by Olivia Cecchettini Hughes
The Tao of Wu
by The RZA
Editor’s Note: Congratulations and welcome back to Olivia who took a break from this monthly column to get married!!! We wish you all the best on this new journey in life. ~ Yoga One
Summary: The Tao of Wu is written in a light conversational style that’s easy to read and hard to put down. What keeps this book out of the light reading category however, is the depth of spiritual insight within that stayed with me for days as I processed and digested it. After I finished reading, it kept me buzzing for a few days: a sign of a really good book!
Part spiritual manifesto, part autobiography, The RZA openly shares his wisdom, guiding principles, and experiences as founder of the Wu-Tang Clan and as a fellow human being. The Tao of Wu follows his journey from growing up in a violent neighborhood of New York City to deeply embracing Eastern Philosophy in Shaolin, China.
Why I Love It: I was completely blown away by this inspiring spiritual memoir which was unlike any other I’ve read. Combining street knowledge, pop culture, eastern culture, spirituality, and rawness, this book was one of my favorite reads of 2017. Highly recommend.
I love that The Tao of Wu breaks through and breaks down stereotypes. I think stereotypes, labels, and boxes are human devices to keep the world small and simple. Yoga has always helped me bear witness to my own judgments and allow them to shatter in the light of authenticity. It’s only when we truly SEE and LISTEN to one another that we grasp the beauty, wisdom, and amazing insight diverse people have to offer.
Suggested For: I’ve been recommending this book to everyone! Seriously. For the hip hop lovers, I gained a better appreciation of RZA’s work – specifically the depth of his lyricism. If you ever wondered why The RZA, aside from being the Wu-Tang Clan’s chief producer, is heralded as the group’s leader, The Tao of Wu will make that unmistakably clear.
For the spiritual seekers, this book is a more personal, more philosophical follow-up to The Wu-Tang Manual. The RZA pulls from a deep school of thought that reflects the inner work he has achieved. I found his writing to be forward thinking and courageous in its authenticity.
Even Cornel West gives it a thumbs-up: “RZA is a towering artist and deep thinker who has much to teach us. I salute his courageous vision and compassionate witness – as manifests in this book and in his life.”
Olivia’s yoga journey began in 2003. She is certified in Vinyasa, Hatha, and Aerial Yoga and holds a Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology. She believes the mind, body, soul connection is sacred and encourages her students explore and expand within their own bodies and consciousnesses.