The best books on Taoism and how you can apply it to your life

Who am I?

Diane Dreher is the author of The Tao of Inner Peace, The Tao of Personal Leadership, and The Tao of Womanhood. She has been fascinated by Eastern philosophy since her childhood in the Philippine Islands. In addition to her doctoral degree in English from UCLA and master’s in counseling from Santa Clara University, she has studied Taoism, trained in aikido, and become a reiki master. She enjoys applying the lessons of Tao in her teaching, consulting, and international coaching practice.


I wrote...

The Tao of Inner Peace

By Diane Dreher,

Book cover of The Tao of Inner Peace

What is my book about?

Drawing upon the vital lessons of the Tao Te Ching, The Tao of Inner Peace shows readers how to create greater peace in their lives by honoring their own inner rhythms, part of the overarching rhythms of nature. They will learn to see beyond current conditions, recognize the Tao’s dynamic balance of yin and yang, resolve conflict within and around them, discover new possibilities, and create greater harmony in their world.

The books I picked & why

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Tao Te Ching

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator), Toinette Lippe (translator)

Book cover of Tao Te Ching

Why this book?

The Tao Te Ching has been translated more than any book in the world except for the Bible and this is my favorite translation. Reading it is a Tao experience on many levels. Gia-Fu Feng’s translations are graceful, meaningful, and memorable, accompanied by his beautiful Chinese calligraphy of the 81 Tao Te Ching chapters. This new edition includes brief updates from the original translation and an introduction by Jacob Needleman. Complementing the text are Jane English’s evocative black and white nature photographs which capture the essence of Tao.

Tao Te Ching

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator), Toinette Lippe (translator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known…


Tao: The Watercourse Way

By Alan Watts,

Book cover of Tao: The Watercourse Way

Why this book?

The classic study by Alan Watts with calligraphy and preface by Al Chung-liang Huang. This, Alan Watts’s final book, takes the reader on an exploration of Taoist philosophy, focusing on the world view inherent in the Chinese language, the dynamic balance of yin and yang, and the power of wu-wei, the art of flowing with the process. Watts’ insights and passion make the book a valued and enduring introduction to the world of Tao.

Tao: The Watercourse Way

By Alan Watts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tao as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following Alan Watts' acclaimed book on Zen Buddhism The Way of Zen, he tackles the Chinese philosophy of Tao.

The Tao is the way of man's cooperation with the natural course of the natural world. Alan Watts takes the reader through the history of Tao and its interpretations by key thinkers such as Lao-Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching. Watts goes on to demonstrate how the ancient and timeless Chinese wisdom of Tao promotes the idea of following a life lived according to the natural world and goes against our goal-oriented ideas by allowing time to quiet our minds…


Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life

By Chungliang Al Huang,

Book cover of Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life

Why this book?

This book takes the wisdom of Tao into the world of sports, combining Chung-liang Al Huang’s calligraphy and insights as a T’ai Ji master with sports psychologist Jerry Lynch’s use of Tao principles to coach professional, Olympic, and recreational athletes. Offering lessons from the enduring wisdom of Tao, along with exercises, affirmations, and encouragement, this book helps readers transcend the limits of Western dualism to discover a new path of joy and meaning in their athletic endeavors, careers, and personal lives.

Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life

By Chungliang Al Huang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thinking Body, Dancing Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by a sports psychologist and a renowned T'ai Chi master, here is a guide to enriching all of life's pursuits through the practice of its simple mental tools and wisdom. Using stories of success from athletes and businesspeople, the authors present techniques and exercises to promote relaxation and enhance performance.


The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age

By John Heider,

Book cover of The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age

Why this book?

John Heider’s book takes the wisdom of Tao into the world of leadership, offering timeless wisdom and practical advice for leaders. Readers will learn about the power of presence in relationships, as well as how to pay attention, trust the process, and stay centered in the midst of challenge and conflict to become more effective and inspiring leaders.

The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age

By John Heider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tao of Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You can't lead without this classic, updated and in its 2nd edition.This bestselling masterpiece of practical philosophy will guide you to enhanced interpersonal relationships and the cultivation of enduring leadership qualities.Heider provides simplest and clearest advice on how to be the very best kind of leader: be faithful, trust the process, pay attention, and inspireothers to become their own leaders. The Tao of Leadership is a blend of practical insight and profound wisdom, offering inspiration and advice.Often used as a Management/Leadership training text by many Fortune 500 corporations, IBM, Mitsubishi, Prudential, GE, Intel, Converse, the Israeli Intelligence Corps, and more.


Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Book cover of Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

Why this book?

In a yearlong journey of discovery, psychologist and author Wayne Dyer steeped himself in the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching. The result is this book of 81 chapters, offering his reflections on the 81 chapters of the Tao. Combining meditations, exercises, and personal examples, each chapter encourages readers to release their preconceptions, transcend duality, recognize their oneness with all creation, and discover their deepest sense of themselves as the wisdom of Tao becomes a living presence in their lives.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a God-realized being named Lao-tzu in ancient China dictated 81 verses, which are regarded by many as the ultimate commentary on the nature of our existence. The classic text of these 81 verses, called the Tao Te Ching or the Great Way, offers advice and guidance that is balanced, moral, spiritual, and always concerned with working for the good. In this book, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has reviewed hundreds of translations of the Tao Te Ching and has written 81 distinct essays on how to apply the ancient wisdom of Lao-tzu to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Taoism, Tao Te Ching, and sports?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Taoism, Tao Te Ching, and sports.

Taoism Explore 24 books about Taoism
Tao Te Ching Explore 8 books about Tao Te Ching
Sports Explore 30 books about sports

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