Remembering the Tao of Pooh

Recently, Maggie talked about Eight Books That Changed Her. And asked which books did it for us. My answer was a little insipid and a little fluffy and a little childish, but the damn truth.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.

My sister sent me this cute little book when I was in college. During a time when I was struggling with my identity, had just emerged from the crapfest of highschool into what would end up being a great growth period during college, but yet I was still was floundering in the mire of mental garbage that everyone needs to sort through at that age. And while my sister and I are close, she also knows very well how to elicit emotion from me, both good and bad. This time, with this very simple book, about a very simple children’s book character, she brought some really really really nice feelings to the surface.

The Tao of Pooh puts forth the idea that Winnie The Pooh is actually a Taoist, and explains the principals of Taoism through the characters of AA Milne. Basically Taoism for Dummies.

I read it one sitting. And then read it again. And again.

And it opened up a whole new world of thinking to me.

That I didn’t have to push as much. That I didn’t have to hurt as much. That flowing with the water was just as fun as swimming against it.

And while I’m not always as content as Pooh, it’s nice to just float sometimes.

It’s also nice to open that old book, with its weathered pages, and see the loving inscription from my sister, from a time in my life when I really needed her.

This article has 18 comments

  1. Megan

    I love that book too.

  2. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Having it in Latin is COOL.

  3. amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay

    It is a perfect lil book. I know it well. And yes- I thought of you today when I broke it down about John Boy. 🙂

  4. Trish

    I have this book — in Latin. I have a feeling I’m missing out on a lot due to the fact that, you know, I don’t really read Latin. (It was a gift from one of my sisters from when I was in high school. Where I was — uh — the president of the Junior Classical League at my school. Clearly, the nerdiest thing possible.) (I never really understood it then, even when I sort of did read Latin.)

  5. Amy

    Wow, a blog fodder post! I shall think on it and not reveal my answer here. Although in a similarly different sort of way, I’d have to say that the Beastie Boys did for me in college what the Tao of Pooh did for you. Taught me to laugh and lighten up while also staying true to myself. I love those boys!

  6. zenrain

    i remember that…;) and i think i may have a copy in latin…i’ll check for you…

  7. mothergoosemouse

    I’ve got that one! And the Te of Piglet.

    Good read for us Type-A personalities.

  8. Trish

    @zenrain: All the cool kids have this in Latin.

  9. Leaca Young

    sweet. i am very sentimental. my daughters favorite childhood book is “i love you forever” and she had me read it to her every night. years later I was packing for a move and i grabbed the book off the shelf. i opened it one last time before packing it away and inside the back cover she had written her name in it. it melted my heart with the letters reversed written in crayon.

    aww now you have me missing the good ole days!

  10. carrie

    Whatever it is for eachof us — we were lucky to have it.

    So glad your sis did that for you.

  11. Demara

    memories! who needs ’em??? I’m glad the book helped you at just the right time!

  12. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Jules, TOTALLY. The book is great for Type As. LOL.

  13. amy

    I received this book as a gift during college, too. I loved it. Wonder if I can find my old copy…

  14. Anonymous

    Need to check it out.

  15. laurie

    What a lovely post.

  16. J at

    What a lovely post. I also read this in college, and really liked it.

  17. Sugar

    Um…yeah… me, too. I also have a Friendship Book of Pooh. Simple truths from a silly old bear…

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