The Tao of Pooh Audiobook, by Benjamin Hoff Play Audiobook Sample

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The Tao of Pooh Audiobook, by Benjamin Hoff Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Benjamin Hoff Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781452676173

Plot Summary

Three men stand over a vat of vinegar- the vinegar of life, to be precise. The first, Confucius finds life's vinegar to be sour. The second, the Buddha himself, feels life's vinegar is bitter. But the third man, Laozi, tastes the vinegar of life and finds it to be, of all things, satisfying. This famous story- and painting- of the founders of the three great Eastern philosophies, is the first thing one encounters when reading The Tao of Pooh.

In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff presents the teachings of Laozi in a readily understandable manner, relying upon the characters of A. A. Milne's classic children's stories, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. Sometimes these characters recite their words from those classic books, and sometimes they present new ideas which cannot be found in Milne's work, but seem to be entirely consistent with what we know of them. Each character represents one or more of the ideas of Taoism, some negative things to be avoided, and some positive aspects which are the central tenets of the Tao.

While the other characters generally represent ideas which contrast the central tenets of Tao, Pooh himself is seen as representative of the Taoist philosophical foundation, and also the characteristics of wei wu wei and pu. That these characteristics sound strikingly similar to the parts of Pooh's name is but one of the whimsical aspects of this introduction to the Tao.

Benjamin Hoff was an American author, born in Oregon in 1946. A student of Asian culture, Hoff wrote the Tao of Pooh on nights and weekends while working as a tree pruner in a Japanese garden. In addition to writing, Hoff has also been a member of a pop band, and spends time as a composer and amateur nature photographer. In 2006, Hoff renounced the publishing industry and publicly resigned as an author.

Publisher Summary

Winnie-the-Pooh has a certain Way about him, a way of doing things that has made him the world's most beloved bear. In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff shows that Pooh's Way is amazingly consistent with the principles of living envisioned by the Chinese founders of Taoism. The author's explanation of Taoism through Pooh, and Pooh through Taoism, shows that this is not simply an ancient and remote philosophy but something you can use, here and now.And what is Taoism? It's really very simple. It calls for living without preconceived ideas about how life should be lived-but it's not a preconception of how life-it's.... Well, you'd do better to listen to this book, and listen to Pooh, if you really want to find out.

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Quotes

  • “Vance demonstrates his great range, shifting easily from didactic sections of the book to fictional narrative and imbuing Milne’s characters with distinct voices…This audio edition, due in large part to Vance’s performance, is surprisingly engaging and accessible.”

    - Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)
  • “Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.”

    - Amazon.com, editorial review
  • “Hoff explains the central tenets of Taoism and further illustrates them with familiar excerpts from The House at Pooh Corner stories, Chinese proverbs, maxims, and tales from Lao Tzu and others. The result is at once thought-provoking and charming.”

    - Library Journal

Awards

  • An Audible.com bestseller

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " The book I come back to time after time. "

    - Matt, 2/20/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This is enjoyable and quick to read, with some fun Chinese history and wonderful interpretations of the lovable characters from the Hundred Acre Wood in terms of Taoism and of Taoism in terms of the characters, with Pooh as the Taoist hero, of course. Towards the end degenerates into a slightly preachy, let's-all-hold-hands-and-be-Taoists, ramble. "

    - Leslie, 2/9/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " not the box set...I have no piglet. Do you? "

    - Jia, 2/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This book SO inspired me to think outside the box without being preachy or to "intellectual". I think they should have this be required reading in grammar school. "

    - Breeze, 2/1/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " These books are fun, insightful, and uplifting. "

    - Denise, 1/30/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Pooh makes taoism simple. With an old friend as your guide, the taoist prinicples are explained. Basically this book teaches you to slow life down and enjoy it's ride. Very calming for our life stressors - "roll with the punches." "

    - Keri, 1/29/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Love, love, love anything Pooh related. These books were very practical, as well. "

    - Daphne, 1/20/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Fascinating foray into eastern religion "

    - Brett, 1/13/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I LOVE THESE BOOKS.. one i can read over and over and over again and enjoy ever minute of it :-) "

    - Kristen, 1/7/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " interesting read. not a lot of substance to it. "

    - Bobby, 12/29/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " One of my favorite books. And it's one that I can see myself re-reading often. "

    - Jenny, 12/27/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Best way of explaining Taoism in this little book. Simple, but amazing. "

    - Shalamar, 12/23/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Interesting connections between Pooh Bear and Taoism. "

    - Gregory, 12/20/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " easy to read beautiful little taoist philosophy book. a new kind of approach to learning about the tao using the characters of winnie the pooh. fucking yay. "

    - Kirstin, 12/20/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " First read as an adolescent, this one still has a resonance to maintain that child's heart from defining a personal connection to the Universe. "

    - Dr., 12/1/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " very good intro to the principles of the tao... "

    - clara, 11/16/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This book is a great book to have to be read and reread for a lifetime. I'm on my 3rd time around. "

    - Bearclaw, 11/7/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " tao te ching for dummies. so good. "

    - Castelle, 8/29/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I know, I know---I give a lot of 5 stars! But you will adore this book. Again, I highlighted a bunch of it, and need to re-read. Didn't read Piglet, but it didn't give me the option to pick just one. "

    - Michelle, 7/12/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " the first book i ever read and enjoyed, very zen in simple language "

    - Mmccagh23, 3/18/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Got to read this. a friend showed this book to me. RIP richard! "

    - Monica, 3/12/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I love both of these books and re-read them from time to time to get new perspectives on life. They are each a joy. "

    - Carisa, 2/28/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " My first introduction to Eastern philosophy when I was just a kid... LOVE this book set :) "

    - April, 10/11/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " The message is keep it simple! "

    - Kristin, 9/3/2012
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This was a really fun book to read. The applications to Taoism are simplistic, but I think that's the point. It is appears, however, that that the author has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to academia. "

    - Dan, 8/5/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I think everyone should read this book. Taoism is trying to be good naturally...what most of us want anyway. Very easy read "

    - Kendra, 7/24/2012
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Love them!In my most cherished collection of life changers. "

    - Patricia, 6/2/2012
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " In my opinion, does a great job of explaining the principles of Taoism for the everyday normal folk like myself. "

    - Cameron, 5/10/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Both books are good, but I really liked the Te of Piglet. Daoist principles applied to these beloved characters. "

    - Jennifer, 4/19/2012

About the Author

Benjamin Hoff is an Oregon writer, photographer, musician, and composer with a fondness for forests and bears. When not writing, he practices Taoist yoga, T’ai Chi Ch’üan, stunt kite-flying, boomerang shaping and throwing, and Taoist tennis, whatever that is. He is the author of The Tao of Pooh, The Te of Piglet, and The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow: The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.