Book Review: Hoff’s Tao of Pooh

the_tao_of_poohbook_coverDo you want to learn how to calmly handle many of the problems, plot twists, and challenges that life hurls at us? Most of us do. Just ask yourself one question: What would Pooh do?

Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh offers readers a beginner’s course in Taoism by using the characters from Winnie The Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner to illustrate its main principles. For example, Pooh’s simplicity and unconventional problem solving techniques represent the basic ideas of Taoism, as well as his ability to always seem calm and to just be still. Owl depicts the over-thinker and making things complicated, while Rabbit is the over-doer to the point of chaos. Eeyore represents negativity and constant complaining, which end up being his own downfall and Piglet portrays the hesitator and the worrier. Who would have thought that the beloved characters from a childhood story could be used to teach us as adults how to effectively use Taoist-like skills in problem solving?

Hoff’s book is, of course, enjoyable to read and can be finished in a sitting or two. By the time the reader gets to the end of the book, there is a sense that one can apply Taoism to their lives immediately. Sometimes all you need is a reminder that there are multiple ways of evaluating and solving a problem. However, we all need the over-thinker, the over-doer, the worrier, and the pessimist. And of course, we all need the unlimited possibility of the uncarved block, or P’u.

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