tao". As he pointed out in the beginning, some hardcore folks might view it as a sacrilege for him to "pick and choose" from these ancient Taoist writings (let alone intermingle them with the writings of the grandson of the more secular Confucius), but fortunately for those of us who understand that Humans have been endowed with both minds A ...more
This is the first of Mitchell's books since his interpretation of Tao Te Ching A New English Version (1988) that I've enjoyed as much. He offers a Zen take on the writings of Lao-tzu’s disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius’s grandson Tzu-ssu. The writing is as beautiful and clear as water. While Mitchell acknowledges, through his translations, that the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao--that experience cannot be transmitted through writing--he comes quite close. I have only rarely felt so ...more
We met Stephen Mitchell when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to his talk about "The Second Book of the Tao" here:

About this podcast:
Bestselling author and translator Stephen Mitchell reads from and discusses his new book "The Second Book of the Tao." The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao-tzu’s "Tao Te Ching," or "Book of the Way," is the classic manual on the art of living. Following the
Sara Gray
Part One of this book on the Tao as loosely translated by Stephen Mitchell is a book I will take with me to a desert island/the grave. The Second has some wisdom in it as well, but I wasn't a big fan of his goofy commentary at times. I liked it better when it was just the translated verses on their own, with commentary in the back for further reference.
It would be easy to be skeptical to think that anyone could follow up on Lao Tzu's masterpiece with a gem of their own but The Second Book of the Tao manages to do just that! Taking secondary passages by taoist masters in the era following the Tao Te Ching, we get a further glimpse into the "workings" of The Way and each passage is followed by the author's commentary. The passages are both fun and insightful and so many resonated with me. Oddly enough, the author's commentary may have been even ...more
Stephen Mitchell created one of the best translations of the Tao Te Ching I've read, and now he's followed that achievement up with a remarkable volume of personal insights, musings, and translations from other Taoist works and the Taoist tradition. The result is occasionally a bit helter-skelter, but mostly hits the mark -- at least, as far as I can tell, not being enlightened myself. Mitchell comes as close as anyone writing today in grasping the famously un-graspable essence of the Tao. This ...more
Kevin Dio
Les notes de Stephen Mitchell sont hilarantes parfois.
I got this one as an Audio book and I really enjoyed listening to it. In fact I would recommend it as part of someone's daily meditations. It is relaxing to listen to and even helps you to let go of a lot of unnecessary tension.

Life is paradox and contradiction. That is the sum of this book and learning to embrace that will free ones mind from the narrow limits of a 2 dimensional world where truth and reality has to be forced into "either, or".
This is a very good read for those who don't know how to be at peace with "life"
I realize (again and again) when I read books of this nature, there is always further to go when it comes to being at peace; like all things, it comes with mental, spiritual and physical health. It all changes with time, physical health will not be defined the same at 20 as it is at 40.
Karl W.
MItchell's commentary on the text sometimes reads like a parody of itself. Too many cutesy phrases. I read this book on the heels of Ursula K. Le Guin's delightful rendition of the Tao Te Ching, wherein she makes some interesting and thoughtful comments. Mitchell's book was quite a disappointment to me in comparison.
Daryl Nash
Mitchell's fast and loose modern translations of these taoist and Confucian passages are as delightful as his similar treatment for the Tao Te Ching. However, this time around, he doesn't know when to shut up. His "commentary" veers between the obvious and the ridiculous. Still, the translations make up for it.
Danijel Brestovac
Str. 23: ..ko je um jasen, vse predstavlja priložnost za radost. Za to namreč gre pri razsodnosti.

Str. 41: 'saj ni nič ne dobro ne slabo, takšno je šele z našim mišljenjem.'

Str. 110- Opusti vse svoje predpostavke in svet bo postal povsem smiseln...
I'm a little bit disappointed with this book. I've read several of Mitchell's translations, and think he's brilliant, but nothing here really sang to me. I have the Chuang Tzu collection that Merton put together, and I guess I feel this work a little redundant.
This book compiles books that were written in the first centuries after the Tao Te Ching, and is one of the most insightful and hilarious sacred texts I’ve ever read. That’s all that needs to be said about it. You need to read it for yourself
Steve Wilson
Nothing can compare the Stephen Mitchell's translation of the "Tao te Ching", but this comes in at a close second. The verses in here are soul-stilling.
excellent. i listened to stephen mitchell reading his book. a double delight: wisdom + a good reader. this book is definitely a companion for the journey.
The actual translated parts were great. Nuggets of truth throughout. His commentaries on the actual pieces got annoying after a while.
Thomax Green
This was a very good compilation and I enjoyed the translations. It was almost as good as his version of the Tao Te Ching.
Will Brown
A very capable follow up to his interpretation of the Tao Te Ching. I love the layout and find his commentaries insightful.
wow, is this audacious. not sure whether to love it or give mr. mitchell a hip check for trying to pull this off.
Emily Dy
For some reason, did not really enjoy this one.

Think I would prefer to read the original Chuang Tzu.
Gave to a good friend who recommended Mitchell's Buddhist book....

Mitchell makes great journals too.
Most of this book is meaningless aphorisms. It manages to really say nothing about anything.
the writing is beautiful. Stephen Mitchell offered further great insight into the "Tao"
Gary D.
Ignore or embrace the commentary, the commented on is worth reading.
This is fast becoming my favorite form of poetry.
Laurie Lemson
Stephen Mitchell does it again!
Heather Fryling
I needed this dose of mysticism today!
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Stephen Mitchell was educated at Amherst College, the Sorbonne, and Yale University, and de-educated through intensive Zen practice. He is widely known for his ability to make old classics thrillingly new, to step in where many have tried before and to create versions that are definitive for our time. His many books include The Gospel According to Jesus, The Second Book of the Tao, two books of fi ...more
More about Stephen Mitchell...
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