The respected Trappist monk Thomas Merton spent several years reading and The Way of Chuang Tzu, by Thomas Merton, is the product of five years of. Chuang Tzu—considered, along with Lao Tzu, one of the great figures of early The respected Trappist monk Thomas Merton spent several years reading and. A light bulb went off as well when I realized that Chuang Tzu was also one of Thomas Merton’s favorite writers. Merton wrote his own versions.

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Should I just read the book straight? After Merton’s thoughtful introduction to the teaching of Chuang Tzu, the bulk of this book is composed of the often witty and humorous short stories and parables of Chuang Tzu. In our brief moment of life, though, it is in our interest to live within our bounds as individual and social harmony is the result. He is ranked among the greatest of literary and philosophical giants that China has produced. That ropes, locks, and bolts may give way.

Quotes from The Way of Chuang He sees ‘happiness’ and ‘the good’ as ‘something to be attained,’ and thus he places them outside himself in the world of objects. Rulers were simply the highest branches on the tree, and the people were like deer in the woods.

The Way of Chuang Tzu – Thomas Merton – Google Books

The first bunch are from Merton’s introduction. Chuang Tzu, Merton succeeds in explaining, does not look at paradise as “something that has been irrevocably lost by sin and cannot be regained except by redemption. Curiously, when I first read it I felt it wasn’t up to 5 stars, and gave it a 3. I read Chuang Tzu first in a literature class in college. Merton brilliantly synthesizes Chuang Tzu’s critique of the Confucian ethic of the “Superior Man” with the example of the heroic and the virtuous public servant by explaining that even the good and the noble person: Chuang is thomass poetic fulfillment of Taoist philosophy.


You will find bliss only when you stop trying to find it and stop trying to judge experiences as joyful or not. This concept of Wu Wei is reminiscent of the Gospel passage mefton Saint Matthew, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me MT Apr 05, Wise Fool rated it really liked it.

It is a perfect level; A carpenter could use it. Instead, Chuang Tzu advocated Wu Wei, or non-action. It is a life reduced to essentials and a life where the material life most tohmas us cannot avoid living plays little part.

Return to Book Page. The reader has to supply that part.

The Way of Chuang Tzu by Zhuangzi

Chuang Tzu illustrates the way with fables rather than epigrams. Similarly, Saint Paul echoes this theme in Galatians 2: According thhomas Chuang Tzu, only when one was connected in some way to the Eternal Tao a connection beyond both words and silencecould one truly begin to understand how to live.


To stand out, by seeking fame and riches and power, is to upset that balance and, thereby, trigger adverse reaction tension, conflict, violence until order balance is restored.


Love of colors bewitches the ear And it loses its true hearing. Matter acts and matter reacts until equilibrium is achieved. Chuang Tzu is considered the greatest of the Taoist writers tuomas least among those whose historical existence can be verified that lived during the classic period of Chinese philosophy from to BC. That beauty, when overdone, becomes ugliness. I would never have expected to receive such help from an ancient mystic Chinese sage!

The Way of Chuang Tzu (Shambhala Library)

Be like a meeton that swims unconcerned. From the various commentaries on the subject, “Tao” generally means the ultimate pinciple that governs all, the path of the cosmos. I have read two other translations of Chuang Tzu and this is without a doubt the best.

Serve not just humanity, but the greater spirit of the cosmos. Usually there is no way to figure it out for sure; either or both might be what the original author intended.