Download pdf The Tao of PoohAuthor Benjamin Hoff –

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 Find this review at Scott Reads It Recipe for Tao of Pooh1 1 cup of Eastern Chinese philosophy2 2 cups of Winnie the Pooh3 3 4 quart of wisdom4 3 Handfuls of fabulous drawings by Ernest Shepard5 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 of the best advice I ve ever heard I learned so much about Taoism, alot than I learned when I was in school The Tao of Pooh helped me appreciate Taoism so much and I saw how fantastic the principles of it are This book gave Taoism a deeper meaning than just some old philosophy You may not be a Taoist but you still can enjoy this novel and the wisdom it proved me with such as Everything has its own place and function That applies to people, although many don t seem to realize it, stuck as they are in the wrong job, the wrong marriage, or the wrong house When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong You also know where you don t belong You d be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are Benjamin Hoffman took of the most recognized characters in the world and used him to teach valuable lessons This is one of the most original novels I have read and it was a quick read I already have it s companion called the Te of Piglet waiting to be read This practical book is about finding your inner self and making your life positive This one of the few inspirational books that I really enjoyed and I recommended it to everyone whether you are 10 or 110 5 5 StarsMust Read The How Of Pooh The Tao Of Who The Tao Of Pooh Yes, Winnie The Pooh Has A Certain Way About Him, A Way Of Doing Things That Has Made Him The World S Most Beloved Bear In These Pages Benjamin Hoff Shows That Pooh S Way Is Amazingly Consistent With The Principles Of Living Envisioned Long Ago By The Chinese Founders Of Taoism The Author S Explanation Of Taoism Is Through Pooh, And Pooh Through Taoism, Shows That This Is Not Simply An Ancient And Remote Philosophy But Something You Can Use, Here And NowAnd What Is Taoism It S Really Very Simple It Calls For Living Without Preconceived Ideas About How Life Should Be Lived But It S Not A Preconception Of How Life It S Well, You D Do Better To Read This Book, And Listen To Pooh, If You Really Want To Find Out Front Flap 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 Wood while he presents his ideas, Hoff has given the reader a wonderfully imaginative and informative introduction to the principles of Taoism in friendly and easy to understand terms Hoff and Pooh help us to understand the fundamentals of simple and pleasant living And I didn t really like it.I didn t hate it This book is charming and Hoff is a personable, approachable writer and I can easily understand why so many people have enjoyed the book I can even see how people could love this book, keep a special edition on their mantel and revisit its pages often.But I didn t.You know the pictures in the mall that appear as a blob of patterns, or an odd design, but if you stare at the picture long enough you ll see something else I have NEVER seen the something else So maybe it s me, and it s my loss.It was a little on the cutesy poo side of charming And I don t know, as much as I d like to live simply and enjoy the NOW, learning these principles from a guy without pants and a honey stain on his shirt is a stretch for me.But, you know, that s just, like my opinion, man. 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 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, clever, humorous, and with a fair amount of criticism of Western culture For this re read I listened to the audiobook, which was delightfully narrated by Simon Vance.Recommended if you want a short and sweet dose of Eastern philosophy. 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 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 blended with an attempt to simplify the concepts of Taoism so that even a bear of very little brain could comprehend and apply it to their life That being said, I don t for a minute believe that Taoism is as simplistic as this would have you believe, but I m willing to believe it s a step in that direction.While this wasn t exactly life changing for me, it was filled with a charm that some days I miss I m not sure how closely this in line with Taoism, but I m hoping that if you re seriously considering a change in your religious aspirations that you would read beyond this book Having said that, it does have its own charm. 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 story of A.A Milne s Winnie the Pooh According to Benjamin Hoff who, incidentally, has the best first name ever , Pooh is a textbook Taoist Pooh is the Uncarved Block who simply takes life as it is and learns to enjoy the little things, whose simple mindedness and child like state of wonder and enjoyment means he is never far from a good day Hoff examines how some of the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood embody competing schools of thought Confucianism, Buddhism, etc or how their actions and statements are not compatible with a Taoist outlook For people like me who aren t familiar with Taoism, it s an interesting and accessible primer Yet it also possesses a bitter coating of irritating smugness that makes the primer hard to swallow.A lot of Taoist thought appeals to me and agrees with how I try to lead my own life I m not so good at living in the moment