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The Tao of Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh) (original 1982; edition 1982)

by Benjamin Hoff (Author)

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6,37284608 (3.79)85
Member:uufnn
Title:The Tao of Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh)
Authors:Benjamin Hoff (Author)
Info:Dutton (1982), Edition: Reprint., 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Winnie-the-Pooh, Taoism

Work details

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

  1. 20
    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Othemts)
    Othemts: Books that help Westerners understand Taoist beliefs.
  2. 20
    The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff (Marewinds)
    Marewinds: Companion volume to the Tao of Pooh, and slightly more in-depth, for the next steps in your journey down the path of the Tao.
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Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
This is a wonderful marriage between a celebration of Pooh and an understanding of Tao. I read this write after high school but didn't remember how good it was until after I re-read it.

A book for anyone who adores Pooh or wants an introduction into Tao. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
For some time I referred to one co-worker as Eeyore, because every time anyone asked her in ordinary conversation how she was, instead of saying "fine" or what-have-you she always says "oh, well" and follows with a description of how tired or headache-y or what-have-you she is. The odd thing is she's always pretty darned cheerful. But it was still inevitable that she be labeled "Eeyore".

Then I realized that another co-worker, who barges into every situation, takes over conversations, assumes control over things she has no right to controlling, and never does anything quietly – she is Rabbit. And another girl, who climbs rock walls and goes for long hikes for fun (an alien mindset) and whose laugh can be heard rooms away, and who despite being half my size makes ten times more noise just walking … Tigger. It didn't take long to assign the rest of the Pooh Gang to coworkers. I would be Piglet – being somewhat round, and more than somewhat timid in some situations – but someone else round and timid wanted it, so I took a deep breath and admitted to being Wol Owl, the notorious know-it-all who really doesn't. So I laughed out loud when Simon Vance read the line "Owl told him in 25,000 monotonous words or more ..." Heh. Who (whoooo) knew? I'm even more Owl than I thought.

It's funny, though – I'd forgotten that in addition to being Mr. Frowny Face Eeyore was such a horrid know-it-all. That (sadly) means that my co-worker is not as Eeyore as I thought. Or rather, she is Disney Eeyore, not Real Eeyore.

It's been a very long time since I first read this, and I took on the Audible edition based on a low price and a Simon Vance narration. The great Simon Vance, one of the upper echelons of narration rock stars, reads Pooh? Oh, you know I'm in. And it was terrific. Now, the reason I listen to audiobooks at work is that my coworkers have no filters, and no indoor voices. Eeyore isn't so bad, but when I say Rabbit does nothing quietly, I mean it literally: she flops into her chair with a clunk that used to make me think she fell, badly injured; she types loudly with her artificial nails; she yawns at the top of her lungs. Between her and a coworker I will refer to as the Heffalump (I'm just deeply greatful that Tigger is in a different room), the volume and stupidity get so thick on some days you could cut it with a chainsaw; complaining (and breaking down into tearful whimpering) to management has resulted in absolutely no change in their behavior, but instead the suggestion that I listen to something using earphones.

Hence a really healthy Goodreads Challenge number.

And hence my very deep appreciation for the Taoist philosophy outlined in this book and illustrated by Winnie-the-Pooh. "He advised those who wanted strong health to: sit like a turtle, walk like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog. When asked for his major secret, though, he said 'Inner quiet'." To listen to that surrounded by people who have literally no concept of "inner quiet" is an interesting experience.

Like silence after noise or cool, clear water on a hot, stuffy day, emptiness cleans out the messy mind and charges up the batteries of spiritual energy. Many people are afraid of emptiness, however, because it reminds them of loneliness. Everything has to be filled in, it seems ...

I loved this book as a kid, and I think I love it more now. Benjamin Hoff takes not only a bone-deep understanding of Tao with an even more impressive knowledge and understanding of Pooh Bear and melds them beautifully. No: as he points out, they are already one, and he simply reveals that. He's right. And he's funny.

And as to that narration: I've been referring to Simon Vance and his ilk, and seeing them referred to, as rock stars for a long time. So when at one point Himself is called upon to recite some (possibly made-up) popular music lyrics – "Oh baby don't leave me" – Oh, baby. It is magnificent. Just magnificent.

So. Listen to this book, and bask in the beautiful narration of a clever, clever book, and try – do try – to be more Pooh than Eeyore or Rabbit or Owl.

Just, whatever you do, don't be a bisy backson. ( )
1 vote Stewartry | Jul 26, 2016 |
This is a fascinating read. The concept of explaining Poohs Behavior through Taoism is brilliant. And the corresponding book, The Te of Piglet is also a fantastic read. The book opens with the narrator and Pooh talking about life and the ways of Taoism. They end up imagining themselves to China and they go to a shop and get a traditional scroll of the Vinegar tasters an interesting conversation between Confucius, Buddha, and Laozi, the founder of Taoism. In it the first two say the taste of the vinegar is sour and bitter but Laozi finds it pleasant. The vinegar of life is a representation of the Taoist principles and view on life. I would recommend this book to everyone.
  gregorysmith | Jul 22, 2016 |
Either Taoism, or Hoff's interpretation of it, makes me think of nothing so much as a cow contentedly chewing its cud. Yes, more people should live more simply, less busily, and more true to their natures and to Nature and The Way. But gosh, if we were all Taoists (at least by Hoff's lights), there wouldn't be a printing press and none of us would know of Pooh or Hoff!

And what if it is one's nature to be curious? What if one is a striving scientist in one's heart? According to Hoff, one would have to deny one's nature to Live with the Natural order.... ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book takes a look at the inner works of Winnie the Pooh and how he is an active participant in Taoism. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea really what Taoism is or the principles of the religion, and I still don't think I do. I read the book mainly well because I like Pooh (he's my favorite character). I also wonder if A.A. Milne wrote the books with Taoistic principals in mind. Who knows?

I would recommend this book to people who have an actual interest in religions, and one that may have some idea on Taoism ideas. I thought that the subject matter was rather dense and I could honestly only read like a chapter at a time or else my mind would start to wander, much like the Bear himself. ( )
  welkeral | Mar 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benjamin Hoffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Shepard, E.H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie."
Dedication
For Han Hsiang-tse
First words
"What's this you're writing?" asked Pooh, climbing onto the writing table.
"You see, Pooh," I said, "a lot of people don't seem to know what Taoism is . . ."
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Haiku summary
Haiku about bear
with very simple nature
is quite redundant. (Hephaestus63)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140067477, Paperback)

Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Author/narrator Hoff calls Winnie the Pooh a "Western Taoist'' and uses the unassuming bear to introduce Eastern philosophical principles. Pooh epitomizes the "uncarved block,'' as he is well in tune with his natural inner self.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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