1st Edition

Putting Daoist Thought into Practice Happiness, Longevity, and Enlightenment

By Devin K. Joshi Copyright 2025
    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    Joshi shows how Chinese wisdom originating many centuries ago is still highly relevant to our lives today as the Daoist classics provide insightful prescriptions on how to live a life full of happiness, contentment, and healthy longevity. They also provide guidance regarding personal ethics, sustainable economics, and achieving enlightenment. 

    This book contains reflections on how to achieve happiness drawing from the Liezi, a Daoist classic, and it examines Daoist ideas about nourishing life to achieve longevity and the marked similarity between these principles and people living in “blue zones” today with the highest concentration of centenarians.  It explores Daoist views on consciousness and enlightenment in the Laozi and Zhuangzi and their close resemblance to some of the most influential “new age” teaching on the subject.  It highlights the ethical character of a Daoist sage by drawing on the Daoist classic of the Wenzi and it enumerates lessons for transitioning towards a sustainable economy from the Daodejing

    A useful text for scholars, students and researchers of Asian studies, religion, and philosophy, and for those seeking self-improvement and personal wellness, it covers multiple dimensions of classical Daoist thought and their contemporary applications to human development and well-being.

    Table of Contents





    Chapter 1 - An Integrated Theory of Happiness: The Yang Zhu Chapter of the Liezi


    Chapter 2 - The Way of Longevity: Blue Zones as Models of Daoist Living


    Chapter 3 - Consciousness and Enlightenment: A Daoist Reading of New Spiritual Teachings


    Chapter 4 - The Ethics of a Daoist Sage: Lessons from the Wenzi


    Chapter 5 - Towards a Sustainable Daoist Economy: Lessons from the Daodejing




    Devin K. Joshi is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University.

    "Devin Joshi’s new work places ancient Daoist ideals and teachings into a dialogue with modern values and issues, focusing on the pursuit of happiness, the quest for longevity, the yearning for inner peace, the ethics of leadership, and the sustainability of the environment. In each of the five chapters, he presents a comprehensive and coherent outline of the Daoist vision, based on key classics that include but also go beyond the central works of Laozi and Zhuangzi, then matches this with contemporary theories and studies, such as the blue zones of centenarian living and Eckhart Tolle’s concept of Being. The book, well organized and easy to read, makes an important contribution to the contemporary relevance and adaption of ancient Chinese wisdom. It is inspiring for those interested in Daoism and Chinese thought but an absolute must for anyone interested in ways of creating a more harmonious and more sustainable world."

    Livia KohnProfessor, Boston University, United States