my mind tends to race ahead and dwell on potentialities than is good for it I know this is an issue, however, so it s something I am actively working on When I m listening to friends speak, when I m reading, when I m knitting and watching TV, I make a conscious effort to inhabit that moment, to give it my full attention I listen rather than simply wait for the silence that means I can say my piece I think and relish and absorb the words rather than skim over them because I want to reach the end I watch and see and think about what s happening rather than absently check my phone to see if anyone has posted anything interesting on Twitter Living in a moment is challenging in the age of distraction and definitely a goal worth having.Beyond that, though, I just like the Taoist compatible idea that we should strive for harmony and try to find the positives in situations that seem inherently negative Shit happens, right And stress is inevitable but it s also really bad for you I try to minimize my stress by putting things in perspective If something isn t working on my computer, or if I ve spilled tea, then hey, those are annoyances, but they aren t a big deal The I can let little nuisances pass over me and through me like waves breaking against a rock, the better I m able to save my time, energy, and emotions for things that really matter.Hoff makes some very interesting observations, too, about the way Western thought privileges jargon over plain spoken language The Confusionist, Dessicated Scholar is one who studies Knowledge for the sake of Knowledge, and who keeps what he learns to himself or his own small group, writing pompous and pretentious papers that no one else can understand, rather than working for the enlightenment of others.And a few pages later, Hoff questions the value of received or academic knowledge compared to experiential knowledge and one sometimes gets the impression that those intimidating words are there to keep us from understanding That way, the scholars can appear Superior, and will not likely be suspected of Not Knowing Something After all, from the scholarly point of view, it s practically a crime not to know everything.But sometimes the knowledge of the scholar is a bit hard to understand because it doesn t seem to match up with our own experience of things In other words, Knowledge and Experience do not necessarily speak the same language But isn t the knowledge that comes from experience valuable than the knowledge that doesn t This resonates with my personal arc of epistemological self awareness I tend to remark these days how much I miss university I miss the classes, and the peers and friends I had who shared my love of learning math and English and philosophy my last three years of university were among the best and most fulfilling I ve had so far Yet I am glad I did not take some professors advice to apply to grad school right out of the education program Setting aside the absurd idea that I could tell teachers how they could teach without getting experience in a classroom myself first, I knew that I needed to leave the ivory tower for a little while I am such an intellectual I am just so well suited to the way the game is played in university That means I was lucky and did well, and doubtlessly I could have continued doing well but it would be hollow, really.Now that I m outside looking in, I can see how, as wonderful as university was, it has a lot of flaws In particular, Hoff is right it privileges certain types of knowledge and gatekeeps to make sure only those who play the game get to share in the discussion The past few years that I ve spent examining my own privilege as a white male and watching feminist discourse on spaces like Twitter have shown me that there is a lot of valuable and even intellectual knowledge exchange happening outside the regular channels of academe But it s ignored at best or appropriated at worst You ve got so many women and people of colour talking about their lived experiences, and then so called experts on these issues ignore them or shout over them and say, Actually, you have it wrong Your personal experience is somehow wrong That s bizarre But, for a long time, I was that kind of person I spent a long time drinking the Western rationalist kool aid without really understanding that there s to intellectual discussion than the Enlightenment can provide.So understand that I am somewhat sympathetic to what Hoff describes in this book, especially with regards to the shortcomings of being clever And it s clever of him to use Pooh as a vehicle for explaining Taoism There s just one problem.I m an Eeyore person.My dad gave this to me for my birthday, probably because he knows I like Eeyore I have multiple Eeyore stuffed animals, multiple Eeyore mugs I m all about the Eeyore, man And he doesn t come off well in The Tao of Pooh Apparently, Eeyore is a pessimist and a downer who constantly worries Maybe so Yet I see the optimism in Eeyore that others don t his house of sticks keeps falling down, and he keeps building it A true pessimist would say, What s the use and just give up No, I am Team Eeyore all the way.Hoff s use of Pooh as the allegorical Uncarved Block and simpleminded apotheosis of Taoist thought is strangely and, hopefully, uncharacteristically insular I agree wholeheartedly that maintaining the sense of wonder we have about the world as children is important, especially now that we have so many claims on our valuable