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The Second Book of the Tao Audiobook

The Second Book of the Tao

The Second Book of the Tao is a gift to contemporary readers, granting us access to our own fundamental wisdom. Mitchell's meditations and risky reimagining of the original texts are brilliant and liberating, not least because they keep catching us off-guard, opening up the heavens where before we saw a roof. He makes the ancient teachings at once modern, relevant, and timeless.
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Publisher's Summary

The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living. Following the phenomenal success of his own version of the Tao Te Ching, renowned scholar and translator Stephen Mitchell has composed the innovative The Second Book of the Tao.

Drawn from the work of Lao-tzu's disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius's grandson Tzussu, The Second Book of the Tao offers Western readers a path into reality that has nothing to do with Taoism or Buddhism or old or new alone, but everything to do with truth. Mitchell has selected the freshest, clearest teachings from these two great students of the Tao and adapted them into versions that reveal the poetry, depth, and humor of the original texts with a thrilling new power. Alongside each adaptation, Mitchell includes his own commentary, at once explicating and complementing the text.

This book is a 21st-century form of ancient wisdom, bringing a new, homemade sequel to the Tao Te Ching into the modern world. Mitchell's renditions are radiantly lucid; they dig out the vision that's hiding beneath the words; they grab the text by the scruff of the neck - by its heart, really - and let its essential meanings fall out. The book introduces us to a cast of vivid characters, most of them humble artisans or servants, who show us what it means to be in harmony with the way things are. Its wisdom provides a psychological and moral acuity as deep as the Tao Te Ching itself.

The Second Book of the Tao is a gift to contemporary readers, granting us access to our own fundamental wisdom. Mitchell's meditations and risky reimagining of the original texts are brilliant and liberating, not least because they keep catching us off-guard, opening up the heavens where before we saw a roof. He makes the ancient teachings at once modern, relevant, and timeless.

©2009 Stephen Mitchell; (P)2009 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (132 )
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  •  
    Emily J Blair 02-27-09 Member Since 2009
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    "it will take you there"

    For those who have listened to or studied 'The Tao', this will bring smiles. Irreverant, yet relevant. From me, there is no greater compliment. I was not sure I wanted to continue my Audiobook subscription. Just to be able to re-listen to this title is worth more than I can say.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-03-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-03-10 Member Since 2016

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sequel to the Tao Te Ching"

    Of course there was never a Second Book of the Tao... not until now. I was introduced to his fiction writing with Meetings With the Archangel, but Stephen Mitchell is more widely known for his translations and adaptations of ancient classics such as The Tao Te Ching. He is the translator of Rainer Maria Rilke and the book of Job as well as Gilgamesh and the Bhagavad Gita. One would think it difficult to pen one preeminent translation of a text thousands of years old. But Stephen Mitchell has done just that; over and over again.

    The Second Book of the Tao consists of adaptations from the work of two ancient Chinese scholars: a Laotzu disciple, Chuang-tzu, and Tzu-ssu, the grandson of Confucius. While I have read several translations of the Tao Te Ching, there is none to compare with that of Stephen Mitchell. There is no other anthology for the “second book” and so Mitchell’s rendition must remain the best also. This book would be an impossible act to follow were it not written by Stephen Mitchell. As one reviewer put it: “It takes you there.”

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-02-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Absolutely Great!!!!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Second Book of the Tao to be better than the print version?

    Both books are fantastic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the humor and simplicity.


    What about Stephen Mitchell’s performance did you like?

    Very good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I will definitely listen to it again and again and again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen STOCKTON, CA, United States 02-27-12
    Stephen STOCKTON, CA, United States 02-27-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Sublime!"
    Would you listen to The Second Book of the Tao again? Why?

    I would and have listen to this book again. It is an excellent book and I enjoy the commentary from Stephen Mitchell. This book gets you closer to the ineffable nature of the Tao. I loved Mitchell's translation of the Tao De Ching, but this book offers even more perspectives. There is humor and stories that illustrate what the Tao may be or look like. However, if anyone is familiar with the Tao, then they would know not to even try to know what it is!


    What other book might you compare The Second Book of the Tao to and why?

    This book was written as companion book, or at least that's what Mitchell states.
    I believe he has done an excellent job with following-up to the original. Though I listen to the original often, The Second Book of the Tao has an entertainment quality to it.


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Mitchell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have listen to the Tao De Ching and they are both 5 star ratings.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, in the sense it brought the Tao into clearer focus, if such a thing could be even be done.


    Any additional comments?

    I study Aikido and this book is an excellent book about non-doing. It doesn't matter if it is Aikido, Golf, or cooking, the Tao is in all actions. This book will help you understand things are the way they are because they are supposed to be that way. With that, approaching everything without effort is truly liberating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    oded noy 12-15-15
    oded noy 12-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful wisdom - beautifully delivered"

    A delightful delivery of ancient wisdom - yet it's so refreshingly fresh. For anyone interested in Zen or Tao - this book is like drinking nectar.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RedHeadMomma 11-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "What a wonderful listen"

    Stephen has truly accomplished something amazing with this book.

    He chose very well which passages to include and gives very thoughtful interpretations between.

    I have listened many times and I can't help but smile and think deeply throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan 11-05-15
    Juan 11-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "be like water"

    This book is very spiritual and emotional it gives you life's simplicity understanding of being tranquil.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lester Strong 07-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Profoundly insightful"

    Mitchell has captured the essence of these timeless scriptures and conveyed their meaning through his highly contemporary and accessible commentary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John King Los Angeles 05-14-15
    John King Los Angeles 05-14-15

    kingofla

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    "excellent useful in deepening study of the Tao"

    well produced and very accessible original extension of one of the classic how to books of all time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 01-14-15
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 01-14-15 Member Since 2011
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    "A great book and a complement to the Tao Chi Ching"

    The author takes two books at opposite ends of the spectrum and combines them in a nice complementary way. Along the way he ties these two back into the Tao Chi Ching. I enjoyed it and learned a lot. I won’t spoil and of it, but to tell you to read it. Remember this is easier than the Tao Chi Ching to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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