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The Way of Ping    by Stuart Avery Gold order for
Way of Ping
by Stuart Avery Gold
Order:  USA  Can
Newmarket, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stuart Avery Gold, author of small, sage tomes like Tiger Heart, Tiger Mind: How to Empower Your Dream, Wowisms: Words of Wisdom for Dreamers and Doers, and Ping: A Frog in Search of a New Pond now brings us a sequel to the latter in The Way of Ping: Journey to the Great Ocean. The first Ping book (which sold over 400,000 copies and has been translated into more than 20 languages around the world) told of the transformative journey of Ping the frog in the style of a multi-layered Sufist teaching tale. The sequel's front cover calls The Way of Ping 'A parable about taking risks and discovering a new path'.

The Way of Ping opens on an admiring crowd anxiously awaiting the famed frog's appearance at a pond ruled by the ancient Toad the Elder, whose words the ponds' inhabitants always believe. Toad angrily questions Ping about the Great Ocean he came from and deems his answers heresy. Ping invites his audience to follow him and see for themselves 'that a bigger world could indeed be found outside their pond.' Though most of Toad's followers throw bog balls at Ping, troublesome (to the autocrat) young frogs Daikon and Hodo take up Ping's challenge in a 'leap of faith into the beckoning darkness'. When the two hopeful hoppers come upon a meditating Ping, he shares the wisdom of the Way - which 'does not ask us to be what we are not, but to be more fully what we are' - and leads them on their journey.

Ping teaches his two young followers that 'every problem that exists outside of us has its solution inside of us'; that the 'rise to success is achieved by lifting others'; to remain flexible and commit to themselves; to beware dream killers and imagination crushers; and that 'if you go as far as you can, you will discover that you can always go farther.' The elder frog teaches Daikon and Hodo about 'evolving and involving' and that the 'purpose of life is a life of purpose' - sage lessons for both frogs and the humans who share the planet with them.

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