Reading The Tao Te Ching: The Tao Is Mystery: A Meditation

The Core Taoist Teaching

The core Taoist teaching, especially as it’s found in The Tao Te Ching (alt.: The Daodejing) can be reduced to five tenets. In this reading, which is, above all, a meditation, I select five seminal chapters from TTC (the Hinton translation) to illustrate this tenet. They are Chapters 1, 11, 16, 25, and 34. In the spirit of Chan and Zen, I allow for a spontaneous question to emerge at the end of each chapter.

The poem (co-written with Daniel Doyon) below juxtaposes the grace of the Taoist teaching with the brittle sternness of the modern picture.

Tenet #1: Stillness


Completely empty, completely still,

Tao is great mystery.

Therefore, I meditate.

Meditating on great mystery is nobody


Life is great, endless conquest.

Therefore, I strive.

Striving to conquer is Somebody.

Dialogical Meditation

I conduct dialogical meditations. To learn about the latter, see here.