Books on Taoism and the Taoist Arts

The Spirit of the Stars: Navigating Your Fate with Pole Star Astrology #KS061
by Narrye Caldwell
Softbound, 178 Pages, includes Tables and resources for creating your own Natal Charts;
PLUS companion instructional DVD

Regular: $44.95, Plum price $37.95

Pole Star astrology is a wisdom and longevity science, pointing us toward balance, and a life in perfect alignment with our true character. One of the oldest and most accurate astrology systems, it was unknown in the west until the end of China’s Imperial age a century ago. But even as it became available to westerners, it remained difficult to learn, and figuring out how to extract meaningful interpretations proved elusive.

“The Spirit of the Stars” presents, for the first time in English, clear instruction on building and interpreting a Pole Star chart. Western astrologers, practitioners of Chinese medical arts, and those pursuing the mantic arts of Feng Shui and numerology, will all benefit from the step-by-step presentation of this sophisticated system. Even those just interested in creating and understanding their own personal charts will find an accessible path in this package.

This book, with its included companion DVD, is unique in providing the necessary context for a true understanding of the Pole Star system, including the Chinese concepts of Fate, Divination and the Three Powers. Its chapters include a comprehensive breakdown on chart construction; an elucidation of each “star” in the system; and methods to interpret and synthesize the many layers of meaning in a chart. There is also a section on moving the chart through time, designed to find and evaluate future periods of luck in different areas of life. The book’s appendix is well-stocked with supplementary material.

Why is this book on Plum, a Chinese martial arts site? The brilliance of Chinese culture interrelates its various Arts, be it Astrology, Calligraphy, Medicine or Martial Arts. Also, discovering your true nature—whether while pursuing your martial practice or the life that encompasses your practice—is a worthy study which can support you and enhance your advancement. Of course, you don’t have to find the parallels between martial practice and Chinese astrology to enjoy the latter, but the concept of ‘finding the way of the water’s going’ is not foreign to either Art. Want to know more about the interrelationship? Click here.

Narrye Caldwell is a Licensed Acupuncturist, a martial artist with 35 years of experience, a classical feng shui consultant, a pole star astrologer, and a practitioner of core shamanism. As a faculty member at Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, she has incorporated Pole Star Astrology classes into the medical curriculum. She also teaches through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and the Academy of Martial & Internal Arts in Santa Cruz, CA.

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Nourishing the Essence of LifeKD014     Decoding the Dao
Nine Lessons in Daoist Meditation
Tom Bisio
$29.95, 400+ pages,

 

Tom Bisio has done us all a favor, especially those who are conducting deeper studies relating to Daoist philosophy, meditation, Qigong and the like. This book compiles years of reading and primary material and then, in classical Chinese manner, adds Bisio’s own comments and clarifying insight.

He has also added a clever method by assembling nine progressive lessons in the meditative school branch of Daoism. These lessons are well selected because they will indeed bring you into the meditative practice in one of the easiest and most developed curriculums we’ve seen in text form. Following a basic Daoist principle that encourages you to actually experience the process, to ride the river yourself, Tom has arranged Wuji Standing and other related practices in a sequence. Each section takes at least ten days to complete with the overall regiment of three months, placing your feet directly on the right path.

And that’s just the first nine chapters. Beyond these, treating the essence of Daoist material as a code—which is exactly what it is—he unravels many of the key references and symbols that have informed this practice for more than two thousand years. Some forms of knowledge become ‘coded” not because they are meant to hide things from others but because the overlap of pattern, intent and symbol could only concentrate the information into a “code.” There are times when a poem has more information than an essay. Tom Bisio’s text retains the patterns and images intact while decoding the meaning behind the cipher. I don’t mean that the rose of Daoism will just fall open like petals at dawn, but this book is definitely an on-the-desk reference collecting for you the information you might have scattered through your library. There is no other text I can think of that brings so much of Daoism’s scattered story into the same arena.

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Nourishing the Essence of LifeKN007 Nourishing the Essence of Life
Eva Wong
$15.95 ours 14.35, 104 pages,

 

This book presents three classic texts on the nature of the Tao. It examine the macrocosm of the universe related to the microcosm of the human body. We see this reflected in the three levels of Taoist teachings, the Inner, the Outer and the Secret (Xuan). The Outer level deals with Human life in its social and familial setting. The Inner level deals with the energetics of the individual practitioner. The secret level discusses transformations which bring ineffable and unpredictable aspects of cultivation. This is not a critical account of Taoism but a discussion from the standpoint of classical students. It records rituals and aspects or authentic Taoist ritual which might be confusing and a little mysterious to some but that’s Taoism at the cultural level. A very good, slim volume on ancient Taoist practices and beliefs.

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Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing)KT043 Tao Te Ching
Translated by Red Pine
$14.95 softbound, 180 pages

 

In this well-received version Red Pine not only translates the Tao but "corrects some errors" previously associated with it. This version also has a face-to-face Chinese text and selected commentaries from many scholars throughout the last 2000 years.

"The Way that becomes a Way is not the Immortal Way."

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Taoist MeditationKT014 Taoist Meditation
Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body
Translated by Thomas Cleary
$12.95, 130 pages, softbound,

 

One of Thomas Cleary's most accessible and interesting translations. This is a compilation from numerous texts on Taoist meditation (though certainly with Confucian and Buddhist perspectives also represented). Among the other, longer sections there is purported to be a section on meditation by the semi-legendary creator of T'ai Chi; CHANG SAN FENG.

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Taoist Body

KT013 Taoist Body
Kristopher Schipper
reg $33.95, Plumprice: $30.95 279 pages, softbound,

Now this is an important book ! Prof. Schipper is presently one of the world’s experts on Taoism. Unlike so many who have written on Taoism he studied from the inside, becoming a Tao Shih (Taoist Priest) in the process. Taoist Body is about real Taoism, not the coffee house variety where "everything goes". It discusses ritual, lineage, beliefs and philosophy. The chapter on the Inner Landscape is worth the price of the book. He challenges many misunderstandings and myths about the study while giving a thorough and fascinating account of Taoist traditional and its continuity through history. His book explores Taoist priesthood and its meaning. Very good work.

Note: There is only one available distributor for this book so expect a little longer wait when ordering.

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KT015 Taoist Yoga
Charles Luk(Lu KuanYu)
$12.95, 240 pages, softbound,

Often referred to as "Taoist Yoga," this is a fine text on the art of Chi Kung. One of the first ever written and widely available in the English language. Still a classic it contains not only some instruction but, more importantly, a properly respectful attitude that this (Chi Kung) is something more than a New Age exercise for the Spa of the Future.

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