It’s nearly four decades since Benjamin Hoff released his bestseller, The Tao of Pooh. The book focused on Taoist life lessons. Taoism is a philosophy with its origins in China. Taoism teaches listeners how to live in harmony with the universe. What Benjamin did was to show that practitioners are not automatically wise women and men from the Far East. Rather, the real master of Tao was Winnie the Pooh.
The Tao of Pooh offers precious life lessons that truly resonate with our new reality. The central character of the book is Winnie the Pooh. Winnie personifies the Taoist belief of non-action or merely being. Other characters, like Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and Eeyore represent the human
predisposition to overcomplicate things in life. Taoism: The word Tao means ‘path’ or ‘way’, and Taoism has its roots in an ancient book written in about the 3rd century BC −Tao Te Ching (The Way and its Power) by
Laozi; although some believe the book was written by different authors. Still, in simple terms, the philosophical tradition which emanated from the book explains how to live life sensibly. It teaches us that change is one
constant in our lives; and that balance does not last for long. More so, we should follow the path that will offer us the least resistance, such as water does, and merely go with the flow.
In the Tao of Pooh this idea of accepting
the flow of life is captured:
“To know the way,
we go the way,
we do the way.
The way we do,
the things we do,
it’s all there in front of you.
But if you try too hard to see it,
you’ll only become confused.
I am me and you are you.
As you can see;
but when you do,
the things that you can do,
you will find the way.
The way will follow you.”
Some life lessons from the Tao of Pooh
The lessons focus on self-reflection and meditation, which are tools used to become your most true self. The result will be a life fulfilled with happiness, fulfillment, and peace.
That effortless way of going about life is what Pooh is known for. He does not try to change or control things − instead, he just lets life happen. This is was Taoists call ‘wu wei’, or letting go, and letting be. Don’t confuse this with laziness, rather “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Relax. Slow down
We most often rush through life because we fear that we are wasting time. A lesson from Pooh is that you can’t waste time – time can only be spent. Therefore stop speeding through life, and slow down. Be simple.