HandCrafted Taoist Book


A Personal Tao: Volume One

All of the chapters of the “Personal Tao” book are online below. Or you can Buy the book or Download the Full Book. The book was formatted to be best read in print format. Occasionally, I also create special handcrafted art editions for those interested in something extremely unique and personal in nature.

Select a topic from the chapters.

The Way
Practical Limits
Poets and Fear
Paper Airplanes
Zen Gardens
Paper Spittoon
The Sage
Spirit And Soul
Human Waves
Living Guidelines
Speaking Out
Illuminating the Empty Space


Reading A Personal Tao

The Personal Tao books aren’t mass market self help books, rather its art, to enjoy in the same manner you would sit next to a river to just watch water passing by.

Imagine sitting down, beside an old maple tree. 

Close the eyes.

Feel dappled sunlight dancing on skin,

	Leaves eclipse stray beams

	as shadows tango to the light across the body.

Listen to leaves whisper 

	joy as the wind tussles them

		into the air. 

Smile as branches complain 

	in creaking strains

		as younger leaves bounce in play.


In the larger sense, these teachings are to free a person. Freedom could be discovered sitting under a tree or even flying under the moon.

A truth about the nature of freedom: once you experience freedom, part of the very experience is to share and pass it along to others in your life.

Freedom is to be shared, if it’s to be had at all.

The Personal Tao books are written with this in mind, to share and to help each person describe their own freedom with their actions.

Please add your questions or comments regarding the Personal Tao Book below.

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30 Responses to HandCrafted Taoist Book

  1. denise says:

    Oh my goodness! How awesome and generous you are! It is people like you and your beautiful family that help gently remind me how much goodness and love there is in this world of ours. Peace to all ~*~

  2. Thanks Denise!

    Together we make the world, not alone, but together
    and in that we must share to be together :)

  3. Casey Backus says:

    I found you when I needed you. Thank you for being you where I could find you.

  4. I am honored to have helped you find answers in Taoism and for your own path Casey


    ( I dont meet many other casey’s)

  5. Karah Fisher Madrone says:

    Greetings, Casey!

    I found your piece on 70% effort.
    Ahhh, such a precious gift!
    After several years of straining to “give” 95-105%…I’m reintegrating back to my more native wisdom…and your blog post…is like a healing balm on the journey.

    THANK YOU for what you share!


  6. @Karen: Thanks .

    Yes people push too hard into their own breaking. Pacing life is very critical part of Taoist practice, one that helps sustain a healthy, long and very graceful life.

  7. Maria says:

    Happy to read about your article. It helps me little by little, hope I can find your book soon and practice what you advice. Thank you.


  8. Tom says:

    I am so glad I met you.

  9. Very beautiful. Thank you.

  10. Brian says:

    This is so cool.
    I recently read the Tao of Pooh (by the way what are your thoughts on that book?) and since have become very interested in Taoism. As I searched deeper into it I was turned off by some of the more religious and ritualistic that I read about. But in its most stripped down form (which it seems like you present very nicely on this site) I am so drawn to its teachings and it makes me very happy when someone else sums up my wonderings and beliefs in nice, simple language.
    I would love to talk to you more and get a copy of your book. Please email me if you get a chance and thank you! :)

  11. @Brian: Thanks

    The Tao of Pooh is a simple book and for many people it is a good book to read. Personally I thought it was cute: I like the concept and simplicity, but it wasn’t quite for me either.

    I agree with you that some Taoist books get too deep for many people or are not accessible, I do work at keeping what I write about Taoism to core ideas and values: while basing what I do upon current language and day to day life examples. I don’t feel the need to re-say what so many other Taoist books have written, so for some that makes what I write about Taoism a bit too stripped down also.

    You can order a copy of the Personal Tao book online from the link to the side and will get in direct contact with you later today.

  12. Roberto Giammaria says:

    ~ Peace ~ Love ~ Light ~

    Can these books be purchased for viewing via IPad 2, soft copy.

    I am wanting to purchase “Personal Tao” (V1) for a friend who in fact introduced me to Tao no so long ago.

    Many Thanks.

  13. Roberto:

    If you follow the buy the book link, You can buy Personal Tao from Lulu Press, There is an option to buy a PDF based version.

    The fast link is here:

    You can get the pdf version for free. A Personal Tao is designed to be printed however :)

  14. Jamaldeen says:

    Casey you are more than a genius. what a wonder that you are. your text perfectly describes my situation. how many times must i thank God for letting me meet such a great teacher.

  15. jose barrios rey says:

    hello to read you page is very mach for my is good to hope you answer thanks jose

  16. @Jamaldeen and @ Jose: I am glad you both like the Taoist teachings and site.

