Chinese culture is a culture of ideas. The secret of Chinese success has been an ability to assibilate and even embrace what would be, to a less advanced civilization, divisive ideas and beliefs. At the core of Chinese thought are a group of concepts which have proven to be general enough to be inclusive and insightful enough to prove eternally useful. What the future of China's beliefs will be on the competitive stage of world history, no one can tell. Here are some texts which speak to people today with the same force as the Iliad, the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh and all other great works of human thought and dreams
KC059 Confucian & Taoist Wisdom
Edward L. Shaughnessy
175 pages, Hardbound, marker ribbon, photographs
Regular price $16.95 PLUM price $5.95, Hardbound
This book is a beautiful designed hardback edition that might be a gift or kept at bedside for inspiration. Here are quotations from some of China’s greatest thinkers, and most influential spiritual leaders. Starting with a introduction telling about each of them and their respective philosophies it gives you a sense of the direction of Chinese thinking. At his place at the table is MoTzu who felt that love was man’s nature. He sits right across from Xun Zi who believed that man was essentially evil. Lao Zi runs the game while Zhuang Zi sits off to the side dreamily puffing his pipe. Each section is introduced with a full page photograph. This is followed by excerpts on the subject listed such as Family, Education, Warfare, The Dao, Government, Sagehood and Death.
Meng WuBo asked about filial piety. Confucius said, “Let the father and mother’s only worry be about your being ill.”
“Only after there are things that a man will not do can he do great things.” Mencius
“Heaven does not stop winter on account of men hating the cold, the earth does not stop being broad on account of men hating long distances, and the gentleman does not stop acting on account of petty men’s carping. Heaven has it constant ways, earth has its constant number, and the gentleman has his constant bearing. The gentleman follows his constancy while the petty man calculates his achievements. “ Xunzi.
Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan
Freya and Martin Boedicker
$14.95 PLUM price 13.45, 98 pages, Hardbound,
Mr. Boedicker has already made a contribution to the martial arts by producing one of the most beautiful books in English on the Wu style of Tai Chi with his teacher Ma Jiang Bo —regrettably now out of print. This new survey book is a nice introduction to the cultural and philosophical backgrounds of Martial Arts and Chinese culture in general showing through commentary and selected translation a "taste" of many seminal sources for the wisdom embodied (literally, to make a pun) in not only Tai Chi but all martial movement. Sources draw from that old boy Lao Tzu, the niceties of the Book of the Mean, the twin suns of military tactics Sun Bin and Sun Zi, the magical Lieh Zi and others. A bit of an anodyne for the flood of "kick ass" writings in martial arts.
ask if we have a collection of Chou I books. There are some good ones,
many bad, some very bad. The I Ching is not for the faint hearted but
it is a storehouse of amazing observations and insights by a people struggling
to understand their place IN the universe not above it. Here are some
of the books we think deserve special attention by interested parties.
There are not many. There will be more. But we think quality counts and
Complete I Ching
$19.95 PLUM price 17.95, 252 pages
a doubt one of the best translations and complications of the I Ching
on the market today. Huang's story is very interesting. He was introduced
into the Ching's deeper meaning while imprisoned. He decided to do his
own translation because he found that the Western translations, though
good, didn't have enough "hope." He relates his work to previous
translators like Wilhelm and Blofeld but gives alternative names for many
of the Kua and excellent background on their names and meanings. A very
thorough book with much ancillary information that will keep the I Ching
enthusiast going for quite some time. Highly recommended.
KP021H ("hurt book") The Pocket I Ching
by Richard Wilhelm,
Cary F. Baynes with simplification by W. S. Broadman
paper, 130 pages, 1987, read our introductory
article on this book
This simplified pocket edition concentrates on the original core writing
of this book, one of the oldest in history and the basis of Chinese culture.
Though some may have a problem with the sometimes divination use of the
book it can also be studied as a classic of wisdom pertaining to one of
the greatest concerns of human life: change and its many faces.
are those who might not see the connection between martial arts and
what they think of as the ultimate pacifist religion. But historically,
as well as spiritually, Taoism is one of the keystones of classical
martial thinking. Throughout a bloody history Taoist generals have
distinguished themselves as experts in military strategy, from which
even today the world takes lessons. At the same time they developed
the concept that the best war is never even fought, that the general
who fights and wins is inferior to the general who never has to fight.
