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The Lunar Tao

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by J. Victoria Sanders

Meditations in Harmony with the Seasons
By Deng Ming-Dao
HARPERONE

In this book of daily meditations, Deng Ming-Dao reflects on the origins and historical mythology from Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The Lunar Tao coincides with the annual start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the eponymous book’s pages are numbered for 360 days with five additional pages to describe the five lunar phases, making it an evergreen reference title for readers. There is symmetry between seasons in the book, and they are punctuated by encyclopedic descriptions of spiritual traditions like the Moon and Dragon Boat festivals. The day after each solstice is a designated fasting day, followed by an exercise that should be performed early in the morning for spiritual and physical health. There is also synergy between daily reflections on fear, love, mastery, and wisdom, and each day’s thoughts are connected to the next day’s meditations. In the margins of each page are profiles of bodhisattvas, sages, and significant monuments or people related to the history of Chinese spirituality. There are also poems, historical facts about the topography, and explanations of gods of China. The book is elegantly designed with photographs and illustrations. It also includes exercise suggestions for spiritual and physical health. As Deng writes, “The Lunar Tao comes down to this: can you comprehend the way that is dark and yet as vital and powerful as what we celebrate in the light?”


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