Read The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff Online

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Winnie-the-Pooh has a certain Way about him, a way of doing things which has made him the world's most beloved bear. And Pooh's Way, as Benjamin Hoff brilliantly demonstrates, seems strangely close to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism....

Title : The Tao of Pooh
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780749301798
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 158 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Tao of Pooh Reviews

  • Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
    2019-02-20 16:45

    “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.”“Oh.”“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 what?”“I know, I don’t entirely get it either. “ I said”something about how you are not very smart, therefore you don’t over think things like Rabbit.”“Oh” said Pooh.“You enjoy the day and blow off any important things you really should be doing, and listen to the birds chirp simply because it’s a nice day.” I said “in Taoism procrastination is good, my kind of philosophy. But I’m sure it’s more complicated than that.”“Oh.” Said Pooh.“I was about to go get some honey, it’s my favorite thing.” Said Pooh “would you like some…..uh…..what is your name?”“Stephanie, and thanks Pooh, I would love some.”What this little book made me want to do is read the Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne. I wonder if he was trying to write these stories to illustrate Taoist philosophies, if so, he was more of a genius than I previously thought.Cute book, I listened to the audio version and it was well read.

  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    2019-02-15 17:19

    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.

  • Joe
    2019-02-15 14:22

    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 exercise...heck 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 better...yet 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 more 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.

  • Lyn
    2019-01-27 15:42

    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.

  • Jon
    2019-02-17 17:25

    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 more than I learned when I was in school. The Tao of Pooh helped me appreciate Taoism so much more 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 more 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

  • Naomi
    2019-02-20 14:45

    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 tradion and pass this book along to someone else who would appreciate its wisdom.

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-02-15 15:43

    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 more 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 more 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 more 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 more 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 more than what is on the surface of things. And I find that so unfortunate.Furthermore, 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 more than one thought per day.This is why The Tao of Pooh is more 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 more 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.

  • [Shai] The Bibliophage
    2019-02-09 16:21

    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 way of describing something that we are not familiar with.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-02-02 10:27

    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 asapI'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.

  • Clint
    2019-02-07 11:25

    I don't know what to say about this book that won't offend someone. It's like those Simpsons philosphy books, of something some modern professor tries to write to appear both profound and eccentric, living up to that professor image. Oh god books like this make me want to kill myself out of the shame I feel at being from the same planet as these people.

  • Odette Knappers
    2019-02-14 18:34

    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!

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-02-22 10:17

    Wonderful book! Must read for anyone interested in Taoism or even in plain simple living.

  • Bonnie
    2019-02-05 11:33

    My rating: 5 of 5 starsA 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. But the one shining example is Philosophy. My freshman year of college I signed up for Philosophy 101 but I knew right from the start I was going to have difficulty. Most people would have stuck it out and studied super hard, but I? Timed it just right and booked it out of there when the teacher's back was turned to the class. Yes. I am a coward. So suffice it to say, Philosophy and I don't have a good track record. But if my Philosophy professor spoke of Philosophy (and maybe incorporated some Pooh-isms into his lecture) as Benjamin Hoff does in 'The Tao of Pooh' I think I would have lasted more than 10 minutes. '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.'The Tao of Pooh discusses many Taoist principals by relating them to the characters from Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh symbolizes the Taoist ideal of a still and calm mind and his ability to accomplish tasks "effortlessly" and is a true personification of the Taoist foundation. At heart 'The Tao of Pooh' manages to be a simplified and practical introduction into the ideals of Taoism and how to go about incorporating them into your daily lives in order to change things for the better.'You can't save time. You can only spend it, but you can spend it wisely or foolishly.'While I had already read this book years past, the narrator of this audiobook was perfection and truly made this book even more spectacular. I had the pleasure of listening to Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner on audio (narrated by Peter Dennis) and I must say that Simon Vance did an incredible job with the different voices of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest of the gang from The Hundred Acre Wood. This production was nominated for an Audie in the Solo Narration—Male category and is in my opinion completely deserving of the nomination.'The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not.'While 'The Tao of Pooh' may not be the most profound study in Philosophy or Taoism, it makes it clear and concise and thoroughly enlightening.

  •  Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
    2019-02-07 13:29

    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, rubbing his paw. "Well, it's not", I replied huffily."What's it about?" asked Pooh leaning forward and smearing another word."It's about how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!" I yelled."Have you read it?" asked Pooh.It is a book I can pick up no matter what my mood and find a passage in it to smile about. Funny thing, after reading it (and I have many times), I develop this strange habit of looking at people and deciding if they are an Owl, Rabbit, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore or Pooh and finding it easier to deal with them...