free time I liked Hoff s observation that it is impossible to save time, only to spend it, and so we need to stop thinking about how we can save time and instead spend it wisely That s true Yet he is so critical of so called clever people, of anyone who wants to know than what is on the surface of things And I find that so unfortunate.Further, there is a smug tone to his critique of clever people It s one thing to promulgate your alternative philosophy and another to look down on people because you think your philosophy makes you superior I know people who I wish wouldn t stress out over things in their life they can t change but I also try hard not to judge them, because sometimes those things make their life hard Somewhere along the way, between his descriptions of Tao and Te and pu and wei wu wei, Hoff seems to lose the value of empathy In what is probably my least favourite chapter, Bisy Backson, Hoff rails against education and awareness of the outside world Well, you could be spending your time getting Educated by listening to the Radio, instead, I said That thing Certainly How else will you know what s going on in the world I said By going outside, said Pooh Er well Click Now just listen to this, Pooh Thirty thousand people were killed today when five jumbo airliners collided over downtown Los Angeles , the Radio announced What does that tell you about the world asked Pooh Hmm You re right Click What are the birds saying now I asked That it s a nice day, said Pooh.Look, I get what Hoff is probably intending with this exchange he s saying that if the news is going to depress you, stop listening to the news, and you won t be as depressed It s true that media can be very depressing at times, because sensationalism and violence and tragedy sells Nevertheless, the flippant way in which Hoff dismisses the idea that we should care about what s happening to other people is disappointing It s a false dilemma it is possible both to stop and enjoy the birdsong and the nice day and to spend a little time contemplating the tragedy of a five airplane mid air collision and how it is affecting so many people The human mind is a wonderful thing and is capable of entertaining than one thought per day.This is why The Tao of Pooh is frustrating than it should be there is little middle ground here Hoff makes so many valid critiques about our Western society and its overemphasis on being busy, being industrious, being clever He presents a great overview of some of the key tenets of Taoism Unfortunately, he can t seem to do this without communicating how very pleased he is with himself and with Taoism that it appears to offer all the solutions to life, the universe, and everything Just be like Pooh Bear, and you ll be OK Nothing could possibly go wrong.This message, while vapidly reassuring, is not helpful In reality, we are flawed creatures No single philosophy can ever offer the perfect solace or the best way to live Hoff is right that there is a little Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, etc., in all of us Unlike him, however, I m not so sure the solution is to choose the Way of Pooh We should instead be aware of when we are Eeyoring and when we are Pigleting, examine why we do those things, and see if that causes problems for us But stumbling through life without any awareness of history, underlying knowledge of the world around us, or ability analyze and think critically, is not the solution. 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 is pretty much nearly perfect to me.Thanks, Anthony, for passing it along I d like to continue the tradition and pass this book along to someone else who would appreciate its wisdom. 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 through the book, it just becomes insulting The author is against pretty much anything useful Rather than believing in the give and take of Ying and Yang or any other name it may go under he s against intellectuals who are secretly foolish for trying to figure anything about the world, against people who work hard and care about their jobs or contributions again that s just foolish , people who enjoy sports or exerciseheck he s against leaving your house or caring about the rest of the world I understand the idea behind the Busy Backson rant, but is there no middle ground at all The idea of the Indian American culture being superior to that of the almighty Puritans is used as an example, which could be built upon in several interesting ways, but instead the author chooses to illustrate how everything that came after was just silliness without supplying a single idea about how it could be done betteryet useful At one point he actually uses the example of paraphrasing here turning on the T.V news to hear Thirty thousand people were killed today when five jumbo airliners collided over downtown Lose Angeles click Stop worrying about everything and go about life Listen to the birds chirp, they will tell you about the world wait, we shouldn t care about thirty thousand humans being killed in a horrific accident I am in no way an expert on Taoism, but unless everyone who IS finds that idea posing as a representation of their philosophy to be offensive, I want nothing to do with it It isn t enlightened to go around hating everything while doing nothing And I m sure the author realizes this since he spends so much time writing best selling books. 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 of an impact on me.