The Way of Chuang Tzu

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Shambhala Publications, 2004 - Religion - 190 pages
Chuang Tzu—considered, along with Lao Tzu, one of the great figures of early Taoist thought—used parables and anecdotes, allegory and paradox, to illustrate that real happiness and freedom are found only in understanding the Tao or Way of nature, and dwelling in its unity. The respected Trappist monk Thomas Merton spent several years reading and reflecting upon four different translations of the Chinese classic that bears Chuang Tzu's name. The result is this collection of poetic renderings of the great sage's work that conveys its spirit in a way no other translation has and that was Merton's personal favorite among his more than fifty books. Both prose and verse are included here, as well as a short section from Merton discussing the most salient themes of Chuang Tzu's teachings.

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This book is a constant companion on my bedside table, like a great well that is bottomless in depth. There is always something new to find in this wonderful and challenging set of stories.


A Study of Chuang Tzu
Readings from Chuang Tzu
The Lost Pearl
Great and Small
Symphony for a Sea Bird
When the Shoe Fits
Starlight and NonBeing
The Inner Law

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About the author (2004)

Thomas Merton (1915–1968) was a Trappist monk, spiritual director, political activist, social critic, and one of the most-read spiritual writers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, including The Seven Storey Mountain.

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