  • Patrick
    2019-02-15 18:45

    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 and Taoist texts. In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff makes the partisan effort to promote the Way as something that ironically defeats science and many other branches of human endeavor with the cleverness he condones them for. He says for instance that Science is "Looking for answers it will never find." and regulates scientific discoveries such as the complicated and intricate systems of magnetic internal navigation used by mirgratory birds to simple, patronizing terms like "Instinct." Pooh is praised for his forget-fullness and lack of self interest, two things that can, at most times, be more useful than an existence motivated by irrelevent factors like the acquisition of knowledge for the sake of knowledge of knowledge, or strength to defeat your opponents. Hoff does a great job choosing Buddhist and Toaist stories that illustrate how the Way is truly something we should all strive after, instead of being caught up in our own petty problems. However, his translation lacks somewhat of the truth behind the Way. The Way is great, and therefore, in a sense, demands greatness. There are few who are ready or willing to take up the eternal flame that burns in the hands of long dead mountain sages. We are all already on the path. Rabbit, Owl, and Tigger are no different than Pooh. In fact Pooh has his own flaws. He is always eating everyone elses' Honey, which turns out, in Hoff's example to be a boon for Eeyore, who needs an empty jar to put his burst balloon in. It would be nice if everything in life turned out this way, but the truth is that people are unwilling to meet others and themselves half way to see the benefit and good in all things. That is why those who are complete ignorant of self forget the importance of their immediate relationship to everyone and everything around them. This lack of presence may save you when you fall in a river, but won't help when the reality that life is full of illusions that snag the desires of real people with real problems. To truly let go does not involve the apparently foolish, non-thought action of pooh. One would be surprised to find how much action there is in Wu-Wei. That action however is the art of life which must be pursuit by constant attention to breathe and void. Anyway, the book is ok. It's an interesting introduction behind some Taoist ideas, but don't get too caught up in the passive underplayed strength of Taoism to move mountains and run oceans dry.

  • Renée Paule
    2019-01-27 15:29

    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 life is not such a distant or unachievable concept; it is just a question of changing the way we look at things."While Eeyore frets... and Piglet hesitates... and Rabbit calculates... and Owl pontificates... Pooh just is.”

  • Dylan Olson
    2019-02-17 12:45

    (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 simple-minded which, in itself, is fitting for a book on Taoism. Except that Hoff is so abrasive and condescending towards every other character in the 100 acre woods. Hoff is particularly offensive in his analysis of the wise "Owl" who he uses as a stereotype for scholars. "...it's hard to find any of the spirit of Taoism in the lifeless writings of the humorless academic mortician, whose bleached out scholarly dissertations contain no more of the character of Taoist wisdom than does the typical wax museum." Interesting hypocrisy coming from a B.A. in Asian Art, the very product of the scholarly pursuits which he condemns. Broad inaccurate generalizations follow. He implies that every scholar is too focused on technical minutia to understand what happens in a meadow at dusk... (EVERYTHING!)...and cites quotations by Owl as proof. In my opinion he has broken the allegory when he begins using A.A. Milne's quotations out of context as facts to support his argument. Benjamin Hoff is a silly, petty hypocrite who needs to reassess his own dogma. It's sad because he has taken two beautiful things and combined them to examine the faults of lifestyles that differ from his own.

  • Bosh
    2019-01-28 11:46

    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 world where everyone sits around tending their garden (he's a gardener) free of desire, ambition, and intellectual curiosity.Hoff's interpretation of Pooh is one where all the other characters are severely flawed and serve only to emphasize Pooh's purity - a complete misreading, in my opinion. However, this seems to mirror Hoff's opinion of himself as an oasis a sea of Busy Backsons. Ironically, Hoff's writing (not to mention his website) is generally angry and bitter. I probably have more inner peace than this guy.Hoff is an unsuccessful artist who uses Eastern mysticism to rationalize his own failed ambitions and condemn people he doesn't like. In the process, he defames a beloved bear. I know very little about Taoism but I hope it's a more intelligent philosophy than it comes across as here.

  • Weinz
    2019-02-05 15:36

    Some how when it comes from the guileless mouth of a tender hearted bear happiness and contentment in life seems so simple. Hoff does an amazing job of bringing his readers Eastern philosophy from the point of view of endearing characters that we've all grown up with. Its message of simplicity and peace was like a vacation for the soul. I recommend this one to anyone who needs a break from the every day grime we all have to deal with. My only grief was the watered down version of the Eastern Religions. Hoff did an excellent job of bringing Buddha to the masses but I wanted more. Still, he presented the religions in an interesting and enlightening way. Never a Bisy Backson myself I loved reading the smooth dialogue with its enlightening messages. Read, revel and enjoy. Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.

