4 out of 4 stars
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In Daily Pulse: The Rhythm of the Tao, Dr. Debra Ford presents a nine-step ritual built on the teachings of the Tao – a philosophy with religious ramifications. The Tao is an ancient and intricate Eastern tradition that loosely translated means path or journey; it involves the concept of chi, a form of vital and essential energy that permeates all living things.
The author skillfully explains how the Tao’s eight trigrams (building blocks of nature) form the core ingredients of the ritual: thunder and lake, mountain and wind, water and fire, earth and heaven have solid (yang) and broken (yin) lines. Each day, one is supposed to meditate on a trigram. The process encompasses an intention, a prayer (with breathing techniques), journaling, and antidote/action steps. There’s an additional, optional step involving stones; for each trigram, there is a gemstone that matches its vibration. For instance, amethyst is the one for wind.
The combination of ancient teachings and practical tips is the magic recipe. The analyses of the trigrams frame the narrative, but there are also actionable suggestions. The straightforward and practical approach is a noteworthy feature. Eastern concepts often get lost in translation. Excessively abstract interpretations usually confound Western readers, who tend to prefer tangible roadmaps. Fortunately, this book keeps our eyes on the stars but both feet on the ground.
I enjoyed the author’s well-structured and clear-cut description of the ritual. As an example, Dr. Ford clearly explains what the light (expanding) and dark (collapsing) traits of each trigram represent. “Dark collapsed wind energy makes you too determined, and you find it hard to see how others are affected by your actions, which can be unkind and abusive.” The colorful illustrations of the trigrams provide additional clarification.
Another positive point is how, to exemplify the method, we get to follow the journey of Brenda, a woman who has had a year of struggle and adversity. Dr. Ford’s thoughts on her counseling sessions with Brenda were particularly inspiring. Brenda’s journal, available in one of the appendices, was a great addition to the book. Reading it, I could easily understand the effectiveness and applicability of the ritual.
Lastly, the book seems professionally edited, and there is nothing I disliked about it. I gladly rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It is a short, fast, and refreshing read. I believe it will appeal to open-minded readers who are interested in Eastern traditions and philosophies. If you feel that your energy levels are low, you may also benefit from reading this book. However, it may hold less appeal to readers who dislike self-help titles.
Daily Pulse: the rhythm of the Tao
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