Recovering In The Tao: The Way To Healing and Harmony
by Eric D. Greene
||Tao Bear Books
||March 1, 2003
Recovering in the Tao: The Way to Healing and Harmony
"Recovering in the Tao" teaches us how to restore the natural balance and harmony to our lives. Once we begin this process, our relationships will become healthier, our compulsiveness will begin to diminish, and our serenity will grow. "Recovering in the Tao" combines ancient Taoist wisdom with modern-day recovery principles. Its simple truths and everyday language will resonate in the hearts and minds of all recovering people and gently guide them on their journey to wholeness.
The author creates a mythical Taoist sage, who supremely embodies both recovery and the Tao, to act as a spiritual guide for the reader. We are then taken on a healing journey that leads us back to a state of wholeness and harmony. "Recovering in the Tao" is geared for anyone who is interested in personal growth, regardless of their religious background.
About the Author:
Eric D. Greene has studied and practiced Taoism for more than twenty-five years. Ten years ago, he began attending Twelve-Step meetings for codependency, and he soon immersed himself in the recovery movement; thus the seeds for Recovering in the Tao were sown.
What the critics are saying:
William Martin, author of "The Parent's Tao Te Ching"
"Eric D. Greene has a deep understanding of both recovery and of Taoist thought."
David Gregson, co-author of "The Tao of Sobriety"
"...a profoundly holistic and inter-relational approach to living."
Detroit Free Press, May 4, 2003
"'Recovering in the Tao' is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested in growing spiritually."
RECOVERING IN THE TAO: The Way to Healing and Harmony
by Eric D. Greene, Tao Bear Books, Wayne, Michigan, 2003, ISBN 0-9719361-0-2, 117 pages.
Michigan author, Eric D Greene, has combined the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism with the philosophy espoused in 12-Step Programs to create a book sure to be useful for those in recovery programs, but also insightful for those who are not. There is much simple wisdom in this small volume that we can all relate to in our lives. The connection of the wisdom of Tao to healing and recovery makes sense.
Greene has “studied and practiced Taoism for more than 25 years.” Tao, a Chinese philosophy founded by LaoTzu in the 6th century BC, guides its followers to a “state of harmony, serenity and wholeness.” Tao is often translated as “the Way” or “the Path,” suggesting that it is more a state of being than an intellectual idea. Its most famous symbol is the “ying/yang” which in itself demonstrates balance, harmony and wholeness.
When Greene began attending 12-Step meetings in 1992, he saw connections between the way of Tao and the Recovery movement, which similarly aids participants to balance their lives. For example, the Serenity Prayer is a key component in those programs. Thus Greene began to weave the two philosophies together, first for himself and then in this book so that it might serve others.
What I noticed immediately about this book is that nearly every reader will relate to its content in some way. One does not need to be in recovery to appreciate its insights. We all experience various degrees and levels of disharmony and dysfunction during our lives. It is always helpful to discover how we might bring greater balance and serenity to our everyday paths.
Greene organizes his book into five sections. In part One, “The Origin of Disharmony,” he explains the various ways that dysfunctional behaviors, psychological wounds and issues are passed down from generation to generation. Each point is covered in two to three paragraphs on a single page, always concluding with positive encouragement and some small gem of Taoist wisdom. One big insight relates to how low self esteem can lead to all sorts of bad personal choices and even addictions. Greene’s concise organization makes his book easy to read and understand.
Part Two, “Trying to Fill the Void” deals with a broad spectrum of addictions. We learn of many more kinds of addictions than those we are all most aware of and we also learn that addictions involve control issues in various ways. We are reminded that we live in an addictive society. And we begin to see that many human behaviors, largely harmless in moderation, approach addiction when we become obsessive or compulsive about them. Greene gets us to look at all kinds of addictions, from alcoholism and drug addiction, to fantasy, eating, thinking, religion, gangs, power, wealth, computer-games playing, television watching, workout addiction, anorexia and more. He truly gets his readers to self-examine, but again with each page, he brings us back to “the Way,” with an appropriate statement of Tao wisdom.
Part Three deals with “Harmonizing Our Relationships.” Greene notes how we enter adulthood often stuck in our childhood roles and dysfunctional adolescent experiences. He encourages us to “let go of our old, familiar roles.” He discusses problems we have relating to workplace roles, using each other, addictive relationships, people pleasing and authority figures. As before, each brief discussion ends with positive encouragement and Tao wisdom.
Part Four is “Learning to Go with the Flow.” Here readers will find advice related to similar insights in many other current self-help works, such as to work on being aware of imbalances, to work through the pain of life, to find the “middle Way” to self-empowerment, to substitute healthy activities for old self-destructive habits and to “let go” of what isn’t healthy or self-sustaining. It is always worthwhile to be reminded of these things. Greene reminds readers that “growth is slow, but steady.”
In his concluding pages, Greene in Part Five discusses “Living the Tao.” The Tao, as we noted previously, is a “way,” a “being-ness.” Here the author notes all the benefits a person can gain by practicing the Tao, living the Tao. This final section is especially insightful and appropriate for all readers.
Author Eric Greene says that “writing this book has helped me to continue moving forward in my recovery” and he hopes that reading it does the same for his readers. I would note once more that nearly everyone, both those in recovery programs and those just dealing with everyday life, will find wisdom and insights in these pages.
Reviewed by Gayle Woityra
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