Book Review: Reflections upon the Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching is a classical Chinese text attributed to a Chinese sage names Lao Tzu in the 6th century. Some sources state it might have been written as early as the 4th century and Lao Tzu might even be a compilation of authors over a period of time.

This book is the fundamental text for Taoism and has been extremely influential for other religions such as Buddhism and Confucianism.

My favorite translation

My favorite translation

It consists of 81 brief yet powerful chapters or sections and these small verses never cease to amaze me. I am always finding new meaning for the words in my life as well as new interactions between the verses. Once another layer of perception has opened, more meaning floods into the words. Sometimes I just pick up the book, open to a random page and just read one verse, letting the words linger and swirl thru my consciousness being my guide for the day. Other times I devour pages at a time -filling my cup and allowing it to overflow into my daily interactions.

It speaks of a middle path, one of inspiration, health, balance and truth. It explains nature, medicine, healing, art, and love,actually it seems to fit into any context.

When using this text to explain the influences of the Tao on healing, I see even clearer how Chinese medicine is a modality that not only originates but moves with nature. It poetically explains how everything is rooted within oneness and separates into duality. As we begin to observe this interaction all things blossom into existence. All that we see and all that we can’t see comes from the same source, the eternal void.

Imbalance, a state of disease, can come for outside in or move inside out. Either way one must first make amends with their self, learn to observe with out judgment and reconcile their lifestyle, diet and habits to live in more union with the Way.

Pure observation of the self is a tricky experience, because it is easily tainted with thoughts on how we want to be, how we think we are, how others see us. But when we are able to come from a seat of pure awareness, that is when we are able to observe our true nature as well as all the blockages that bring us further from our natural state of health and balance.

Lao Tzu offers words to explain the intangible experiences of being human. Words that are deeper than what the letters that form them show us. We need to begin to be able to listen with our hearts and hear with our soul. It offers things to meditate upon, ways to increase radiance and ways to come more in alignment with nature, the ever-giving life source. It helps to explain the theory of yin-yang in everyday experiences. This timeless classic seems just as relevant today was when it was written long ago.   

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Buy a copy today- you won’t regret it!