Back to Beginnings

By Huanchu Daoren, Thomas Cleary (translator),

Book cover of Back to Beginnings: Reflections on the Tao

Book description

The secrets of serenity and wisdom in a changing world can be found in these Taoist teachings, written during the late 16th century in the Ming dynasty. The author's reflections are an outgrowth of his upbringing in the science of neo-Confucianism, a lifelong career in public service, and his retirement…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Back to Beginnings as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Translated many times under different titles, this is my favorite edition, influencing my life planning journey. The text is an intermingling of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian thought.

Huanchu Daoren (who goes by various names) was a retired civil servant, as were many great philosophers and mystics in China. His book is written in brief paragraphs, each paragraph is a teaching of ethics or of spirit.

I carried a tiny version of the book that fit in the palm of my hand wherever I went for about ten years when I was going through the toughest time in my life just…

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