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The Tao of Pooh

(The Way, With The Enchanted Neighborhood)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  112,400 ratings  ·  5,229 reviews
The Wisdom of Pooh.

Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 6th 2003 by Egmont Books (first published April 28th 1982)
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S Dewar I would recommend the Tao of Pooh, The four agreements is great but is a drier heavier feeling read. She may be feeling sad, overwhlemed and burdened …moreI would recommend the Tao of Pooh, The four agreements is great but is a drier heavier feeling read. She may be feeling sad, overwhlemed and burdened with grief and her brain may not feel up to an intellectual read. The Tao of pooh is deep and meaningful but the reader will enjoy it no matter what stage they are at in absorbing the life lessons.(less)
Tom That's just his personality. Eeyore prefers to expect the worst because then he can't be let down, for example his house of sticks always get blown do…moreThat's just his personality. Eeyore prefers to expect the worst because then he can't be let down, for example his house of sticks always get blown down, so even if he keeps rebuilding his house, he doesn't cherish much hope that it will stay up for too long. He often loses his tail too and then the plot involves the gang trying to find it, with the tail being somewhere Eeyore "forgot" it, or the tail finding its own way back to him.

In the Disney cartoons, there is an episode where Eeyore pretends to have lost his tail, as an excuse for the gang to get together and make an expedition. When they find out Eeyore lost his tail on purpose, he pleads that he didn't think they would want to hang out with him if he didn't need their help. He was looking for a reason to validate their friendship, because he probably thinks of himself as being sad, lonely and not much fun either. He doesn't consider himself as someone others would like to be friends with, luckily for him Pooh and the other creatures aren't on Facebook and they accept him as their friend anyway and invite him to parties and other expeditions.
He still prefers to be sober, and develops a rather cynical sense of humor, but he does become confident and rather fun, so if people say these negative things about Eeyore, maybe one should wonder why an insecure donkey is making them project such negative emotions onto him... Maybe they're like Tigger, personalities that can't stand the idea that they might not be able to accomplish whatever they wish?(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
“Hello there! Aren’t you Winnie the Pooh? I’m a big fan.”

“Yes I am. How do you know me?” Asked Pooh.

“There have been many books written about you and your friends. The most recent one is about how you are a western Taoist.”


“A western what?”

“Taoist” I said, “it’s very hard to explain, I’m no expert. In fact the whole book was about the author trying to explain it to you, and you would say “oh.”

“Oh.” Said Pooh.

“From what I understand you are an un-carved block.”

“Oh” said Pooh.

“An un-carved wh
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because it seemed so charming. The author took the stories and characters of A.A. Milne and juxtaposed them with the Taoist teachings of people such as Lao Tzu.

Pooh as western Taoist starts off interestingly enough but halfway through it I came to the realization that it was making me want to just read the actual Milne, who was frankly probably a genius writer. Those were great books with great characters, each with their own type of intelligence.

Then about two thirds thr
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Apr 26, 2021 rated it really liked it

Benjamin Hoff ardently tries to explain Taoist teachings of Lao Tzu and Eastern Philosophy in Western terms with the help of characters created by A.A.Milne.

The author tells us how to be pragmatic and deal with the problems in our life with ease to lead a pleasant life. This book will help us to remove our profligate behavior and pessimism. Unlike most self-help books which are written in prosaic preachy rhetoric that should be rebuked, this book elucidates the concepts of Eastern philosophy
Caz (littlebookowl)
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Very cute, but I think this dragged on a little at times. It wasn't very memorable, and had it been so I think this would have made more of an impact on me. ...more
R.K. Gold
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay Full Review is here (too many times I've said full review coming then never posted again)

A cute dialogue on complex philosophical discussion between our narrator and AA Milne’s famous creations. Overall the tone of the book complemented the teachings well and left me as a reader excited to conduct my own research on the subject matter from its source material to come to my own conclusions. It’s difficult to not enjoy something with such a charismatic ensemble and the overall thesis of this
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Part of this rating is my fault.

I don’t know what I expected exactly, choosing a book that helps to explain Taoism through Winnie the Pooh (and explaining Winnie the Pooh through Taoism) but this was not what I wanted.

Benjamin Hoff has striven to explain Eastern philosophy in Western terms by using as a working allegory the beloved characters developed by A.A. Milne. By including Pooh and his friends while he wrote the book and having an ongoing dialogue with the residents of The Hundred Acre Wo
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Find this review at Scott Reads It

Recipe for Tao of Pooh
1. 1 cup of Eastern Chinese philosophy
2. 2 cups of Winnie the Pooh
3. 3/4 quart of wisdom
4. 3 Handfuls of fabulous drawings by Ernest Shepard
5. The key to Happiness
Mix them all together and you have the Tao of Pooh.

