Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science, and the Power of Spontaneity

They believed it was the source of all success in life, and they developed various strategies for getting it and hanging on to it. Trying not to try is mind-expanding and deeply pleasurable, the perfect antidote to our striving modern culture. Broadway Books. A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity—an ancient chinese ideal that cognitive scientists are only now beginning to understand—and why it is so essential to our well-being   Why is it always hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a politician who seems wooden or a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all of these cases, striving seems to backfire.

Slingerland uncovers a direct line from wu-wei to the Force in Star Wars, explains why wu-wei is more powerful than flow, and tells us what it all means for getting a date. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives.

In trying not to try, edward slingerland explains why we find spontaneity so elusive, and shows how early Chinese thought points the way to happier, more authentic lives. We’ve long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. But recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life, like happiness and spontaneity, are best pursued indirectly.

The early chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world, which they called wu-wei ooo-way.

The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life

Excellence comes from what we choose to do, not our natural abilities. Its most radical idea is that there is no path to follow in the first place—just a journey we create anew at every moment by seeing and doing things differently. A note from the publisher: to read relevant passages from the original works of Chinese philosophy, see our ebook Confucius, Xunzi: Selected Passages, Zhuangzi, Laozi, Mencius, available wherever books are sold.

Influence comes not from wielding power but from holding back. Simon Schuster. A good life emerges not from planning it out, but through training ourselves to respond well to small moments. Good relationships come not from being sincere and authentic, but from the rituals we perform within them. With its…spirited, convincing vision, revolutionary new insights can be gleaned from this book on how to approach life’s multifarious situations with both heart and head” Kirkus Reviews.

And what are these counterintuitive ideas? Transformation comes not from looking within for a true self, but from creating conditions that produce new possibilities. Astonishing teachings emerged two thousand years ago through the work of a succession of Chinese scholars exploring how humans can improve themselves and their society.

In other words, the path “opens the mind” Huffington Post and upends everything we are told about how to lead a good life. For the first time, an award-winning harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how ancient ideas—like the fallacy of the authentic self—can guide you on the path to a good life today.

Confucianism: A Short Introduction

The key topics covered include: the intellectual and social role of women; Confucianism, art and poetry; the relationship with the western world and western faiths. Capturing the full scope of an ancient tradition, well-research and accessible text should be of interest to anyone interested in Confucianism, this innovative, scholars, students and general readers alike Simon Schuster.

Used book in Good Condition. The result offers a fascinating insight, but also into the nature of belief, not only into the intellectual and scholarly aspects of Confucianism, culture and society in a living philosophical tradition. Against the backdrop of 17th century China, together with their family, friends and staff, the book follows a Confucian couple, through a typical day.

Blending scholarship with an original approach, this new introduction to Confucianism is an informative and intriguing guide to China's ancient philosophical tradition.

Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West

A plainspoken account of living in Asia. San francisco chronicleAnyone who has heard his weekly commentary on NPR knows that T. Fascinating. Clearly stated, interesting and provoking. Reid is trenchant, funny, and deeply knowledgeable reporter and now he brings this erudition and humor to the five years he spent in Japan--where he served as The Washington Post's Tokyo bureau chief.

He provides unique insights into the country and its 2, 500-year-old Confucian tradition, a powerful ethical system that has played an integral role in the continent's "postwar miracle. Whether describing his neighbor calmly asserting that his son's loud bass playing brings disrepute on the neighborhood, or the Japanese custom of having students clean the schools, Reid inspires us to consider the many benefits of the Asian Way--as well as its drawbacks--and to use this to come to a greater understanding of both Japanese culture and America.

Simon Schuster. Used book in Good Condition. R.

Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less

Packed with interesting anecdotes, a dozen puzzles to test your reasoning, Hare Brain, and the latest related research, Tortoise Mind is an Illuminating, uplifting, stimulating read that focuses on a new kind of well-being and cognition. Used book in Good Condition. It suggests that patience and confusion-rather than rigor and certainty-are the essential precursors of wisdom.

With a compelling argument that the mind works best when we trust our unconscious, or "undermind, " psychologist Guy Claxton makes an appeal that we be less analytical and let our creativity have free rein. He also encourages reevaluation of society's obsession with results-oriented thinking and problem-solving under pressure.

Simon Schuster. In these accelerated times, paradox, our decisive and businesslike ways of thinking are unprepared for ambiguity, and sleeping on it. We assume that the quick-thinking "hare brain" will beat out the slower Intuition of the "tortoise mind. However, now research in cognitive science is changing this understanding of the human mind.