    Blessings of grace towards your exploration of life.


  17. Tyler Halpin says:

    I’ve been on a search for greater understanding, like so many others have (as you have discussed in the Religion chapter). I never could truly convince myself that I belonged with certain thought processes until I came across your words. After the first few chapters I became greatly intrigued, understanding your words but not completely understanding their depth. It was not until I reached the Tides chapter that something truly clicked for me. I have been greatly effected by this and I will continue to pursue Taoism. I now feel comfortable enough to call myself a Taoist with pride. You have helped enlighten me and I thank you greatly for it. I look forward to your next work on A Personal Tao. Thank you!

  18. @Tyler: :) glad to help another friend and Taoist explore the Tao!

  19. David says:

    Thank you Casey! I am looking forward to reading the book. In the interim, specially in light of your generosity, I can’t help but wonder what your life-style (in terms of economic things) is like. Especially given the grossly capitalistic societies to which you and I were born.

  20. @David: My lifestyle is exceedingly simple to western standards. Yet I do live in the United States and it isn’t easy to keep a balanced lifestyle.

    So I will say it’s an ever evolving process. Am I where I would like to be? No, But every month , every year, my family and I continue to make lifestyle refinements and simplifications to continually improve how we live in a more sustainable, balanced manner while reducing our impacts to the larger world. But again, it’s a very slow process as our culture continually pushes worse options to work against.

    Then you have to factor in obligations of one’s older life relative to where you are evolving into. For instance for many people who were once married and then have children from that marriage. That means having to work extra hard to meet older social obligations at the same time you are reducing your foot print. This is only one example of hundreds of hard choices a person has to work through.

    I think this is true for everyone, to realized that lifestyle is something you work at always and in slow modest steps of improvement over a life time. We can’t expect everyone to improve overnight, I think it’s up to each of us to show how to make gradual improvements over time, as we can. I try to use my own life to help teach against. It’s all too easy to tell another person to do XYZ.. but unless you understand what it takes to get there: just saying sweeping statements of how to live better actually can do more damage since people won’t understand how to craft a subtle and modest path of improvement that grows with time into a better lifestyle in simple steps.

    So when I help people craft a simpler lifestyle, I do so in a case by case manner, to match it to where they are at and help them find the steps that modestly will help them improve life in a way they can sustain rather than fail against. Pacing is everything.

    Will this be enough to save the planet? Realistically no, bigger changes will be required but having people fail won’t help either. If we can help people to begin make changes now, it will make a huge difference. Also when the time of bigger changes does happen, more people will be able to make the shifts with more grace at that time. What will that look like? No one knows, ignore all the doom predictions and work hard instead of living better… so any small step now, will help people .. anyone doing nothing won’t make it thru tougher times with grace. Anyone evolving now, will evolve later also with grace. That can help make the next world that will come out of ours: a better place.

  21. Heather says:

    You really constructed several excellent items inside ur
    post, “HandCrafted Taoist Books | Personal Tao”.
    I may end up coming back again to ur page soon enough.
    Thank you -Zak

  22. Julie Baker says:

    I just ordered your book on-line. My spiritual journey has led me to you!

  23. Caey Kochmer says:

    @Julie: I am honored the Personal Tao book has been of help in your spiritual path. To embrace spirit is to move and dance with your life. Enjoy it, discover yourself and partner with how you act to expand.

    It truly does open up to wonder and a graceful life.

  24. Allan Quigley says:

    Great site! Keep up the good work.Peace to all.Allan, Cairns,Australia.

  25. Thanks Allan. Follow your personal Tao!

  26. Danielle says:

    Love your “Waking” chapter, especially the foot note about being careful not confuse anyone else’s direction with your own. I believe I made that mistake and ended up in a harmful codependent relationship. Your site has helped me make baby steps at finding who I really am and not let past abuses define who I am today. Thank you!

  27. @Danielle: I am honored and happy that A Personal Tao has been helpful for you to find strength in your own personal path ahead.

    You will find your style in being graceful and in that also discover your own person power to live in kindness and well. :)

  28. Donny says:

    Hi Casey,
    I am an addict with feelings of self-loathing that I do not understand, and which no amount of good works, positive thinking and therapy seem able to change. I have studied Tao for years, and believe I have a little “understanding”. The study has greatly enriched the life I have made in spite of myself, yet I’ve failed to heal whatever is wrong inside of me. I am new to your page and find it a hopeful place. Would you mind recommending to me a place to begin such as a specific chapter? Thank you so much.

  29. Hi Donny:

    I would recommend starting with the healing section.

    An expanded perspective about healing itself will help give you new angles for your own path.

  30. John says:

    Finally got around to reading this and I’m glad I did! A great read

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