The original mindfulness book, in a landmark new translation by the award-winning translator of the I Ching and The Art of War
The most translated book in the world after the Bible, the Tao Te Ching, or “Book of the Tao,” is a guide to cultivating a life of peace, serenity, and compassion. Through aphorisms and parable, it leads readers toward the Tao, or the “Way”: harmony with the life force of the universe. Traditionally attributed to Lao-tzu, a Chinese philosopher thought to have been a contemporary of Confucius, it is the essential text of Taoism, one of the three major religions of ancient China. As one of the world’s great works of wisdom literature, it still has much to teach us today, offering a practical model based on modesty and self-restraint for living a balanced existence and for opening your mind, freeing your thoughts, and attaining greater self-awareness. With its emphasis on calm, simplicity, purity, and non-action, it provides a time-tested refuge from the busyness of modern life.
This new translation seeks to understand the Tao Te Ching as a guide to everyday living and encourages a slow, meditative reading experience. The Tao Te Ching’s eighty-one brief chapters are accompanied by illuminating commentary, interpretation, poems, and testimonials by the likes of Margaret Mead, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Specially commissioned calligraphy for more than two hundred Chinese characters illustrate the book’s essential themes.
About Tao Te Ching
In the hands of Jonathan Star, the eighty-one verses of the Tao Te Ching resound with the elegant, simple images and all-penetrating ideas that have made this ancient work a cornerstone of the world’s wisdom literature.
About Tao Te Ching
“No one has done better in conveying Lao Tsu’s simple and laconic style of writing, so as to produce an English version almost as suggestive of the many meanings intended. This is a most useful, as well as beautiful, volume—and what it has to say is exactly what the world, in its present state, needs to hear.” – Alan Watts
RELIGION/ EASTERN STUDIES
This translation of the Chinese classic, which was first published twenty-five years ago, has sold more copies than any of the others. It offers the essence of each word makes Lao Tsu’s teaching immediate and alive.
The philosophy of Lao Tsu is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides for all without discrimination—therefore let us present the same face to everyone and treat all men as equals, however they may be have. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. We will come to appreciate the original meaning of the word “understand,” which means “to stand under.” We serve whatever or whoever stands before us, without any thought for ourselves. Te—which may be translated as “virtue” or “strength”—lies always in Tao, or “natural law.” In other words: Simply be.
“A wonderful translation—clear and deep.” —Vikram Seth
“My first reaction as a Sinologist to a new translation of the Tao Te Ching is always: ‘Another one?! Whatever for?’ But then I began to read John Minford’s translation, and it immediately seduced me. . . . It has the mark of the craftsman: Its choice of words is not just judicious but also poetic, refreshing the at once limpid and ambiguous original and making it new. . . . The result is a metaphysical feast for those willing to slow down and read this text as it was meant to be read: meditatively.” —John Lagerwey, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
“Elegant and poetic, John Minford’s translation of the Tao Te Ching probably comes the closest of any to the essence of the mystical, ineffable Taoist classic. Minford wisely avoids providing one authoritative voice, instead introducing a rich tapestry of historical resonances that induce a meditative experience, as if harmonizing with an ensemble singing an ancient song.” —Yue Zhuang, University of Exeter