Containing sixty translations from a large variety of texts, this is an accessible yet thorough introduction to the major concepts, doctrines, and practices of Taoism. It presents the philosophy, rituals, and health techniques of the ancients as well as the practices and ideas of Taoists today. Divided into four sections, it follows the Taoist Path: The Tao, Long Life, Eternal Vision, and Immortality. It shows how the world of the Tao is perceived from within the tradition, what fervent Taoists did, and how practitioners saw their path and goals. The Taoist Experience is unique in that it presents the whole of Taoist tradition in the very words of its active practitioners. It conveys not only a sense of the depth of the Taoist religious experience but also of the underlying unity of the various schools and strands.
Livia Kohn is Assistant Professor of Religion at Boston University. She has written Taoist Mystical Philosophy: The Scripture of Western Ascension, also published by SUNY Press, Seven Steps to the Tao, Sima Chengzhen's Zuowanglun, and Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques.
"Livia Kohn is one of the very best and most prolific Taoist scholars in the world. Here, she draws upon the revolution in Taoist scholarship during the past few decades, and provides a much needed representative anthology of primary Taoist texts, making these important materials available to the non-specialist scholar, to students, and to the general public. " — Norman Girardot, Lehigh University
"This is a work whose time has come, a landmark that bears testimony to the coming of age of Taoist studies in the West. The author's erudition and enthusiasm give the work a special sparkle, and communicate a sense of excitement that brings these literary artifacts to life. Well conceived, well organized, and well executed by a scholar uniquely qualified for the task. " — Douglas Wile, Brooklyn College