Library Journal
"Her soothing book will give the reader many good ideas and helpful hints about balancing her life. What sets this book apart from other self-help efforts is the combination of Eastern and Western ideas. An instructor in literature and creative writing at Santa Clara University and author of The Tao of Inner Peace (HarperCollins, 1991), Dreher uses terms from the Tao such as misogi ("rituals of order"), ahimsa ("compassion"), yohaku ("contemplation"), and musubi ("honoring your own energies with those around you") to clarify her ideas. She follows each chapter with practical pointers for greater power and peace, ways to take action using the ideas presented. For instance, to develop courage, Dreher suggests that the reader study the life of a woman she admires by reading a biography about her and answering a list of questions. Both informative and encouraging, these pointers are probably the most useful aspect of this book. With a helpful glossary of terms; recommended for public libraries.

-A Barbara O'Hara, Free Lib. of Philadelphia. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. 

​​Your Personal Renaissance combines the lost wisdom of the Renaissance with groundbreaking research in positive psychology to help you find your calling in life. Drawing insights from the lives of Leonardo da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth I, Galileo, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, St. Teresa of Avila, and other artists, innovators, scientists, and saints, this book offers a powerful plan to help you overcome stress, obstacles, and negativity to become more joyously and authentically yourself.  ISBN: 978-1-60094-001-9

"It's a beautiful, clear book that shows how the simplest acts of pruning,cultivation, harvesting, and renewal can be used for ...

-Jerry Lynch, Ph.D., sports psychologist and author of Thinking Body, Dancing Mind and Running Within

​"If you want to feel the magic of gardening and discover a new path to your own garden within, read this beautiful book."

​-Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., author of Conscious Living


Boston Globe
“While initially I thought it might be just a tad forced to put the Renaissance together with self-help, this wise little book soon changed my mind… The book's message is bolstered with empowering success stories about Renaissance figures like da Vinci, Galileo, and Giotto. ‘Renaissance’ means ‘rebirth,’ and when you think of it, what could be a more perfect metaphor for transformation?”

San Jose Mercury News
“For those direction-less souls among us [Dreher] has some answers…A book for those who strive to make their life a work of art.”​

My writing combines insights from Eastern and Western philosophy with the latest research in positive psychology to help us discover greater joy and meaning in life. I love learning, discovering new connections, and sharing these insights in my writing, workshops, and coaching.

After earning my Master's degree in Counseling with a health psychology emphasis at Santa Clara University, I'm now working on two new books, a collection of meditations with Juan Velasco and a book about the effects of the natural world on our personal health and well being.

To purchase a book below, please click on the book title.  To read in more detail about each book, please click on the book jacket.


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American Library Association

"This book seeks to guide an environmental revitalization of the earth by holistically healing and focusing the energies of all people. Dreher, child of the 1960s, uses the ancient nature philosophy of Lao Tzu--as handed down in his Tao Te Ching--and various true-life stories to build in the reader a respect for the self, natural cycles, and the environment. Especially important are her examples of individual action and her many annotations listing books and organizations that are involved in spiritual growth and activism. Her unabashed advocacy of ancient Chinese beliefs such as chi energy and yin/​yang properties will cause some to dismiss her, but her lessons are quite useful. This is an important subject for the 1990s and one that promises to bring a renewal of environmental consciousness."

Publishers Weekly

"Can Chinese seer Lao-Tzu's ancient classic, Tao Te Ching, help you cope with divorce, being fired, tension, a negative self-image, poor communication, environmental pollution, personal and political conflict? Most certainly, according to this busy self-help manual, complete with meditation, breathing and visualization exercises, activity lists and 'self-assessments.' Dreher urges us to use Taoist principles to harmonize with nature, flow with cycles of change, live in the present, seek simplicity, and reach out to the world in loving service. Some readers may be put off by this primer's relentlessly upbeat tone, its division of humanity into 'Tao people' and 'non-Tao persons';others will doubtless welcome it as a valiant attempt to apply Taoist wisdom to our high-pressure modern world. Each chapter is prefaced by a verse from the Tao and ends with the author's aphoristic 'Affirmations.'"

Publishers Weekly

"Dreher (The Tao of Inner Peace, HarperCollins, 1991; originally published as The Tao of Peace, Donale I. Fine, 1990) wonderfully combines her interest in the Tao and her ability to write in this excellent work. The author offers practical, sensible, simple advice in being a Tao leader. She delivers discussions of centeredness, coping with stress, making time for meditation or rejuvenation, the importance of vision, community, and self-respect-all in a readable style. Reading her text is like taking a deep, cleansing breath. The examples and quotations from the Tao Te Ching are beautifully incorporated into the overall message. Leaders and aspiring leaders should read this book. Dreher makes more points and illustrates more truths in fewer words and less meandering than any other recent book on the subject of effective leadership. Readers will want to refer to this book again and again." 

-Randy Abbott, Univ. of Evansville Libs., Ind.

The Tao of Womanhood is for every woman who is searching for both external power and internal peace. It's for the woman who wants to be tough but nice, who wants to take care of things and everyone else but needs to be reminded to look after herself, who feels pulled in too many directions and yearns to live a full, balanced life. It's for the woman who wants to be a strong, proactive leader at work and at home, and lead a life of harmony and inner peace.

​ISBN: 0688166296

Throughout history, gardening has been a familiar metaphor for self-cultivation and spiritual growth. Inner Gardening explores the spiritual while rejoicing in the wonders of nature.  ISBN: 0-06-008428-6


The Tao of Personal Leadership shows how we can all become leaders: courageous and resourceful individuals who make leadership an art, challenging and inspiring those around us to fulfill humanity's highest potential.    ISBN: 0-452-28199-7

Spirituality and Practice
"The art of gardening, of participating in the annual cycle of the seasons and watching things grow, has become a perennial source of peace, inspiration, and personal renewal," writes Diane Dreher who teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Santa Clara University. The author of The Tao of Inner Peace finds that this activity slows us down and teaches us patience and perseverance. Best of all it is a nurturing process that involves us in inner and outer caretaking. . . . Whether you have a small herb garden or a lavish cutting garden to provide beautiful flowers for your house, you will enjoy Dreher's ability to relate composting, watering, weeding, mulching, sowing, pruning, and fertilizing to the spiritual ideals of renewal, balance, order, patience, presence, attention, and care.”

-Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice

                   North Star Personal Coaching

                                  Diane Dreher

                                   Connect With Your Deep Creativity

The Tao of Inner Peace demystifies the Tao and reveals how it can be a powerful source of growth and inspiration--an indispensable tool for facing the challenges of the 21st century.  ISBN: 0-452-28199-7