Tao Te ChingI am excited to announce that the Happiness Study Group will be starting our new book on March 17th, The Tao Te Ching. With some much-needed and appreciated guidance from our dear friend and scholar, Daniel Bisgaard, we will explore one of the most translated books in world literature. This twelfth selection is a bit of a departure, though most assuredly related to our continuing study of the Middle Way.

Authorship of the Tao Te Ching is credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi and the oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC. The Tao Te Ching… is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including LegalismConfucianism, and Buddhism. In its 81 verses it delivers a treatise on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity: an important kind of wisdom in a world where many people believe such a thing to be impossible.

The edition we have chosen is: Tao Te Ching: With Over 150 Photographs by Jane English Paperback – November 1, 2011 by Lao Tzu (Author), Gia-Fu Feng (Translator), Jane English (Translator), Toinette Lippe (Translator), with introduction by Jacob Needleman.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known writer and scholar of philosophy and comparative religion, Jacob Needleman.

Lao Tsu’s philosophy 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 everything without requiring payment or thanks. It does so without discrimination. So let us present the same face to everyone and treat them all as equals, however they may behave. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop “trying,” if we stop putting in so much extra effort, if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. Te—which may be translated as “virtue” or “strength”—lies always in Tao meaning “the way” or “natural law.” In other words: Simply be.”

The book is available from Amazon, ABE.com and other sellers. Other editions of the Feng and English translation are also suitable…particularly versions without photographs at lower prices.

Please contact Nadine if you would like to join the study group or if you have an questions about it. We recommend you also join the Happiness Study Group on Facebook to keep up with current information on the group’s activities.