Tao of Sustainability
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Tao of Sustainability

Cultivate Yourself to Heal the Earth

Paperback 34.95 USD;

Prepublication Special: 27.50 USD plus S & H

Gregory Ripley
230 Pages, Illustrated
January 2016
ISBN 978-1-931483-31-5

At the crux of our current environmental crisis lies humanity’s perceived separation from nature. We simply will not take care of the natural world if we do not believe we are an integral part of it. In Tao of Sustainability the author presents the traditional Daoist path of self-cultivation as a framework for bringing humans back into a sustainable relationship with the Earth. Tao of Sustainability also explores how our health, both mental and physical, is impacted by nature, drawing on research in the fields of Green Exercise, Nature and Forest Medicine, and Ecopsycology. Part philosophy, part meditation manual, part nature awareness guide, Tao of Sustainability offers numerous pathways towards reconnecting with nature and the Dao through mind, body, and spirit. Drawing from a variety of disciplines and traditions, from Daoism to Stoicism, Ecopsychology to Buddhist mind training, the visual arts to movement (tai chi, qigong)—this book provides numerous ways to reconnect with the natural world..


Gregory Ripley holds a B.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Tennessee and an M.A. from Northwestern Health Sciences University. He lives in Minnesota, where he practices acupuncture.


We humans are learning that we cannot secede from nature. Our future depends on whether we are willing to respond to the lessons in Greg Ripley’s eminently wise Tao of Sustainability. Put this book on the very top of your reading list: urgency is afoot, time is not on our side. Larry Dossey, MD, Author of Healing Words, Reinventing Medicine, Healing beyond the Body, One Mind, and more.

Tao of Sustainability is a pleasure to read. Gregory successfully takes the reader on a ride into the wonders of nature, reminding us of our basic natural connectedness. The teachings of Tao run throughout this text, just as Tao runs through nature, leaving nothing untouched. The book presents numerous ways to encourage readers to realize their intimate alliance with nature. He moves skillfully through the seasons, engaging all different landscapes of our planet and presenting both serious and fun ways to be in nature. Examples include the practice of sitting and forgetting, playfully crawling, climbing, and swimming, as well as making art—all ways to tune into nature. He also presents my favorite qigong practice of circle walking and looks at the larger ways of distance walking, including pilgrimage, citing from my favorite nature artists. This book is a powerful inspiration for everyone to live in harmony with nature. Michael Rinaldini (Li Changdao), Qigong Teacher, Daoist Priest, Founder of American Dragon Gate Lineage

Nature is central to Taoism. Or perhaps it is that Taoism shows us that our lives are centered around nature. This book reminds us of the intimate connections between people and the earth: to heal ourselves is to heal the earth; to heal the earth is to heal ourselves. Greg Ripley admirably helps us see our health and sustainability concerns as one—the one path that both people and the earth follow.Deng Ming-Dao, author of Chronicles of Tao, 365 Tao, The Lunar Tao

Greg Ripley communicates to us his love of Taoism, medicine, nature, and cultivation. His timely message is that, 'to cultivate the self is to cultivate nature, to preserve nature is to preserve the self.' Greg bridges the gap between ancient Chinese philosophy and our lives in the 21st century offering practices and contemplations that may restore wholeness to a frayed world. Lonny S. Jarrett, Author of Nourishing Destiny: The Inner Tradition of Chinese Medicine

I have long yearned for a book linking ancient Tao principles to the modern sustainability eco-movement. Greg Ripley has written that book, creating truly a 5-star passionate page-turner! I could not put it down, and I have read hundreds of books on Taoism! Ripley is philosophically an American Taoist in the vein of John Muir, an acupuncturist and a movement artist. He is deeply versed in Tao classics and philosophy, yet totally modern in his vision. He argues convincingly why ”wildness” must replace ”wellness,” if humans are to escape finding themselves living the dull life of a kept zoo animal. He has sections teaching short tai chi moves, mixed with insights into the paleo diet and an expert survey of the ”re-wilding” movement that includes barefoot running and urban boulder-climbing parks. The book is full of beautiful poems and quotes that confirm Ripley's mastery of the many dimensions of environmental issues. The core message is that no one is going to save the Earth, if they cannot first embrace the deep energetic ecology of their own body-mind. I wholeheartedly recommend Tao of Sustainability to every Taoist cultivator, every environmentalist, and anyone remotely interested in linking the wisdom of nature and the future of Planet Earth to the health and wisdom of loving the natural Tao of their own body. Michael Winn, founder of HealingTaoUSA.com, co-writer with Mantak Chia of 7 books on Taoist Qigong and Inner Alchemy

This sensitive, beautifully organized, and comprehensive book is not only about Taoism, it is a piece of Tao. Placing the original natural philosophy in a personal and relevant context that emphasizes living according to nature’s laws and clues, it is rich in insights, exercises, and meditations. I highly recommend it for all seekers.Taoist Monk Yunrou (Arthur Rosenfeld), national television show host, and author of Yin:A Love Story and Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise

Tao of Sustainability is a wonderful and insightful work. A immensely refreshing, much needed book on Taoism, a living, personal testament of a Westerner cultivating Tao. Greg Ripley has done an excellent job demonstrating how Tao can apply in daily life, both in thought and action. For Taoism to grow in the West it simply needs more books like this one.Stuart Alve Olson, author of Being Daoist: The Way of Drifting with the Current

With a voice both wise and practical, Greg Ripley provides an essential perspective on the joy and importance of reconnecting with nature, and by doing so, with our deepest selves.Amos Clifford, founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Program.

A timely text that delves into the ever-pressing question of the health of the planet and humankind’s relationship with nature. Lucidly written, the book guides readers along a pathway of philosophies and insights to contemplate their position in this dialogue, offering a series of clearly explained exercises as stepping stones into a personal experience of the flow of nature’s forces.The book is an important read for new students as a broad and grounded introduction into this world of Oriental philosophy and health practices as well as an invaluable reminder for practitioners of the roots of their medical discipline. It can be of special relevance for the current Chinese medical community with the strong resurgence towards practice based from a classical perspective, which includes the requirements of personal health cultivation and working with bodily qi directly.Chris Bunkell, Daoist acupuncturist, www.daoist-medicine.net