Reflections from Lao Tzu’s Tao te Ching

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Item Code: NAC828
Author: Colin D. Mallard
Publisher: Zen Publications
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 8188071706
Pages: 147 (Throughout in full B/W illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 11.5 Inch X 8.5 Inch
Weight 210 gm
Book Description
Back of the book

Like the happy, peaceful murmur of a stream, the wisdom and truth found in Colin Mallard’s Reflections, cascade effortlessly and ever so gently in to your hearts, there to remain in silence of direct understanding. Articulating the Way with ease, poise serenity and complete assurance, Colin’s own profound understanding and creative quietism shine forth on every page. If you yearn for peace, this the book to read perhaps just a page at a time so as to savor the blessings served after verse.

About the Author

Who was Lao Tzu?

According to legend Lao Tzu lived in China 500 years before Christ. He was a contemporary of the Buddha and the reformer, Confucius. The story goes that Lao Tzu became disenchanted with the rules and regulations promulgated by Confucius and decided to leave China and find a place to live peacefully. He followed a trail that led to a pass in the mountains. There he came to the cabin of “the keeper of the pass.” who invited him to stay and rest. Sometime during his stay the keeper of the pass must have recognized Lao Tzu for he asked the sage to write down his understanding of life. Lao Tzu agreed. V/hat resulted is now known as the “Tao Te Ching.” It is considered one of the great spiritual classics of all time.


The wise man hears of Advaita, and at once becomes its embodiment; the ordinary man hears of Advaita, and half believes and half doubts; a foolish man hears of Advaita, and bursts out laughing.

Thus it is that in daily living, the path home seems to lead away from home; the short*cut seems too long; real strength appears weak; the easy way appears difficult; real happiness seems empty; true clarity seems obscure; genuine beauty goes unnoticed; the greatest love seems indifferent, and the greatest wisdom appears foolish.

The ultimate understanding means acceptance of what IS, including what might appear as a mistake or something half finished. Being permanently connected to the Source, honour and dishonour have no meaning for the man of understanding.

Strange it is, but the fact of life is that one seeks the Source— God and That is all there IS, anywhere and everywhere.

Through Cohn has come forth with great ease, a beautiful version of an old favorite.

This is a book that will always be welcomed as a guide to peace and harmony in daily living.


Forty years ago I came across the “Tao Te Ching.” I felt an immediate affinity for it. What the sage had to say was simple, straightforward and self-evident—which to me is the hallmark of truth. Since then the teachings have been engraved in my heart, particularly over the years I was privileged to sit at the feet of the Advaita Master, Ramesh S. Balsekar. As the rising sun illuminates all it touches, so Ramesh’s teaching illuminated Lao Tzu’s words.

This is not a new translation from the Chinese as I’m not familiar with the language. It came about as follows. From time to time I found myself reading the words of Lao Tzu, sometimes months would pass between readings. Each time I paid a visit, however, I invariably read aloud. Listening to what Lao Tzu had to say was like being in his presence. The utter simplicity of his teaching touched me deeply and a sense of peacefulness always accompanied each visit.

Lao Tzu is known as the father of Taoism. Although it is peculiar to China, the same basic teaching is found in India and is known as Advaita Vedanta, in Japan it is known as Zen and in the West as the Perennial Philosophy.

Three primary sources were used, a translation by D.C. Lau; Robert C Henricks, of the Ma-wang-tui texts, and the translation of Cia Fu Feng. I also drew on the free flowing rendition of Stephen Mitchell and the translation of Witter Bynner.

The “Tao Te Ching,” was written some twenty five hundred years ago and from a context, with one important exception, of a culture quite different from our own. The exception? In Lao Tzu’s time, as in ours, there was an emphasis upon rules and regulations that governed just about every aspect of daily life and thus inhibited one’s freedom and the natural spontaneity of things.

With more literal translations the teachings can appear somewhat archaic and obscure to those unfamiliar with the basic concepts of Taoism. The teachings are, however, both timeless and universal, and when removed from the trappings of time and culture they point to a profound understanding of life, the utter simplicity of which enables one to live in effortless harmony.

In formulating this version of Lao Tzu’s great spiritual classic I used the aforementioned translations to highlight and corroborate key points the master was making. What follows are Lao Tzu’s gems as I have understood them. May you find them as illuminating as I have.


Who Was Lao Tzu?13
Foreword 15
What is the Meaning of the Tao? 20
Mystery wrapped in Mystery 25
The Union of Opposites 27
How it works28
Used but never emptied 29
The Grand Illusion 30
The Valley spirit31
How Can it Die?32
Like Water33
Truth 34
When the mind no longer wanders35
Being and non being 36
Freedom over bondage 37
Accept disgrace willingly39
Beyond the reach of words 40
The Ancient masters41
Can you wait patiently42
Forever present silent and unmoving 43
We did it45
When the Tao is Forgotten46
The Inner and the outer 47
Aimless as the restless wind49
Consciousness itself51
Bend like a sapling53
Life, Spontaneous and free54
A Feast for fools 55
A Law unto itself 57
Roots 59
When the Master travels61
The Ever present silence of I am 63
What is a good man?64
How it is 65
Not Adding anything67
You wish to improve the world?69
Where armies have passed70
To lose one’s way71
The Ocean of the Tao73
Fooling the ignorant 74
Wealthy beyond words75
Dissolved like salt in the sea76
He Has glimpsed his demise77
Never Exhausted 79
The Nature of things 80
When the mystery is understood81
The Fruit and not the flower82
As of Old83
As rugged and as simple as a stone84
Returning 85
If he didn’t laugh it wouldn’t be the Tao86
The Union of opposites87
Keep this in mind88
The whole world as one’s feet 91
He who knows he has enough93
Much learning gets in the way95
Nothing is left undone96
True Goodness 97
No place for death to enter99
Love of the Tao100
Find out what you are not101
The Heart is filled with infinite peace 102
Before time over was 103
The Great Way 104
Rooted in life 105
Like a newborn child 107
The Highest state 108
The Simplicity of life 109
Radiant and easy on the eyes 110
Blessed with eternal life 111
Frying a fish 112
A Great nation113
Valuable beyond comprehension 114
Give it no name 115
Seeing things as they are 117
The Easy way 119
The Oneness from whence we all come 120
A Delight in his presence 121
Three Priceless gems 122
A Great Warrior 123
Yielding 125
Easy to understand 127
Sick of sickness 129
What’s important 130
Life has its own way 131
Danger 133
A Formidable enemy 135
Disciples of life and disciples of death 136
The Way of Tao and the way of men 137
The Softness of water 139
The Key to living in harmony 140
Content with what is 141
Requiring nothing 143
Sample Pages

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