The Zen of Pooh: Exercises for Finding Peace

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the zen of Pooh? How can you achieve it?

Questions about the key messages from The Tao of Pooh can help you achieve inner peace. Then, you can have the zen of Pooh.

Read on for exercises to get to the zen of Pooh.

Achieving the Zen of Pooh

How can a loveable childhood character reveal the meaning of life? By living a simple life of doing nothing. In the Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff reveals how the simple-minded character of Winnie the Pooh perfectly emulates the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Taoist principles revolve around simply living as you are and following the natural power of the universe to find wisdom and happiness. While all the other creatures living in Pooh’s world get into all sorts of antics by overthinking or overacting, Pooh simply meanders as he is without question. The Way of Pooh is the Way of Taoism.

Letting Go

It’s easy to become controlling and want to manipulate all aspects of life as you see fit, but as you’ve learned, this behavior often leads you astray.

  • Have you ever experienced a time when a situation turned out differently than hoped or in a surprising way? What were the circumstances?
  • Think of something you are currently struggling with. In what way are you struggling? What actions are you taking to change things?
  • If you pulled back and stopped trying to fix the situation, what would likely happen?
  • Are there other aspects of your life you could stand to relinquish control over? What are one or two?

Time and Being Busy

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. With so much going on, we often forget to stop and smell the roses. How has your busy schedule affected your life?

  • What are one or two ways you attempt to save time each day? 
  • What do you do with that extra time?
  • Do you find the pace of your life satisfying? Is yes, how does it fulfill you? If not, why are you unfulfilled?
  • How might you change your life to find more peace or time to experience the energy of the world?
  • What is one goal you’re working to attain? How can you find joy in the process of attaining it?

The Tao of You

Now that you’ve learned some of the principles of Taoism through the zen of Pooh, how do they relate to your life?

  • Is there a square peg in your life you try to put in a round hole? What is it?
  • When you look at this thing without judgment or expectation, what are some new aspects you see?
  • What are one or two ways the principles of Taoism can help you find more joy in your life?
  • How would you describe Taoism to a friend?
The Zen of Pooh: Exercises for Finding Peace

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Benjamin Hoff's "The Tao of Pooh" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Tao of Pooh summary:

  • How Winnie-the-Pooh perfectly models the principles of Taoism
  • The 6 principles of Taoism reflected in Pooh's adventures
  • How to become Winnie-the-Pooh and unlock a magic inside of you

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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