In ancient China, a revered Taoist sage named Zhuangzi told many parables. In Existential Psychology and the Way of the Tao, a selection of these parables will be featured. Following each parable, an eminent existential psychologist will share a personal and scholarly reflection on the meaning and relevance of the parable for psychotherapy and contemporary life. The major tenets of Zhuangzi's philosophy are featured. Taoist concepts of emptiness, stillness, Wu Wei (i.e. intentional non-intentionality), epistemology, dreams and the nature of reality, character building in the midst of pain, meaning and the centrality of relationships, authenticity, self-care, the freedom that can come from one's willingness to confront death, spiritual freedom, and gradations of therapeutic care are topics highlighted in this book.

part I|46 pages

Emptiness, Stillness, and Wu Wei

chapter 1|21 pages

The Useless Tree and the Empty Gourd

ByMark C. Yang

chapter 2|15 pages

Wu Wei (無爲/无为)

ByJason Dias

chapter 3|8 pages

Steadiness in the Midst of Chaos

ByMichael Moats

part II|24 pages

Knowledge and Epistemology

chapter 4|11 pages

Humanity’s Search for Meaning in Existence

A Taoist Epistemology
ByRodger Broomé

chapter 5|11 pages

Knowledge and Psychotherapy

Lessons from Zhuangzi’s Parable “When Knowledge Went North”
ByTrent Claypool

part III|71 pages

Miscellaneous Chapters

chapter 6|17 pages

On the Power of Butterflies

Dreaming, Waking, and the Therapeutic Potential of Nocturnal Beings
ByErik Craig

chapter 7|9 pages

Master Hui’s Grave

To Sharpen Your Character, Rub It up against Something Abrasive
ByRichard Bargdill

chapter 8|10 pages

Releasing the Jade, Grasping Meaning

ByLouis Hoffman

chapter 9|10 pages

Dragging my Tail in the Mud

Personal Reflections on Authenticity
ByDavid N. Elkins

chapter 10|11 pages

Plough Deeply

Cultivating Authentic Living
ByJennifer Tam

chapter 11|12 pages

Usefulness of Uselessness

Freedom before Death
ByZhen Shiyan, Lihua Yang

part IV|40 pages

Autumn Floods

chapter 12|7 pages

Along the Way to Spiritual Freedom

From Rivers to Seas and Heaven to Tao
ByYang Shaogang, Li Yun

chapter 13|12 pages

The Enlightenment of Autumn Floods

ByWu Fei, Doreen Xuekang Deng

chapter 14|17 pages

Can You Tell a Dragon Fly about Ice?

Implications of Zhuangzi’s “Relative Gradations” for Therapeutic Care
ByTodd DuBose