Classic writings from the great Zen master in exquisite versions by Thomas Merton, in a new edition with a preface by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Working from existing translations, Thomas Merton composed a series of his own versions of the classic sayings of Chuang Tzu, the most spiritual of Chinese philosophers. Chuang Tzu, who wrote in the fourth and third centuries B.C., is the chief authentic historical spokesperson for Taoism and its founder Lao Tzu (a legendary character known largely through Chuang Tzu’s writings). Indeed it was because of Chuang Tzu and the other Taoist sages that Indian Buddhism was transformed, in China, into the unique vehicle we now call by its Japanese name—Zen. The Chinese sage abounds in wit and paradox and shattering insights into the true ground of being. Thomas Merton, no stranger to Asian thought, brings a vivid, modern idiom to the timeless wisdom of Tao.
Chuang Tzuu considered, along with Lao Tzu, one of the great figures of early Taoist thoughtu 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.
Free renderings of selections from the works of Chuang-tzŭ, taken from various translations.
A fresh, modern translation of key selections from this timeless text opens up classic Taoist beliefs and practices with insightful commentary that highlights how you can live a more balanced, authentic and joyful life by following Taoist principles.
This volume is a translation of over two-thirds of the classic Daoist text Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu), including the complete Inner Chapters and extensive selections from the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters, plus judicious selections from 2000 years of traditional Chinese commentaries, which provide the reader access to the text as well as to its reception and interpretation. Brief biographies of the commentators, a bibliography, a glossary, and an index are also included.
Only by inhabiting Dao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can humankind achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death. This is Daoist philosophy’s central tenet, espoused by the person—or group of people—known as Zhuangzi (369?-286? B.C.E.) in a text by the same name. To be free, individuals must discard rigid distinctions between good and bad, right and wrong, and follow a course of action not motivated by gain or striving. When one ceases to judge events as good or bad, man-made suffering disappears and natural suffering is embraced as part of life. Zhuangzi elucidates this mystical philosophy through humor, parable, and anecdote, deploying non sequitur and even nonsense to illuminate a truth beyond the boundaries of ordinary logic. Boldly imaginative and inventively worded, the Zhuangzi floats free of its historical period and society, addressing the spiritual nourishment of all people across time. One of the most justly celebrated texts of the Chinese tradition, the Zhuangzi is read by thousands of English-language scholars each year, yet only in the Wade-Giles romanization. Burton Watson’s pinyin romanization brings the text in line with how Chinese scholars, and an increasing number of other scholars, read it.
Religion & beliefs.
Draws on the teachings of Lao-tzu's disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius's grandson Tzu-ssu to present a non-denominational guide to pursuing an authentic life, in a guide for modern readers that is complemented by the author's accessible commentary. 75,000 first printing.
A contemporary translation remaining faithful to the original collection of tales, poems and parables of Taoist philosophy. The collection covers a wide range of issues, from ambition to politics, and is accompanied by an introduction on the author and his place in Chinese thought and history.
A new version of the classic "Book of the Way" provides a humorous manual on the art of living in keeping with the original sixth-century text
The Chuang Tzu has been translated into English numerous times, but never with the freshness, accessibility, and accuracy of this remarkable rendering. Here the immediacy of Chuang Tzu's language is restored in a idiom that is both completely fresh and true to the original text. This unique collaboration between one of America's premier poet-translators and a leading Chinese scholar presents the so-called "Inner Chapters" of the text, along with important selections from other chapters thought to have been written by Chuang Tzu's disciples.
Library of Liberal Arts title.
Thomas Merton was recognized as one of those rare Western minds that are entirely at home with the Zen experience. In this collection, he discusses diverse religious concepts-early monasticism, Russian Orthodox spirituality, the Shakers, and Zen Buddhism-with characteristic Western directness. Merton not only studied these religions from the outside but grasped them by empathy and living participation from within. "All these studies," wrote Merton, "are united by one central concern: to understand various ways in which men of different traditions have conceived the meaning and method of the 'way' which leads to the highest levels of religious or of metaphysical awareness."
Revered for millennia in the Chinese spiritual tradition, Chuang Tzu stands alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding classic of Taoism. The Inner Chapters are the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the fourth century B.C.E. Witty and engaging, spiced with the lyricism of poetry, Chuang Tzu's Taoist insights are timely and eternal, profoundly concerned with spiritual ecology. Indeed, the Tao of Chuang Tzu was a wholesale rejection of a human-centered approach. Zen traces its sources back to these Taoist roots — roots at least as deep as those provided by Buddhism. But this is an ancient text that yields a surprisingly modern effect. In bold and startling prose, David Hinton's translation captures the "zany texture and philosophical abandon" of the original. The Inner Chapters' fantastical passages — in which even birds and trees teach us what they know — offer up a wild menagerie of characters, freewheeling play with language, and surreal humor. And interwoven with Chuang Tzu's sharp instruction on the Tao are short-short stories that are often rough and ribald, rich with satire and paradox. On their deepest level, the Inner Chapters are a meditation on the mysteries of knowledge itself. "Chuang Tzu's propositions," the translator's introduction reminds us, "seem to be in constant transformation, for he deploys words and concepts only to free us of words and concepts." Hinton's vital new translation makes this ancient text from the golden age of Chinese philosophy come alive for contemporary readers.
In addition to critical essays that explore the harvest of new insights provoked by Merton’s encounters with the ancient sages, Merton & the Tao presents the complete and carefully annotated correspondence between Thomas Merton and John C. H. Wu. This study of world religions through the lens of Thomas Merton’s inclusive religious interests presents his timeless vision of all persons united in a hidden ground of love.
Merton, one of the rare Western thinkers able to feel at home in the philosophies of the East, made the wisdom of Asia available to Westerners. "Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite--one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.
-- Burton Watson
Volume 2 of sacred writings reveal Tao, the way — the key to living an obstacle-free life. Based on wu-wei, taking no unnatural action, it would make individual existence like the flow of water.
An expert in Chinese philosophy explains facets of Taoism using Milne's famous character and explores the world of Winnie-the-Pooh through Tao, characterizing Pooh as a simple bear who subscribes to the principles of successful living
In this classic text, Thomas Merton offers valuable guidance for prayer. He brings together a wealth of meditative and mystical influences–from John of the Cross to Eastern desert monasticism–to create a spiritual path for today. Most important, he shows how the peace contacted through meditation should not be sought in order to evade the problems of contemporary life, but can instead be directed back out into the world to affect positive change. Contemplative Prayer is one of the most well-known works of spirituality of the last one hundred years, and it is a must-read for all seeking to live a life of purpose in today’s world. In a moving and profound introduction, Thich Nhat Hanh offers his personal recollections of Merton and compares the contemplative traditions of East and West. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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