The Scripture on Tao and Virtue (道德經, Tao De Jing) is the foundational philosophical work of all Taoism. Believed to have been written in the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BCE) by the philosopher Lao Zi (老子), it contains approximately five thousand characters and is divided into two books with eighty-one chapters.
For study and recitation purposes, the two separate texts are treated individually as the Book of Tao and Book of Virtue. The first book contains chapters one thru 37, and the overall theme is about the Tao in its cosmic, worldly, and personal sense. The second book, containing chapters 38 thru 81, discusses Virtue as the very power and influence of the Tao.
The main themes of the work are the Taoist ideals of living in non-contention, non-aggression, non-interference, and non-conformity (the very essence of Virtue)—and these four ideals are underscored in the text by teaching people to live in appreciation of life.
In this section you will find the invitation link to the Tao De Jing class, the recordings of Stuart’s earlier commentaries on the Tao De Jing, and the new weekly recordings of the Tao De Jing classes. You’ll also find the audio meditation of Stuart reading his translation of the Tao De Jing.