Cover image for Lieh-tzu : a Taoist guide to practical living
Lieh-tzu : a Taoist guide to practical living
Liezi, active 4th century B.C.
Uniform Title:
Liezi. English
[Paperback edition].
Publication Information:
Boston ; London : Shambhala, 2001.

Physical Description:
x, 246 pages ; 22 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL1900.L482 E5 1995C Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Lieh-tzu is a collection of stories and philosophical musings of a sage of the same name who lived around the fourth century BCE. Lieh-tzu's teachings range from the origin and purpose of life, the Taoist view of reality, and the nature of enlightenment to the training of the body and mind, communication, and the importance of personal freedom. This distinctive translation presents Lieh-tzu as a friendly, intimate companion speaking directly to the reader in a contemporary voice about matters relevant to our everyday lives.

Author Notes

Eva Wong, Ph.D., is a practitioner of the Taoist arts and a member of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism. She is the translator of Cultivating Stillness and Seven Taoist Masters.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Perhaps the best-known sacred texts of Taoism are the Tao Te Ching and the Chung Tzu. Yet the Lieh-Tzu is familiar to Taoists as a practical guide to the workings of everyday life. Although philosophic in its approach to the creation of the world, the Lieh-Tzu focuses primarily on matters like the nature and development of happiness, the emptiness of rank and wealth, and the value of trust and confidence. Wong, director of studies at the Fung Loy Kok Taoist Temple in Denver, offers a bright and lively translation that captures the essential insights of the Lieh-Tzu. Recommended primarily for academic and large public libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading Lieh-tzup. 1
Part 1 The Gifts of Heaven
Introductionp. 24
1. That which is not born gives birth to everythingp. 25
2. All things are connected and come from the same originp. 28
3. Heaven and earth have their strengths and weaknessesp. 30
4. Life and deathp. 32
5. Shadows, sounds, and ghostsp. 33
6. The stages of lifep. 35
7. Life is hard work, death is restp. 37
8. The value of emptinessp. 41
9. Are things growing or decaying?p. 42
10. Worrying that the sky will fallp. 43
11. Life that is borrowed, wealth that is stolenp. 45
Part 2 The Yellow Emperor
Introductionp. 50
12. The Yellow Emperor visits the immortal landsp. 51
13. Riding on the wind, floating with the cloudsp. 54
14. The art of staying under water and walking through firep. 56
15. The art of archeryp. 58
16. Feats of powerp. 59
17. The art of taming tigersp. 62
18. The art of steering a boatp. 64
19. The art of swimmingp. 65
20. The man who could walk through firep. 67
21. Lieh-tzu and the sorcererp. 69
22. Lieh-tzu's fearp. 72
23. Lao-tzu teaches Yang-chup. 74
24. What is there to appearances?p. 76
25. Softness and hardness, yielding and resistingp. 78
Part 3 King Mu of Ch'ou
Introductionp. 82
26. King Mu's dreamp. 85
27. Learning the arcane artsp. 88
28. Dreamsp. 90
29. The truth about happiness and miseryp. 93
30. What is real and what is unreal?p. 95
31. The man who lost his memoryp. 97
32. Who is confused?p. 99
33. The man who got upset over nothingp. 101
Part 4 Confucius
Introductionp. 104
34. True happiness and contentmentp. 105
35. Seeing with ears and hearing with eyesp. 108
36. Who is a sage?p. 110
37. What is wisdom?p. 112
38. The man with a wooden facep. 113
39. The art of traveling and sightseeingp. 115
40. Lung-shu's strange illnessp. 116
41. Responding naturallyp. 118
42. There are some things that you just can't fightp. 119
43. Who is supporting whom?p. 120
44. What is strength?p. 122
45. The strange arguments of Kung-sun Lungp. 124
46. Knowing when to withdrawp. 127
Part 5 The Questions of T'ang
Introductionp. 130
47. Where do things come from?p. 131
48. The man who tried to move mountainsp. 132
49. The man who tried to chase down the sunp. 134
50. The North Countryp. 135
51. Strange customs in strange countriesp. 138
52. The questions of a childp. 139
53. The art of fishingp. 140
54. Exchanging hearts and mindsp. 142
55. Musician Wen learns to play the lutep. 144
56. When Han-erh sangp. 146
57. Kindred spiritsp. 148
58. Artificial or real?p. 149
59. Learning the art of archeryp. 151
60. Tsao-fu learns to drivep. 154
61. Lai-tan's revengep. 156
Part 6 Effort and Destiny
Introductionp. 160
62. Effort argues with Destinyp. 161
63. Fortune and worthp. 163
64. The friendship of Kuan-chung and Pao Shu-yap. 166
65. Are life and death a matter of effort or destiny?p. 171
66. An average doctor, a good doctor, and an ingenious doctorp. 173
67. Yang-chu talks about destinyp. 175
68. We cannot know people who are different from usp. 177
69. Success and failurep. 179
70. The king who was greedy about life and afraid of deathp. 181
71. Death is not a lossp. 183
Part 7 Yang-chu
Introductionp. 186
72. A name is nothing and titles are emptyp. 187
73. Life--temporarily staying in the world; death--temporarily leavingp. 190
74. In life there may be differences; in death everything is the samep. 192
75. Riches can injure you, but poverty can also hurt youp. 193
76. Taking care of yourselfp. 194
77. A madman or an enlightened man?p. 196
78. What damages health more--unrestricted pleasure or obsessive hard work?p. 198
79. Everyone must die sometimep. 201
80. Would you sacrifice a strand of hair to benefit the world?p. 202
81. Ruling a country is like tending a flock of sheepp. 204
82. Things are not as permanent as we think they arep. 205
83. Longevity, fame, social status, and wealthp. 207
Part 8 Explaining Coincidences
Introductionp. 210
84. Action and reactionp. 211
85. Why do people follow the path of the Tao?p. 212
86. Lieh-tzu learns archeryp. 213
87. Choosing the right person for the jobp. 214
88. Can we compete with nature?p. 215
89. Someone's words can make or break youp. 216
90. Being at the right place at the right timep. 217
91. If I can step on someone, someone else can step on mep. 219
92. To solve a problem, you need to remove the cause, not the symptomp. 220
93. Trust and confidencep. 222
94. The best way to keep a secret is not to talkp. 223
95. Those who succeed are not excited about success; those who know do not display their knowledgep. 224
96. Fortune and misfortunep. 226
97. A matter of luckp. 228
98. Seeing beyond appearancesp. 229
99. Managing your life and governing a countryp. 231
100. Rank, wealth, and ability can get you into troublep. 232
101. You cannot apply one principle to all conditionsp. 233
102. Retribution by accidentp. 235
103. Confusing name and realityp. 236
104. To die for someone who values you is naturalp. 237
105. Confused by too many alternativesp. 238
106. Yang-pu and the dogp. 240
107. Knowledge and actionp. 241
108. Capture and release--an act of compassion or cruelty?p. 243
109. Who was created for whom to eat?p. 244
110. It's all in your mindp. 245
111. Those who are involved are muddled; those who watch are clearp. 247