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Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  713 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The perfect companion to Stephen Mitchell's version of the Tao Te Ching, this is the astonishing rendering of Lao Tzu's further writings. Each of the eighty-one teachings presented by Taoist scholar and poet Brian Walker are rich with wisdom, mystery, and startling enlightenment. ...more
Paperback, 106 pages
Published September 8th 1992 by HarperSanFrancisco (first published 1992)
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Aug 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in Asian studies
Completely unknown, I think, but a terrific companion to the Tao Te Ching. It clarifies and elucidates and reinforces. We are lucky to have this other collection of Lao Tzu's sayings, and this translation is a good one. ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspiration
I savor this book, along with several other books of poetry by Rumi, Kabir and Hafiz each morning. Brian Walker has translated Lao Tzu's sayings well. Each one is like a flower that blooms on reflection. ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's unfortunate that this text is relatively "unknown" compared to the Tao Te Ching. Though it invokes the same familiar themes, the Hua Hu Ching completely avoids the clever, esoteric wordplay found in the Tao Te Ching and instead delivers a much more practical and personal lesson that feels more like a teacher than a text, and strikes me as offering a comparatively more approachable entry point for those unfamiliar with, but otherwise interested in, Taoism. I think those already familiar with ...more
Narendrāditya Nalwa
The dangers of translation

Much is lost in this calamitous exercise of translating eastern texts into English, chiefly due to the lack of sufficient jargon to express complex spiritual concepts to their fullest meaning. Even while acknowledging the utility of English and appreciating it's global appeal, one cannot fail to notice the gross inability of the language to absorb new words to enrich itself. It simply doesn't render itself useful to a comprehensive treatment of high eastern ideals, most
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most people who have heard of Lao Tzu know him through his book the Tao Te Ching, a fundamental Taoist text. The authorship and history of the Tao Te Ching is still being debated. And so it is also the case for the Hua Hu Ching which is also often attributed to Lao Tzu. The text has come down to us largely through oral tradition, although a partial manuscript was discovered in a cave in China.

In 1979 the first English translation by Hua-Ching Ni of the Hua Hu Ching was published by Shambhala Pre
Oct 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sincere students
Shelves: essential
a simple, clear, concise short poem manual of self-cultivation
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The "yin" side of Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching"--the feminine principal. ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Classic. Must-read, little known text.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful delve into further depths along with the Tao Te Ching. Highly recommended, it changed my life.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, spiritual
The Tao Te Ching is recognized as Lao Tzu only book, however, there is a collection his oral teachings recorded in a book called the Hua Hu Ching. This version translated by Brain Walker is made up of 81 teachings on the subject of attaining enlightenment and mastery through the Tao. It is a compact book but filled with much insight and thought-provoking teachings.
Alva Ware-Bevacqui
I found this book sitting on my mom's bookshelf. What a delightful treasure! Really poignant teachings that are described in impactful words. I actually think I might like it better than the actual tao te ching. ...more
David Rutland
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oddballs
nice to flip around in. good for clearing my mind and putting me in a very peaceful mood.
Robert Francisco
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great companion to the Tao Te Ching
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Really good stuff. What life's all about. ...more
Kc C
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Definitely My Favorite Book ever
Yocountesslo Curtis
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Open to any page and find meaningful truths to meditate on. Amazing spiritual growth tool
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
absolutely beautiful
Victoria Yang
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Victoria by: Michael P.

With simple, poetic beauty, this book encourages self-reflection and offers some interesting thoughts to contemplate.
Mark Austin
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whether you like the I Ching or not, this little book contains some solid wisdom. Like most Taoist readings I've done it refreshingly focuses on here, now, doing and being. No need for meditation or ritual, just excellence and clarity. Seek to be in the moment, find flow and ease with self and others. Stop believing you know everything, especially to the extent where your mind takes you out of the here and now.

I read a few a day in the morning and felt it framed my day well, setting me up for mo
For the longest period of time, Taoism and Buddhism tripped me up because I confused desire with sensation. For me, their rejection of desire felt like a rejection of materiality. I was very much conflating Taoism and Buddhism with Nietzsche's understanding of Christianity and Liberalism. I believed all forms of spirituality were retreats into abstractions — an unmooring of oneself from facticity.

But I've come to understand Taoism and Buddhism's rejections of desire as the beginning of a movemen
Aug 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, ancient
I certainly liked this translation better than The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching. Unfortunately, like Ni with his translation, Walker does not give much of an introduction making clear his translation choices, so it is not possible to take what I read here and compare it to what I have read in other texts translated by other people. And like Ni, he does not deal with the history of the Hua Hu Ching. I think the possibility of fraud in the origin of a text is important. ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story on this book is that it represents a collection of Lao Tzu's oral teachings. Since the original Tao Te Ching was also supposed to have been dictated by Lao Tzu before he left for the hills, I'm not sure what the difference is. Nonetheless, these apparently additional writings are wonderful for students of Lao Tzu to further their understanding of the Tao. They add simple ideas of how to live your life in harmony with the Tao, and in that they do seem to ring true. ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a real gem. The striking thing is that I used it in times of uncertainty to let fate flip open a page and reveal some wisdom in that very moment. Often, the wisdom that can be read in the book is spot on and strikingly useful! Highly recommended.
Jason Gilbert
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Classic text.
Mathew Vondersaar
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful in its simplicity and complexity. A easy to read translation of a powerful text, that equally has very little and very much to say.

Highly, highly recommend.
Michael Huffman
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you only ever decide to read one spiritual book, this book would be an excellent choice. I found it to be more accessible than the Tao Te Ching. I give it my highest recommendation!
Erick Pastora
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Would you like to liberate yourself from the lower realms of life? Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self awareness. If you want to awake all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself."

Kinda curious this is a book titled "Unknown Teachings..." and its
Jason Gregory
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Hua-Ching Ni translation of the Hua Hu Ching is in my opinion the best. He encapsulates the cultural nuance that surrounds the text and Taoism itself more than other translations. The text itself is brilliant. I believe that this stands alongside the great Tao Te Ching and in some sense is an extension of its teachings. One problem many scholars and Taoist purists have with this text is that it delves into concepts such as reincarnation. This makes many believe that the Hua Hu Ching is not r ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lao Tzu was a Chinese philosopher of the Tao from sometime in the 6th to 4th century. This book is shorter and less well-known than his Tao Te Ching, which I haven't read, but I found this translation very moving and relevant. Lao Tzu's basic idea is that all the rituals and trappings of organized religion aren't the way; instead he says you must strive for uncompromising sincerity and virtue, to treat the people around you unconditionally well. I agree more and less with some of his other ideas ...more
Mell Aguiar
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
One of the few books I want a physical copy of

The last couple sentences sum up the book :
“You can be a gentle, contemplative hermit right here in the middle of everything, utterly unaffected, thoroughly sustained and rewarded by your integral practices. Encouraging others, giving freely to all, awakening and purifying the world with each movement and action, you'll ascend to the divine realm in broad daylight. The breath of the Tao speaks, and those who are in harmony with it hear quite clearly
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Lao Tzu (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade-Giles: Laosi; also Laozi, Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Lao Zi, Laocius, Lao Ce, and other variations) was a mystic philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi). His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of Taoism (pronounced as " ...more

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