Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TAO OF POOH

Ever wonder what Winnie the Pooh’s ideas are on Taoism and the ways of life?  Wonder now more, the Tao of Pooh gives you a glimpse into the thought process of many philosophical theories, but through the mind and thinking of the beloved bear from our childhood: Winnie the Pooh. 

I came across this book in the library and thought, I love Pooh bear and I enjoy learning different things, so let’s check it out.  There are so many different things to enjoy about this book; it is hard to pin point just one.  The author Ben Hoff presents the Taoist theories and beliefs in such a manner that it is easy to understand.  He utilizes the humor and personality that is Pooh Bear to help express those theories.  The personality of Pooh Bear fits with so much of the basic teachings of Taoism, it is no wonder Hoff uses him as a sort of teaching these basics.  It’s a great way of relating how to put them into practice of every day life with such a memorable example.    One of the basic concepts is wu-wei which means “not doing”; doing nothing against the natural flow of life.  Hoff demonstrates this by telling about Pooh Bear and how Pooh bear has a mind that sees what’s in front of it.  Pooh Bear is the type of personality that literally just goes with the flow.  Knowing the type of character that Pooh bear was and his personality, gives us a visual of the theory making it easy for us to understand how to put it into practice.

I absolutely loved reading this book.  Not just for the fact that I got to learn something new about Taoism, but also because we see a different side of Winnie the Pooh.  The Pooh Bear we recognize is a little forgetful, easily distracted, a character we wouldn’t think to know the inner workings of Taoism, which is something we see Owl explaining.  So adding this aspect to Pooh Bear gives him a little more dimension for this adult mind of mine, but also keeps the child-like innocence I remember from my childhood.   Hoff describes everything in an easy to understand manner.  You will not be left scratching your head wondering what in the world did you just read.  Instead you will find yourself thinking “oh that makes sense.”  I was afraid this would be like many other books I have read that went into a lot of detailed which made it even harder to understand the concepts.  While Hoff describes things in detail, he does it in a manner that is easy to understand and grasp. 

If you are looking for a great book to help give you understanding on different ways of life, of feeling less stressed and “go with the flow” more, then you need to pick this book up.  While it does have stories related to the Winnie the Pooh series, but it applies those to the Taoist practice.  It is well worth a read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Final Review:  It wasn't what I expected but I highly enjoyed reading this book and getting a better understanding of Taoism through the mind of a beloved character.

Pro: put things simplistically with Pooh Bear

Cons: None

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