Why the Tao te Ching? I went on a trip to China with a favorite teacher of the Tao, Michael Winn, from Asheville, North Carolina. One day on the rural mountain called Huashan, China, a friend of mine asked a Taoist priest for advice. He asked this priest, “what do you recommend for someone who wants to take their Taoist practice to the next level?” At this time, my friend had been studying Taoism for probably 35 years. So, I was very interested in the question and the answer between two people who made their livings teaching and studying the Tao. Simply stated, the priest recommended that an eager student of the Tao does not need a complicated practice. The priest stated that “one needs to do some Chi Kung, a simple Tai Chi form perhaps, and study the three great texts of Taoism: the I-Ching, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, and the Tao te Ching.” Thus, this deep dive into the Tao te Ching is a practice in learning.
It is the author’s hope and experience that the practices of the Tao can lead one to feelings of connectedness with other beings and with nature. If I see other people as similar to myself, all animals as dear as my own pet, and Heaven and Earth as life-giving parents, then how could I continue to support systems that poison the planet, kill animals by the millions, and hold people in invisible prison from birth to death? Inner peace is a good step toward peace in the home, community, and beyond.
Photo From: @georgethompsonuk on Instagram.