The Tao of Pooh is a book that I loved whole heartily. Basically as the title suggest it's a allegorical interpetation of A.A. Milne's characters in the world of Daoism or Taoism. Inside this slender novel you will find some
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A somewhat overly cutesy take on Taoism that worked much better for me as an audio ‘read’ than reading the actual book – which I’ve tried to do more than a few times – and abandoned as many times.

This was a nice background alternative to music, for a change, while driving through some of the back roads of Vermont and appreciating the beauty of the season while it lasts, it really was the perfect audiobook with some moments of charm, including some of the quotes from A.A. Milne’s books that were
Kara Babcock
It was a Friday; I wasn’t working, I’m a little behind on my read count, so I took this off the stack. It looked short and light enough to finish in an afternoon. This need to achieve things rather than “living in the moment” of simply existing and enjoying the book goes against the principles of Taoism, of course. But I never claimed to be Pooh Bear.

The Tao of Pooh is a short book written before I was born that purports to elucidate certain concepts related to Taoism through the characters and
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a fun re-read for me. I think I first read this back in the '90s when I worked at a big chain bookstore — as clerks we were encouraged to read widely and be familiar with as many bestselling authors as possible. I remember "The Tao of Pooh" was still selling well more than a decade after it was first published, and its charm does feel timeless.

Benjamin Hoff's idea was to illustrate the basic principles of Taoism using the characters in the Winnie the Pooh stories. It's a quick read, cle
Feb 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
What should be a charming and thoughtful analysis of Pooh Bear through a Taoist lens ends up being a rambling polemic by a bitter man who obviously has a ways to go before he achieves inner peace. While he does use Pooh and company as a jumping off point, Hoff ends up spending much of the book railing against business people, lawyers, academics, and everyone else he deems a "Busy Backson". Even scientists are Busy Backsons, because their discoveries only lead to more questions. Hoff's ideal is a ...more
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, kept me entertained, and I feel like I actually grasped the general concepts of Taoism. That was accomplishing a lot because sometimes my borderline ADD brain can't focus on religion and philosophy books. It's not like I don't want to know. I do want to know. But it can't be helped what my brain does and does not respond to. Winnie the Pooh and funniness are two things my brain inevitably responds to. So intertwining those things with philosophy i ...more
Riku Sayuj
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wonderful book! Must read for anyone interested in Taoism or even in plain simple living.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Hoff has no idea about neither Taoism nor Pooh. He is an angry, bitchy man who rails against capitalism, Christianity, science, and “Busy Backsons”, ironically whom he personifies with his condescending attitude toward anyone who is not an “uncarved block” like Pooh. I don’t know much about Taoism, but I seriously doubt it is so intolerant. I know more about Buddhism, which he disses, and it acknowledges that we are distracted beings, and offers a way to achieve happiness. Instead of showing the ...more
Julian Worker
Jul 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book that helps me understand Taoism a little better. I can see this will be a book to return to many times.

What makes me rate this book highly are the excerpts from AA Milne's original books showing how funny those were and how distinctive each character was, plus some representations of the original illustrations by EH Shepard, and selections from the writings of Chuang-tse.

The point about Pooh Bear is that he just is, he exists, whereas other characters worry, plan, and bounce their
Ross Blocher
Dec 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to a light and sweet exploration of Daoist principles with the lovable, simple characters of Winnie the Pooh, but was irritated by Benjamin Hoff's ignorant attacks on science and learning. "Science likes to strut around and Act Smart by putting its labels on everything, but if you look at them closely, you'll see that they don't really say much. 'Genes'? 'DNA'? Just scratching the surface." On that same page: "We don't need to imitate Nearsighted Science, which peers at the ...more
Odette Brethouwer
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
What a briljant little book full of life lessons and a course to a happy way of viewing life. Lovely in it's simplicity about such a complex subject as overal happiness. In my top 3 of all-time favorite books! ...more
Renée Paule
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It would be easy to dismiss this book by its cover as a ‘child’s read’ and leave it on the shelf. That would be a shame, for this charming book portrays the principles of Taoism through the story of Winnie the Pooh - and the other characters - in such a way that it makes the reader stop… and think about life. Pooh lives in the ‘now’ without concern for things past or future; life just ‘Is’. Benjamin Hoff shows, through the adventures of Pooh and his companions, that a happier, more contented lif ...more
BAM the enigma
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second listen in about as many months. This may be my new go-to in stressful situations.

In fact I think every employee should be issued a copy asap

I'm also going to listen to this more often to remind myself to stop looking for happiness in new clothes, and hand cream, and lip gloss, and scarves, oh, and shoes 👠. Because I obviously find waayyyy too much happiness in those things.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A copy of The Tao of Pooh was provided to me by Tantor Media for review purposes.

