The Tao and The Tree of Life
The Tao and The Tree of Life is an extremely unique and fascinating book that looks at the practices of Taoist Qi Gong and compares it to the Kaballah, an ancient European Jewish mysticism. The author Eric Yudelove, is a long time practitioner of Mantak Chia’s teachings, one of the most prolific writers in English about Qi Gong. If nothing else Yudelove should be praised for coherently and succinctly describing Montak Chia’s exercises in this book. Yudelove also describes the Kaballah and its fascinating history as a Jewish tradition and then as parts of it became absorbed into European mysticism as a whole. This spin-off from the Jewish tradition, Yudelove calls Western Kabbalism. It is most recently known through the writing of Alistar Crowley and in the spirit of the Tarot Cards. He has also done a fine job of explaining “alchemy” and its importance to both practices.
Yudelove is a fine writer and The Tao and The Tree of Life is remarkably non-judgmental in exploring aspects of both Taoism and the Kaballah. It is a good read for those curious about the Kaballah as well as Taoist Qi Gong. For those who want ONE Montak Chia book or want a concise description of many, many Taoist exercises, this is the book to own. The Tao and The Tree of Life is very much a companion to Carolyn Myss’s Anatomy of the Spirit which ties together yogic, Christian and Kaballistic conceptions of ritual and chakras (energy centers).
Yudelove and Llewellyn Publications (which most people know through their Astrology publications and calendars) should be commended for the high quality of The Tao and The Tree of Life. It is concise, informative and fascinating material.
St. Paul, MN