Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Tao Of Willie: A Book Review

I am the type of person who turns to books when I need guidance. I like to be able to read and reread and absorb and question and read further. It helps me to work things through in my head. I like to presume that books work this way for others, so I tend to give books as gifts, especially when I want to maybe pass on subtle hints. One of those hints I passed on last year was 'The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart'. (Yes, that is Willie, as in Willie Nelson.) I gave it to Colb in an attempt to give him some insight on living simply. I am just now getting around to reading it myself and I really enjoyed it.

The book is Willie's life as it relates to the philosophical text of the Tao Te Ching. If you are looking for a deep, theoretical dissection of Taoism, this is not the book. But, if you like a nice, simple good ol' boys take on happiness, this is a fun read. Especially since he clearly did not set aside his penchant for his marijuana pipe to write the book; it's quite a journey to meander through.

If you are not a Willie Nelson fan, or just want the Cliffs Notes, here are some of the quotes I dog eared while I read:

One of these hints I passed on was the respect of others must be earned through the positive qualities of our actions.

You can't always change the circumstances of your life, but you can change your perception of those circumstances and of the world around you by any creative act. So to each of you, I say "Create!" It doesn't matter what: a line of poetry, a phrase of a song or a perfect pot roast.

I've noticed that people spend too much much time worrying about what someone else is doing or saying... If someone's a jerk, that's their misfortune, not yours.

Let go and you'll be free to find happiness now. And the best part of that, is that once you learn to do it, you can do it again and again and again, until it becomes instinctive.

What is the incredible secret? It is the word 'Now' It is the understanding that happiness exists at just one time. And that time is now.

We wake up in a new world every day, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

...we are left with the simple fact that the beauty of life is in the discovery of things as they happen.

Go on, give yourself a long, hard look in the mirror... Look at the shape of your smile and the glint in your eyes. Is it you, or is it a mask you wear for other people?

We'd probably all be a lot happier if we'd just remember how lucky we are to be alive on the beautiful planet.

It's easy to be false with other people, but to be false to yourself is a waste of your life on Earth.

I find it curious that wherever you go on earth, the fundamental teachings remain the same. Underlying everything is he simple idea of love.

Real people do not forget their beginnings or look for their end. Real people know their age is good. And that old age is also good. And that any age is good.

I believe in peace. I also believe that culture and knowledge are capable of bringing about both freedom and peace.
Connections to those around you, to the world around us all, and to the universe that stretches to the great beyond are the things that define us.

I would recommend it. Go on over to Mama Kat's Losin' It and maybe find some other book reviews to pique your interest in her writers workshop...


  1. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'll have to add this to my list of books to read. I'll check if my library has it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love it and I'm getting it for my husband.

    Thank you! I've been looking everywhere for a book he might like!