Hand in hand with Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, this is the other “little great book of wisdom” that I keep coming back to time and again when I feel life needs a rebalance. Like the Tao, this book is simple, elegant in its simplicity, and can be read in a brief span of time, but not fully appreciated in a lifetime. For my own meditations, I usually take quotes from this or from the Tao and transcribe them in handwritten calligraphy. The art of calligraphy forces me to slow down and truly meditate upon each word.
This is actually the review I wrote for Goodreads the last time I worked through it fully, back when I still had a Goodreads account:
I’ve owned this little book for years, and while most books sit on my shelf, this one stays in my bag at nearly all times. I re-read it frequently as an anchor for perspective when I go through periods of introspection and truth-seeking, and I’ll periodically just read a single page or two to meditate on over morning coffee. This book was written as the result of a spiritual awakening in 1942, during some of the worst fighting of WWII. To my mind, this is one of the greatest books ever written, by one of the wisest men who’s ever lived, a true warrior in the noblest sense of the word.
Not much has changed on that front, save for my greater appreciation of this book, which grows the older I get. It yet remains one of my personal favorites. It is no small claim to say The Art of Peace has probably saved my life more than few times.