On Having No Head

Used book in Good Condition. First published in 1961, this is a classic work which conveys the experience that mystics of all times have tried to put words to. Past and future dropped away. Simon Schuster. Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. Lighter than air, altogether released from myself, clearer than glass, I was nowhere around.

Thus douglas harding describes his first experience of headlessness, or no self. I forgot my name, my thingness, my humanness, all that could be called me or mine.

The Heart of Understanding

Simon Schuster. The heart of understandingoffers a recording of thich nhat Hanh's lecture on the Heart Sutra at the Green Gulch Zen Center in Muir Beach, on April 19, California, 1987. Used book in Good Condition. It is recited daily in Mahayana temples and practice centers throughout the world. The heart of the prajaparamita Sutra is regarded as the essence of Buddhist teaching.


Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics and Creative Work

Lewis, J. Many artists, writers, and other creative people do their best work when collaborating within a circle of like-minded friends. R. In a unique study, Michael P. Simon Schuster. R. S. Anthony; the fugitive poets; and the writers Joseph Conrad and Ford Maddox Ford. Tolkien, and the inklings; social reformers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.

Used book in Good Condition. Farrell looks at the group dynamics in six collaborative circles, and gives vivid narrative accounts of each: the French Impressionists; Sigmund Freud and his friends; C.

Effortless Living: Wu-Wei and the Spontaneous State of Natural Harmony

A guide for achieving an enlightened mind through the art of non-doing • details meditation practices, and hindu principles along with scientific findings to support wu-wei--the art of non-doing, focused on stillness of the mind, non-forcing--as a way of life • Explains how wu-wei practitioners cultivate intelligent spontaneity and effortless action to allow the natural harmony of the cosmos to prevail The practice of non-doing, along with Patanjali’s yoga methods to maintain a consciousness referred to as “being in the zone” • Builds on Taoist, Confucian, non-forcing is an essential aspect of Taoism known as wu-wei.

Experienced by the greatest artists, and writers, referred to as “being in the zone, athletes, musicians, this heightened state of consciousness, ” is where intelligent spontaneity and effortless action flourish via a practice rooted in permitting the natural harmony of the cosmos to prevail. Merging taoist philosophy, and confucianism along with scientific findings, Hindu principles, revealing that when we release our ego and allow life to unfold as it will, Jason Gregory outlines the practice of wu-wei as a vehicle to realize our innate freedom, we align ourselves more closely with our goals and cultivate skill and mastery along the way.

Equating “being in the zone” with a stillness of the mind, gregory shares meditation practices coupled with yoga exercises from Patanjali that allow you to approach life with a mastery of acceptance, releasing deluded beliefs of how to achieve success that make your mind “sticky” and poised for conflict.

Used book in Good Condition. Revealing wisdom utilized by renowned sages, artists, and athletes who have adapted “being in the zone” as a way of life, the author shows that wu-wei can yield a renewed sense of trust in many aspects of your daily life, making each day more effortless. The author shows how practicing wu-wei paradoxically empowers you to accomplish all that you desire by having no intention to do so, as well as allowing you to become receptive to nature’s blueprint for expressing beauty.

Philosophers of the Warring States: A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy

It includes the analects of confucius, lao zi dao de jing, xun zi, mo Zi, and Han Fei Zi, Meng Zi Mencius, Zhuang Zi, as well as short chapters on the Da Xue and the Zhong Yong. Philosophers of the warring states is an anthology of new translations of essential readings from the classic texts of early Chinese philosophy, informed by the latest scholarship.

Used book in Good Condition. The translations aim to be true to the originals yet accessible, with the goal of opening up these rich and subtle philosophical texts to modern readers without prior training in Chinese thought. Pedagogically organized, this book offers philosophically sophisticated annotations and commentaries as well as an extensive glossary explaining key philosophical concepts in detail.

Simon Schuster.

What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada

Simon Schuster. Rahula’s what the buddha taught fills the need as only could be done by one having a firm grasp of the vast material to be sifted. It is a model of what a book should be that is addressed first of all to ‘the educated and intelligent reader. Authoritative and clear, logical and sober, this study is as comprehensive as it is masterly.

A classic introductory book to buddhism, contains a selection of illustrative texts from the original Pali texts, and a bibliography, glossary, sixteen illustrations, including the Suttas and the Dhammapada specially translated by the author, What the Buddha Taught, and index. This comprehensive, lucid, compact, universities, and faithful account of the Buddha’s teachings persistently enjoys great popularity in colleges, and theological schools both here and abroad.

An exposition of Buddhism conceived in a resolutely modern spirit. From the Foreword. For years, ” says the journal of the Buddhist Society, “the newcomer to Buddhism has lacked a simple and reliable introduction to the complexities of the subject. Used book in Good Condition. Dr.