In these and a hundred other ways the philosophy of Taoism has had
a profound impact on the thinking of real martial artists.
KD014 Decoding the Dao
Nine Lessons in Daoist Meditation
$29.95, 400+ pages,
Tom Bisio has done us all a favor, especially those who are conducting deeper studies relating to Daoist philosophy, meditation, Qigong and the like. This book compiles years of reading and primary material and then, in classical Chinese manner, adds Bisio’s own comments and clarifying insight. He has also added a clever method by assembling nine progressive lessons in the meditative school branch of Daoism. These lessons are well selected because they will indeed bring you into the meditative practice in one of the easiest and most developed curriculums we’ve seen in text form. Following a basic Daoist principle that encourages you to actually experience the process, to ride the river yourself, Tom has arranged Wuji Standing and other related practices in a sequence. Each section takes at least ten days to complete with the overall regiment of three months, placing your feet directly on the right path. And that’s just the first nine chapters. Beyond these, treating the essence of Daoist material as a code—which is exactly what it is—he unravels many of the key references and symbols that have informed this practice for more than two thousand years. Some forms of knowledge become ‘coded” not because they are meant to hide things from others but because the overlap of pattern, intent and symbol could only concentrate the information into a “code.” There are times when a poem has more information than an essay. Tom Bisio’s text retains the patterns and images intact while decaoding the meaning behind the cipher. I don’t mean that the rose of Daoism will just fall open like petals at dawn, but this book is definitely an on-the-desk reference collecting for you the information you might have scattered through your library. There is no other text I can think of that brings so much of Daoism’s scattered story into the same arena.
KN007 Nourishing the Essence of Life
$15.95 ours 14.35, 104 pages,
This book presents three classic texts on the nature of the Tao. It examine the macrocosm of the universe related to the microcosm of the human body. We see this reflected in the three levels of Taoist teachings, the Inner, the Outer and the Secret (Xuan). The Outer level deals with Human life in its social and familial setting. The Inner level deals with the energetics of the individual practitioner. The secret level discusses transformations which bring ineffable and unpredictable aspects of cultivation. This is not a critical account of Taoism but a discussion from the standpoint of classical students. It records rituals and aspects or authentic Taoist ritual which might be confusing and a little mysterious to some but that’s Taoism at the cultural level. A very good, slim volume on ancient Taoist practices and beliefs.
Translated by Red Pine
$14.95 softbound, 180 pages
In this well-recieved version
Red Ping not only translates the Tao but "corrects some errors"
previously associated with it. This
version also has a face-to-face Chinese text and selected commentaries
from many scholars throughout the last 2000 years.
"The Way that becomes a Way is not the Immortal Way."
Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body
by Thomas Cleary
$12.95, 130 pages, softbound,
One of Thomas Cleary's most accesible and interesting translations.This
is a compilation from numerous texts on Taoist meditation (though certainly
with Confucian and Buddhist perspectives also represented). Among the
other, longer sections there is purported to be a section on meditation
by the semi-legendary creator of T'ai Chi; CHANG SAN FENG.
279 pages, softbound,
this is an important book ! Prof. Schipper is presently one of the worlds
experts on Taoism. Unlike so many who have written on Taoism he studied
from the inside, becoming a Tao Shih (Taoist Priest) in the process. Taoist
Body is about real Taoism, not the coffee house variety where "everything
goes". It discusses ritual, lineage, beliefs and philosophy. The
chapter on the Inner Landscape is worth the price of the book. He challenges
many misunderstandings and myths about the study while giving a thorough
and fascinating account of Taoist trasditiona and its continuity through
history. His book explores Taoist priesthood and its meaning. Very good
There is only one available distributor for this book so expect a little
longer wait when ordering.
KT015 Taoist Yoga
Charles Luk(Lu KuanYu)
$12.95, 240 pages,
Often referred to as "Taoist Yoga," this is a fine text on
the art of Chi Kung. One of the first ever written and widely available
in the English language. Still a classic it contains not only some instruction
but, more importantly, a properly respectful attitude that this (Chi
Kung) is something more than a New Age exercise for the Spa of the Future.