Living Authentically
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Living Authentically

Daoist Contributions to Modern Psychology

Paperback 34.95 USD
PDF download 15.00 USD To order, please go to
Edited by Livia Kohn
260 Pages, illustrated
August 2011
ISBN 978-1-931483-20-9


Living Authentically brings together classical scholars of Daoism, professors of psychology, practicing psychologists, medical doctors, and alternative practitioners (acupuncturists, qigong healers, pedagogues, and counselors) in an exciting new journey of discovery.

This fruitful venture, born during panels at several Daoist conferences, explores ways of living in the world, sustaining relationships, and educating children, in a stress-free, truly authentic way.

The book outlines different Daoist visions and concepts of the conscious and subconscious mind and its transformations; it correlates these to different schools of psychology today (psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, humanistic psychology, positive psychology); and it explores options on how we can best become fully authentic, allowing the universal power of Dao to flow freely through all our attitudes and actions.


For the first time in history we have all the worldy psychologies available to us and Living Authentically begins to make one of these psychologies, Daoism, available to us.

--Roger Walsh MD, Ph.D., University of California, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

Western psychology has, increasingly, been embracing techniques and methods from ancient Eastern traditions. Mindfulness meditation is one of the strongest developments in clinical psychology, and the efficacy of stimulating acupuncture points in treating PTSD is causing the field to reexamine conventional protocols. Living Authentically: Daoist Contributions to Modern Psychology invites Western therapists to enter into the worldview of Eastern philosophers and healers in ways that will expand their understanding and enhance their practices.

-- David Feinstein and Donna Eden, co-authors of Energy Medicine and The Promise of Energy Psychology

The serious study and practice of Daoism as a totalizing system of biospiritual transformation is on the rise on three continents. The tradition is no longer being studied merely as an interesting, quaint, but impractical artifact of ancient Chinese spiritual and philosophical history. If you have been looking for a sophisticated overview of Daoism that is informed by the best of Western medicine and psychology as well, then look no further. This collection of essays should be included in every university library where Daoism is taught and a part of any comprehensive course on the tradition. The essays are authored by scholar-practitioners and the whole is edited by perhaps the preeminent living Western scholar of Daoism, Livia Kohn.

--Ronnie Littlejohn, Belmont University, author of Daoism: An Introduction, co-editor of Riding the Wind with Liezi

Living Authentically: Daoist Contributions to Modern Psychology is just what the doctor ordered for practitioners of Chinese medicine in the modern world who have been trying to re-incorporate the spirit/mind into the secularized TCM we have been given from first Communist and now capitalist China. This new book returns us to our Daoist roots and provides deep consideration of how Daoism really understood the relationship of the body, mind and spirit and how this relationship could be influenced to create what we now call psychological health.This book would make an excellent textbook in Chinese medicine schools where it could provide sophistication to exploration of just what the body mind spirit is/are and how to heal them. 

--Mary Kay Ryan, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Chicago.

This book is essential reading for all Westerners seeking to integrate qigong, taiji, Daoist meditation, energy healing, and therapy practices with deep psychological insights from their own culture. It gives sharp focus to fuzzy issues: Reichian orgasm theory vs. Dao sex energy cultivation; psychological adjustment vs. wuwei and liberation; heady analytical thinking vs. whole-body process and correlative thinking; Jungian symbolic alchemy within ego vs. substantial alchemical distillation of an immortal soul; the Western unconscious vs. primordial-qi model. The work presents a breath-taking, cutting-edge Daoist dialectic with an amazing array of therapies, includingkinesiology, energy psychology, positive psychology, psychosomanautics, cognitive therapy, and more. It is a milestone. Definitely required reading for my own Daoist Depth Psychology program.

-- Michael Winn, founder, co-author with Mantak Chia