  • Linda
    2019-02-23 18:45

    Tao dou,tou noun(in Chinese philosophy) The absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order. PoohAlso called Winnie the Pooh or Pooh Bear, was a fictional anthropomorphicteddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne.The Tao of PoohHarmony comes from happiness. Vinegar and honey don't mix. Simplicity begets wisdom. Learning is derived from books. Be sure to listen to your inner voice. *And don't be afraid to admit when you are confused because I am.*

  • Kiwi Begs2Differ✎
    2019-02-02 13:19

    I love Pooh and the idea of explaining Taoism through the famous cute bear. However, the philosophy presented here doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Caren
    2019-02-15 11:37

    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 Penguin paperback edition:"Ouch!" said Pooh, landing on the floor. "That's what happens when you go to sleep on the edge of the writing table", I said. "You fall off.""Just as well," said Pooh."Why's that?" I asked."I was having an awful dream," he said."Oh?""Yes. I'd found a jar of honey...," he said, rubbing his eyes."What's awful about that?" I asked."It kept moving," said Pooh. "They're not supposed to do that. They're supposed to sit still.""Yes, I know.""But whenever I reached for it, this jar of honey would sort of go someplace else.""A nightmare," I said."Lots of people have dreams like that," I added reassuringly."Oh," said Pooh. "About Unreachable jars of honey?""About the same sort of thing," I said. "That's not unusual. The odd thing, though, is that some people live like that.""Why?" asked Pooh."I don't know," I said. "I suppose because it gives them Something to Do.""It doesn't sound like much fun to me," said Pooh. No, it doesn't. A way of life that keeps saying, "Around the next corner, above the nest step," works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy and good...[end quote]Having just come out of the holiday season, here is a relevant section from pages 111-112: The honey doesn't taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn't mean so much once it is reached; the reward is not so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won't have very much. But if we add up the spaces between the rewards, we'll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards and the spaces, then we'll have everything---every minute of the time that we spent. What if we could enjoy it? The Christmas presents once opened are Not So Much Fun as they were while we were in the process of examining, lifting, shaking, thinking about, and opening them. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, we try again and find that the same thing has happened. Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we're off to reach the next one, then the next one, then the next.That doesn't mean that the goals we have don't count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go through the process, and it's the process that makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable, angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from that, it's really the process that's important. Enjoyment of the process is the secret that erases the myths of the Great Reward and Saving Time. Perhaps this can help to explain the everyday significance of the word, Tao, the Way.What can we call that moment before we begin to eat the honey? Some would call it anticipation, but we think it's more than that. We would call it awareness. It's when we become happy and realize it, if only for an instant. By Enjoying the Process, we can stretch that awareness out so that it's no longer only a moment, but covers the whole thing. The we can have a lot of fun. Just like Pooh.[end quote]There are a few mildly preachy bits in the book, but on the whole it was just such a pleasure to visit with Pooh and Mr. Hoff. With their ostensibly simple exchanges, they were really having Deep Thoughts, which caused me to have Deep Thoughts as well. I would call this a very Beneficial Read.(And, thank you, Caroline, for reminding me of this book!)

  • Nick Pageant
    2019-02-18 11:26

    A very enlightening BR with Mishy.This is a great little book. I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it a great introduction to Taoism, there are surely a lot of scholarly books that would be better suited to that purpose, but this book does do a good job at pointing out some of Taoism's goals in a very sweet, Pooish sort of way.

  • Laura Leaney
    2019-02-23 14:30

    I like this book - mostly because Pooh functions as kind of an anti-hero in it, although technically he's not "anti" anything really - in that he embraces not-doing and not-thinking. But honestly, Pooh does a lot of stuff. He finds the North Pole, he rescues Roo, and all kinds of other things. But, as Benjamin Hoff points out, he is "the most effortless Bear we've ever seen. "Just how do you do it, Pooh?""Do what?" asked Pooh."Become so Effortless.""I don't do much of anything," he said."But all those things of yours get done.""But they just sort of happen," he said.And this is the Tao, the way, in a nutshell. Or, should I say a honey jar? "Cleverness, after all, has it's limitations," and what better way to show you than a Brainless Bear? On the surface, the book (or the Tao) seems to advocate laziness but the Wu Wei or Pooh Way means taking action "without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort." Pooh is an excellent exemplar of the Tao. In this book, the author teaches Pooh and the reader by weaving stories from the Bear's own adventures with Chinese philosophers like Chuang-tse and Liu An, poets like Han-shan, and the ideas of Taoism like the Uncarved Block and the Youthful Immortal. I think the best chapter is "That Sort of Bear," which re-tells the story of a stonecutter who is always dissatisfied with "himself and his position in life." Like Pooh, who criticizes himself for being without a brain, we should remember that we all have value.

