Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tao Books: The Tao of Inner Peace

Since I've been quoting from quite a few books while doing this series on the Tao Te Ching, I got to thinking that some of you may be interested in reading something about the authors, a book review or two and what I happen to think of each book. I'll try to intersperse these posts over the course of the next two months. If you aren't interested in this kind of information, then you might want to stop reading this post beyond this point. : )

The first book I thought I'd tell you about is The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher. The version I'm using was published in 1991, but an updated version hit the shelves in 2000. The earlier version has 301 pages and is in paperback.

According to Dreher's website,
Diane Dreher is the author of the bestselling, The Tao of Inner Peace as well as her new book, Your Personal Renaissance, The Tao of Personal Leadership, The Tao of Womanhood, and Inner Gardening. Her books have been published in ten languages and distributed throughout the world.

Diane has been a teacher, spiritual counselor, workshop leader, and retreat director for over twenty years. In her writing, teaching, and counseling, she has helped thousands of people discover their life's work. Her latest book, Your Personal Renaissance, draws upon her research on the lives of over one hundred Renaissance artists, writers, scientists, and saints as well as leading research in positive psychology to show how people can discover their own callings today.

Diane has a Ph.D. in Renaissance English literature from UCLA as well as credentials in spiritual counseling and holistic health. She is Professor of English and Research Associate at the Spirituality and Health Institute, Santa Clara University.
I have enjoyed reading The Tao of Inner Peace for a second time. In my opinion, Dreher does a very good job of highlighting portions of the TTC and relating each to important contemporary themes. She often provides real-life examples of how incorporating Taoist principles have had a positive impact on a person's life.

The only part of the book I'm not as keen on are the various Personal Exercises peppered throughout the book. I skipped over every single one of them.

Here's the review from the Quality Paperback Book Club (please note that the original title of the book, mentioned below, is The Tao of Peace):
With the exception of the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Tao Te Ching--the classic Chinese spiritual guide written 25 centuries ago by Lao Tzu. The Tao ('the Way') shows how to 'seek personal balance and integration with the cycles of nature.' But it has never been applied to the challenges of modern life so comprehensively--until now. In the inspirational and practical The Tao of Peace, Diane Dreher explains how Taoist principles can be used by readers to establish inner peace and, by extension, transform the world.

Lively, informative and accessible, The Tao of Peace is filled with case histories, provocative insights and positive affirmations. Also included are meditative and physical exercises (such as creative visualization, breathing and stretching exercises, and writing activities) which enable readers to face fears, release tensions, resolve conflicts, recognize life cycles and harmonize their lives with the rhythms of nature. Dreher also draws upon the humanistic insights of Carl Jung, Dag Hammarskjold, Norman Cousins, and others to illustrate how spiritual beliefs can further the cause of world peace.

Diane Dreher has written numerous articles on meditation, personal growth, and nonviolence. In The Tao of Peace she has employed all of her talents and experiences to create a powerful tool for finding peace of mind and engendering positive social change.


  1. Diane Dreher's The Tao of Inner Peace is one of my favorite books and one that I recommend constantly. A wonderful guide for applying Taoist principles to everyday life.

  2. uplifting during a period of change...diane's interpretation of ttc clears the muddy water of several versions...please think of adding it to your published offerings in this unfinished step closer


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