"...the basic Taoism that we are concerned with here is simply a particular way of appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday life. From the Taoist point of view, the natural result of this harmonious way of living is happiness."

There are some things that I've accepted that my brain is just not built to understand. Calculus and Economics are a couple of examples
Dylan Olson
Jan 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(Sorry Tyler)
On premise alone, this book opens with great momentum. In the first 21 pages, Hoff successfully illustrates his idea that A.A. Milne's character, Winnie the Pooh, is a great literary embodiment of the teachings of Lao-tse. Well done. Directing attention to the parallels between Eastern and Western philosophy is not an altogether original idea. Fritjof Capra accomplishes the very same thing with greater skill, detail and poetry in his book, The Tao of Physics. Hoff's arguments are s
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
This is my favorite book to give as a gift. Benjamin Hoff has brought the loved characters from the 100 acre wood & explains principles Taoism in a way that is endearing as well as simplistic.

From the forward:
"What's this you're writing?" asked Pooh, climbing onto the writing table.
"The Tao of Pooh" I replied.
"The how of Pooh? asked Pooh, smudging one of the words I had just written.
"The TAO of Pooh," I replied, poking his paw away with my pencil.
"It seems more like the OW! of Pooh", said Pooh
Chad Santos
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Zen, the Tao, the beautifully simplicity of a quiet, accepting mind.
aPriL does feral sometimes
''The Tao of Pooh' by Benjamin Hoff left me feeling a bit as if I was being reprimanded for being a reader who sometimes spends time examining my life.

The book uses stories from Winnie-the-Pooh to illustrate basic Tao philosophy in what Hoff hopes is a cute and instructive manner, and maybe winsomely attractive enough to convince us, gentle reader. However, instead I felt as if I was being asked to live my life with the confidence and supposed mentality of a trust-fund recipient of a major fortu
[S] Bibliophage
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
This is my first time to read a book about Taoism and I thought that teachings in Buddhism have similarities with Taoism. I don't know if it's because of how the author writes or it is just that Buddhism and Taoism are different after all.

The author attempts to interpret Taoism teachings by using fable but I think it's not that effective because it just made some confusion in some parts. Hoff tried to explain Taoism in what he thought is the most coherent way he knows but it just complicates his
✨Bean's Books✨
Aug 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I personally think this is a fantastic method of teaching Taoist principals to any layman. I was unknowing of Taoism at first, but this book, with it's characterized examples, has given me a great food for thought on the subject.
On a side note, I love how Hoff writes as if he's talking to Pooh Bear directly. And maybe he is? He certainly channeled the character very well. Bravo!
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The Tao of Pooh is a much more palatable explanation of Taoism than I've ever read in any humanities book. (I'm not recalling when I last read about Taoism now that I actually think about it.) Benjamin Hoff creates the perfect allegory to explain this Eastern philosophy. However, Pooh's life and philosophy might be a little too simplistic for reality.
I did like the author's explanation of the book in the forward when he says to Pooh that the book is about how to stay happy and calm in all circum
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is a charming little book. The author is able to seamlessly move from actual Pooh quotes to his own clever Poohisms. (He really seems to know the old bear well.) Through these charming little visits with Pooh and friends, he quietly shows some Taoist principles. It is a method that works very well. I knew nothing about Taoism, but his discussions with the Milne characters make some deep ideas easily understood.
Here is one of Mr. Hoff's "conversations" with Pooh, from pages 98-99 of my 1983
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Way that can be spoken of is not the one we tread.

These are Lao-Tse's opening words. The great mistake of course is that we do speak of it, and write of it, and attempt to pontificate upon the nature of all things as though an understanding of the Way entailed an understanding of all things. It is rather that an understanding of the Way encompasses all things. To understand, to judge, to see the faults in one and not the other is a common mistake in the interpretation of various Buddhist an
Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride)
This book started off innocuously enough, but by about halfway through I was getting increasingly irritated. Hoff has some interesting insights to share about life, which I assume are accurate representation of Taoism because I have no other information to rely on. But he quickly switched from a prescriptive tone to a disparaging one where he tore down scientists, philosophers, thinkers, people who enjoy asking questions and finding answers, people who are interested in knowledge... calling them ...more
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Benjamin Hoff grew up in the Portland, Oregon neighborhood of Sylvan, where he acquired a fondness of the natural world that has been highly influential in his writing. Hoff obtained a B.A. in Asian Art from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 1973.

Hoff has also studied architecture, music, fine arts, graphic design and Asian Culture. His studies in Asian Culture included reachin

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