Stuffed bears and other beloved toys certainly gave us tranquility when we were children, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about philosophy. I’m talking about Taoism. I’m talking, of course, about Winnie-the-Pooh.
Now what, I can hear you asking, does Winnie-the-Pooh have to do with tranquility, philosophy, and Taoism? The answers are revealed in Benjamin Hoff‘s The Tao of Pooh, a book of 158 pages that deftly explains the principles of Taoism and applies them to modern life using the seemingly-odd, but, ultimately, not-so-odd example of Winnie-the-Pooh.
Using excerpts from the Pooh books by A.A. Milne, Hoff makes Taoism approachable and easy to understand. It’s not just a deep Eastern philosophy for hermits and mystics! The tenets of Taoism can be incorporated into everyday life as Hoff illustrates via Pooh, a bear who exists very much in the now.
Using Pooh as his Taoist master, Hoff explores “the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain” along with “the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work”. He uses the examples of Rabbit (Knowledge for the Sake of Being Clever), Owl (Knowledge for the Sake of Appearing Wise), and Eeyore (Knowledge for the Sake of Complaining About Something) to illustrate non-Taoist aspects of life, things that get in the way of happiness.
“When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret…: Life is Fun.”
And what are the lessons of Taoism?
Things Are As They Are.
Everything has its own Inner Nature.
Enjoy the Process.
Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least they do when you let them.
And so much more. This is a perfect read when you need some tranquility, perfect for those desiring some calmness, slowness, some quiet. And the book is fun. It reads easily, quickly, with humor, wit, and quotes from Milne’s beloved stories. It can’t miss and it doesn’t miss.
By the way, Pooh Day is January 18th (also the birthday of A.A. Milne). What better way to celebrate than by reading the Tao of Pooh and it’s companion book, The Te Of Piglet.