August 17, 2009

New Books--August 2009

Two books on taijiquan:
The Complete Taiji Dao: The Art of the Chinese Saber by Zhang Yun (Blue Snake Books). "The dao, a single-edged sword with a curved blade, is one of the most popular weapons in traditional Chinese martial arts. The art of Taiji Dao is a set of skills for using the dao, derived from the popular martial art Taijiquan. One of the most important aspects of Taijiquan practice."

The Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan: Wisdom from Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Other Great Thinkers by Freya Boedicker and Martin Boedicker(Blue Snake Books) "The essence of Tai Chi Chuan lies in the rich philosophy of ancient China. While most Tai Chi practitioners are aware of the value that studying Chinese philosophy can bring to their practice, it is often difficult to pick out those texts that are most relevant to Tai Chi...."

Two new books from Three Pines Press focus on Daoism:
Beyond the Daode jing: Twofold Mystery in Tang Daoism by Friederike Assandri
"Developing at a time of intense interaction and debate among Daoists and Buddhists, Twofold Mystery integrates many originally Buddhist concepts into a Daoist theory of salvation based on, yet going beyond, the Daode jing. Heir to the philosophical tradition of Dark Learning or Mystery Study as well as to Daoist devotional and immortality schools of the Six Dynasties, Twofold Mystery is key to understanding medieval Daoist thought."
Internal Alchemy: Self, Society and the Quest for Immortality book coverInternal Alchemy: Self, Society, and the Quest for Immortality
edited by Livia Kohn and Robin R. Wang
"Internal alchemy (neidan) has been the dominant system of Daoist spiritual practice since the Song dynasty, when it was defined as the complex integration of multiple forms of Daoist self-cultivation. Its practitioners transform body energies into subtle levels of spirit and pure cosmic being, hoping to find illumination by returning to the fundamental order of the cosmos and in the process reconcile physiological training with intellectual speculation."

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