The Tao of Daily Life

The Mysteries of the Orient Revealed
The Joys of Inner Harmony Found
The Path to Enlightenment Illuminated


  Review by Michelle Wood

There are many books on the market today that tell you how to relieve stress, but there are very few that reveal how to truly achieve a joyful and stress-free lifestyle.

The Tao of Daily Life by Derek Lin is one of those rare books.

The philosophy of Daoism is, in my opinion, the mindful complimentary practice to Chinese medicine for the body. Rather than treat physical symptoms of disease, if you stimulate the immune system so that the body naturally returns to health, the symptoms of disease will just as naturally disappear. If you are healthy, there is no disease, and if there is no disease, there are no symptoms!

The writings included in The Tao of Daily Life stimulate the mind to avoid conflict, the mental equivalent of illness, and nurture mental health and emotional balance through the retelling and discussion of metaphorical stories from China's ancient past.

The book is well organized for daily life and ease of study.

Appropriately enough, the first section is called "In The Morning." The six stories in this section introduce you to the simplicity of Daoism and the ways you can begin to bring balance and harmony into your daily life. Remember, the way you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. It is important to start your day in balance and at peace.

"At Work" is the title of part two and consists of nine tales. Work on the job is the place where most people seem to run into the greatest conflict. Personally, I think it starts with the inner conflict of working at a job not because you love it, but to make money. If you work at a job you truly love, there is little conflict. If you are unable to work at a job you truly love, the stories in this section will show you how to appreciate and benefit from the challenges you encounter in your working world.

You are "With Friends" in the seven stories included in part three of The Tao of Daily Life. One of the reasons I believe we incarnate into physical beings is to learn the Art of Cooperation. The means getting beyond yourself and into your relationships with others by appreciating that your greatest importance is not your "I" but your "We," your place in the Whole of the universe. This is the lesson that comes through in these seven, often-amusing stories.

The five stories in part four are about being "With Family." The members of your family are the first actors on the stage in your interpersonal development. How you live and nurture the cooperation within and between your family members determines how you will interact with the rest of the world. The five tales in this section show you how to work around those familial challenges to create peace and harmony around your home. This is especially important because this is where you go to relax and rejuvenate every night (or at the end of your work day, whenever that occurs). If you don't have peace and harmony at home, you won't be the best You that you can be!

The final section is "At Night." Many of you myself included are so busy that you fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day and if you look back at the day at all you usually wonder what you did that day. The details are lost in a blur of commuting, meetings, phone calls, errands, and other daily tasks. This last section shows you the value of reflecting on the day just past. Your reflection should not only look back non-judgmentally upon what you did or what you might have done better, but on what you learned, and how you changed and grew as a compassionate, universally-connected person by mindfully experiencing the events of your day. The seven stories in this section help you walk your path within as well as the path you share with others.

If you are serious about living a life of peace and harmony, Derek Lin's book The Tao of Daily Life is an excellent place to start.

Michelle Wood is a stress management consultant who helps people reverse the physical and emotional damage caused by anxiety and stress. She is also a regular columnist in Qi Dao, the newsletter published by the World Institute for Self Healing. She can be contacted through her blog.


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