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Publisher's Summary

Taoist living rests on four pillars: the public, the domestic, the private, and the spirit lives. Not only do Taoists strive to live these four aspects fully and in a balanced way, they also believe there is an outlook and an art to each of them. Eva Wong uses the teachings of Taoist masters themselves to explain the essential concepts. She then gives voice to these texts - simplifying them, removing barriers to understanding, and making them completely accessible and relevant to the modern reader. Wong is a clear and enthusiastic guide to this intriguing spiritual way, and she challenges us to stop, reflect, and ask ourselves: Do we balance the public, domestic, private, and spirit aspects of our lives, or do we emphasize some at the expense of the others? How can we think about unifying worldly and spiritual wisdom in day-to-day living?

©2015 Eva Wong (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Being Taoist

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent!

Would you listen to Being Taoist again? Why?

An outstanding introduction to "The Natural Way." I've read many other books on the subject, and up to this title, I found them full of information but dull in their delivery. This book, tho it can become somewhat repetitive at times, it does provide you with a solid and illustrative "idea" of what unravelling the true Taoist in you mean.

What did you like best about this story?

It was sometimes too detailed (ongoing without added depth), but the supporting arguments more than made up for this observation(s).

Which scene was your favorite?

The entire book!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Every time the author would make the connection between all things existing in a natural order. We can never see past the choices we make, right? Often the author challenges your current perception regarding the interconnection of the "world" inside and outside us. We are part of the "ebb-n-flow" yet we fail to see the vastness of our reality.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

What an spiritual uplifting book

This is one of the greatest books on morality, ethics, and virtue ever written in my opinion. Its Ramadan and I wanted to elevate myself in the way of the creator and this book has definitely helped. Thank you to the author and translator for this wonderful work. I plan to buy the book.

6 people found this helpful

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Awesome book with only one draw back.

It's a very well written book except for one thing. She "gives voice" to the sacred text. It would be much better to include the original text and follow up with her interpretation after. In this way the readers can form their own opinion.
I give it the full 5 stars because it is an excellent book for those curious about Taoism . I listen to it about 2 times a week while sleeping.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

If you’re into alchemic primordial vapors maybe

This book was a bit too yingy. I’m looking for a Taoism book a bit more yangy.

At times it felt like a massive instruction book on how to be a Taoist. Aspirations to be a ‘sage’. Pretty strict too. I found that difficult to reconcile.

The teaching moment for me was the overuse of magic hipster words. At first it was merely a peeve. Magic hipsters then tell you to ‘lean into it’. So I did. I ended up musing myself by bargaining whether certain combinations of magic words would be used. It kept me busy and happy :)

Two stars for that.

2 people found this helpful

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wonderful and peaceful listen

A little repetitive in parts but overall a peaceful listen. I'd recommend for students of philosophical Taoism.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Where’s the mystic razzle-dazzle?

Eva Wong’s Being Taoist: Wisdom for Living a Balanced Life is fine for what it is – a modern-English paraphrasing/curation of ancient Chinese Taoist texts. But I must admit I was less than blown away by this collection, mostly because I expected more.

Before purchasing this book, I read a number of reviews complaining that Wong should have stuck to the original texts, and not put her personal interpretative spin on the ancient teachings. “Modernizing” ancient texts doesn’t bother me. My problem is that Wong’s interpretive paraphrasings, focused as they are on the everyday domains of public life, domestic life, private life, and spiritual life, to a very large degree strip the original texts of their most appealing and indicatively Taoist mystery, paradox, and strangeness. Sure, some of that language is still there, as enlightened sages soar above the clouds and such. But 80% of this book amounts to the repeated advice, “Treat your body well, live moderately and with virtue, and you will live a long and healthy life.” Which is sage advice (pun intended), but you have to admit, it lacks mystery, paradox, and strangeness. A long, healthy life is a wonderful thing. But it’s not exactly revelation.

I thoroughly enjoyed Eva Wong’s book Taoism: An Essential Guide, in which she describes and explains the diverse and quirky world of Religious Taoism, and I expected Being Taoist: Wisdom for Living a Balanced Life to do the same for Philosophical Taoism. It didn’t. Unless I missed it, there is pretty much zero discussion of the meaning of the texts. Just, “Here they are.” One text, then another text, then another, grouped thematically – public, domestic, private, spiritual – with the spiritual texts selected slanting more toward virtue than esotericism.

I had high hopes for this book. And it was fine... I can’t say it was a bad read. But, in the end, it made Taoism appear... a little dull. Philosophically flat. Pedestrian, even. I’ve read enough about Taoism by other authors (and Eva Wong, too) to find the flatness almost startling. Where’s the mystic razzle-dazzle?

I listened to the Audible audiobook of Being Taoist: Wisdom for Living a Balanced Life, narrated by Gabra Zackman. Her narration was also fine, without sparkling. A solid delivery, but a little dull. So, her narration was true to the text, which is a plus for her as narrator.

Three stars for the book, four stars for the narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Nicely Balanced

This book provides a pleasant middle way between abstract discussions about the Tao and a straight reading of the original texts. At first, I felt the narrator was moving a bit too fast for my taste... but as the book progressed, I felt her delivery was excellent, as it provided a nice stream-of-consciousness voice in the back of my head. The key to absorbing Tao is not to overthink each word, but to let it seep in by exposure, like the ground absorbing a puddle after the rain.

1 person found this helpful

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Understand Balance!

I have been looking for something like this for a while. learn about how you and yang effect everything. Learn how a sage conducts themeslves. This was a great book.

1 person found this helpful

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Simple clear and very profound

What an inspirational book. I feel uplifted and totally inspired to continue to develop my spirit and improve my physical health every time I listen to this jewel. Thanks for having this wonderful gift for your listeners

And the reading does justice and if it would be possible enhancement to the text. A perfect marriage of text and voice. It is a book to listen many many times.

1 person found this helpful

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Words to live by

Fantastic guide to simplicity. Clear explanation of a virtuous balance of life. I wish that I had this understanding years ago.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-27-21

Not what I was looking for

Too interested in the folk science rather than philosophy to be something I want to reflect on

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 02-25-18

Please get on with it !!!!

Eva is clearly a very accomplished Taoist scholar, but her books are painfully slow, stale and quite frankly boring.

I feel like she’s constantly reading the menu for an incredible meal, who made it, how it was made, where was sourced, blah blah blah and never ever gets to eating it!!!

Please change your writing style 😫

2 people found this helpful