Question: Derek, Tao Te Ching chapter 1 speaks of “mystery of mysteries.” I would like to understand this concept better. What is the Chinese character for mystery? Can you talk about its etymology and meaning? Answer: The Chinese character is Continue reading The Mystery of the Tao
Question: Derek, what is the Tao perspective on women? Answer: Authentic teachings of the Tao emphasize the appropriate recognition and reverence for the sacred feminine. In the Tao Te Ching, the word “mother” appears seven times (in chapters 1, 20, Continue reading Women and the Tao
Question: Derek, I’ve been studying kung fu for the last three years. I bought your books based on my sifu’s recommendation. He says understanding the Tao can help me take my martial arts to the next level. I’ve been reading Continue reading Kung Fu and the Tao
Think about how chaotic life can be. When we are born, we mark the moment with the baby’s first cry – a howl with powerful emotions convulsing the whole body, a loud protest against the forced entry into this world. Continue reading Stillness
Question: Derek, in chapter 39 there is a line that says rulers called themselves “alone, bereft, and unworthy.” Can you shed some light on how these terms originated? Answer: In the original Chinese, these terms were gu, gua, and bu Continue reading Ancient Rulers
Question: Derek, I understand your point about chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching – you have explained that great changes are made slowly, as gradual accumulations from many small steps. However, this seems to contradict self-help books and gurus Continue reading Change in an Instant?
Question: Derek, I have studied many holy books. Each one has to be understood as the product of its time. In many ways, the ancients understood the world very differently than we do. It is therefore necessary for us to Continue reading Holy Books
Question: Derek, in your commentaries you seem quite certain about the meaning of the passages, but isn’t the Tao supposed to be mysterious and unknowable? Is it not true that the ancient sages embraced uncertainty and ambiguity to allow for Continue reading Clarity