Synopsis

In Harmony with the Tao takes the reader on a guided journey into the Tao Te Ching using the text of perhaps the best-known English edition: Stephen Mitchell’s elegant, authoritative interpretation in Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, which has sold over one million copies and been translated into six languages.  Religion scholar Huston Smith has said, “Mitchell’s rendition of the Tao Te Ching comes as close to being definitive for our time as any I can imagine.”

 

The Tao Te Ching is one of the most widely read and deeply loved works of ancient spiritual wisdom in the world.  But its dense and cryptic lines can sometimes yield more confusion than illumination.  If you’ve ever found yourself understanding the printed words but thinking, “Yes, but what does this mean and how is it relevant to me?” then In Harmony with the Tao is your guide into deeper understanding of this classic work of Chinese philosophy.

 

Building on Mitchell’s inspiring platform, In Harmony with the Tao takes wisdom to the next level with a writing style that is uncomplicated and conversational and reveals the common threads weaving through the eighty-one brief chapters.  (All of Stephen Mitchell’s text is reproduced with permission from the author and his publisher, HarperCollins.)  Dr. Francis Pring-Mill, an expert in presenting complex ideas in an insightful and intuitive way, guides readers through the lines, opening them up to explore embedded concepts, point out patterns, and relate the messages to our modern world. 

 

Today’s fast-paced society leaves us little time to spend with the timeless questions, such as how to live a meaningful life in harmony with the world around us.  Nonetheless we yearn for answers – and answers are to be found in the Tao Te Ching, a book written twenty-five hundred years ago that resonates with people everywhere as though it had been written yesterday.  There are many English translations and versions.  Some are scholarly or academic, others are philosophical, some call themselves “personal and poetic meditations,” and others “free verse interpretations.”  All of them testify to the timeless wisdom of this ancient text.

 

What's new in In Harmony with the Tao is a focus not so much on what’s on the lines as on what’s between them.  As the journey  unfolds through the eighty-one brief chapters, a common reaction from readers is: “I see it now.  I never thought of it that way before.”  Readers will also find themselves guided to ask questions leading to their own insights which they can take away and apply in their personal lives.  In a skillful rendition of ancient wisdom reimagined for modern times, In Harmony with the Tao will appeal to anyone keen to understand the ideas contained in the Tao Te Ching and apply them to daily living in today’s world.