Tao Te Ching Book Club

Since many of us are at home with a lot of extra time on our hands now, I thought I would initiate an online video book club to explore the Tao Te Ching. If you are unfamiliar with the Tao Te Ching, it is considered the original and most significant book laying out the ideas and philosophies of Taoism. Each of its 81 chapters is comprised of a short poem with profound meaning that is often difficult to comprehend.

For this book club, we will hold the meetings over Google Hangouts (which is much like the more popular “Zoom” these days, but there are no time limits for the free version). If you join the club, I will send you a link to help you join the meeting.

If you are interested in taking part in the online Tao Te Ching Book Club, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page. We will limit the group to 10 people and this will be done on a first come, first serve basis.

I would like people who join the book club, to put a strong effort into being there for each meeting (twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10AM) while the Covid-19 isolation thing is going on. I would hate to see people not participate while others where not able to get in.

We will hold the book club meetings for as long as my T’ai Chi classes are cancelled due to the Coronavirus. (Please note that this means it could be just a few meetings.) Each week we will discuss one chapter of the book.

Note: Once T’ai Chi classes kick in again, if others want to continue on without me, I will happily pass on the organizational reigns to someone other willing soul.

If you have a copy of the Tao Te Ching, any version you have is fine. (In my mind, it is beneficial to get a variety of perspectives from different writings.) If you do not have a copy of the book (or if you want to reference a variety of translations), there are plenty of writings online that you can look at. I will put some links down below to help with that.

Please note that everyone is expected to participate, contribute and talk. While I will facilitate the meetings, I am certainly not an expert on the Tao Te Ching and I will be learning and exploring along with the other participants. This means that you will want to read the chapter well before the meeting and contemplate it to formulate your own sense of the message the chapter is communicating. You may want to do some research as well.

March 27th 10 AM: Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

The inaugural meeting of the Tao Te Ching Book Club. We will discuss the origins of the book and try to figure out the meaning on the first Chapter of the book. This could include:

  • Possible variations of meanings
  • It’s meaning in relation to the time it was written
  • It’s meaning in relation to current times
  • How the meaning may impact your current life experience
  • Anything else that comes up

Get more information on the chapters we have examined by clicking the links below. Initially I may only have a variety of translations on those pages. I hope to add some commentary culled from our discussions.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Links to translations:

That should offer a good start. There is a wealth of information available on the internet. Googling Tao Te Ching, or other related topics, will offer you vast and varied resources to research.