  • Serena.. Sery-ously?
    2019-02-01 10:19

    Sono sempre più convinta che la vita vissuta secondo gli insegnamenti taoisti sia quella più felice e meritevole.. Niente mi trasmette tranquillità e 'gioia di vivere' (virgolettiamo, che qui sembra che vada in giro cantando e saltando, lanciando i fiori alla gente e urlando "LA VITA E' BELLA!) come leggere dei precetti taoisti, giuro!*Prossimo passo: applicare suddetti principi*Questo libro è semplicemente *adorabile* da una parte e *utile* dall'altra; per la parte dell'adorabilità ci pensa ovviamente Pooh, che mette voglia, anche alla persona più sociopatica e disturbata del mondo, di andare in giro e abbracciare random cose, persone e alberi. Se non avete letto Winnie Pooh (niente a vedere con l'orso ciccione della Tv, a cui io sinceramente darei un sacco di botte), recuperatelo, è l'amore! In questo libro ne troverete un assaggio e vi accompagnerà alla scoperta del Tao perché essenzialmente (questo l'autore vuol dire) Pooh è l'incarnazione del Taoismo fatta e finita :DIl libro poi è utile perché prende alcuni precetti taoisti e li spiega in modo semplice e chiaro, aiutandosi spesso con scene prese dai libri di Milne; Pooh è presente in tutto il libro perché oltre alle suddette scene, compare a fianco dell'autore con cui intrattiene dialoghi tenerissimi :3Ok, basta, devo andare a distribuire un po' di amore random e abbracciare le piante del balcone, cià cià!

  • ♠shane
    2019-02-18 16:25

    I love this book. Taoism is a diffacult concept to wrap your mind around and it couldn't have been made any simpler than it has been in this book. It's got some great stories in it by itself and all of the characters make great examples of the classic personality types you bump in to in everday life. I can't count how many times i've bumped in to an Eore driving home from work or walking down the street. A must read for anyone struggling with the concept of toaism. I'd also recommend The Te Of Piglet as a continuation of the ideas represented in The Tao Of Pooh.

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2019-02-02 12:21

    This is one amazing little book! It's so calm, simple and inspiring I wanted to start reading it again as soon as I finished it! This book can definitely change your life: it's so uplifting! What I found really interesting when reading reviews here and there is how everyone identifies with a different chapter from the book, a different character. The book really has something to offer to each and everyone of us, it echoes our own personal experiences. My favourite chapters must be "Cottleston Pie" and "Nowhere and nothing", even though making a choice is really hard! A wonderful book!

  • Marvin
    2019-02-18 13:16

    This was a reread, It is a delightful book. But we all knew Pooh was the one that knew what life was really about.

  • Allison
    2019-02-12 12:28

    Well, I'm clearly not an enlightened Taoist. I'm really not. I kinda wish I were, but I can't find the time. This is a cute book with a direct intent: To simplify a boiled-down version of Taoism so that thugs like me, thick in the brain with susceptibility to things like busyness and opinion and goal-setting, can try to calm down a bit and sit still, shed all worry, and let life happen around me. To me. Do nothing. Accept all without opinion. While I couldn't help but be reminded of a stoner room mate I had in University, I know that Taoism is a lot more than that, and so is this book. If it's true that the entire Winnie-the-Pooh series was also written as a Taoist contribution, and that each character was intentionally constructed along the framework of an ancient Asian philosophy, then I'll eat my socks. Or allow them to be eaten by those around me. Without judgement. With clarity but not question. But I'm a bit busy right now trying to raise all these kids, and hold down a job, and pay a mortgage, and read all these books, and get to a spin class so that I can live healthily longer ,so that I can babysit my grandkids, and go on retirement trips, and volunteer at the local food bank. Isn't that the plan? I haven't taken time to plan in Doing Nothing and Thinking Nothing and Saying Nothing. I'll have to schedule some time to do that. If I can find a minute...

  • Bill
    2019-01-30 11:22

    Don't be a busy ant ruining the picnic of life.Live like the Pooh.