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Tao Te Ching

Annotated & Explained

Translation & Annotation by Derek Lin
Foreword by Lama Surya Das

5.5x 8.5, 208 pp, Quality Paperback


Large Print edition also available from

The enduring wisdom of the Tao Te Ching can become a companion
for your own spiritual journey.
Reportedly written by a sage named Lao Tzu over 2,500 years ago, the Tao Te Ching is one of the most succinct—and yet among the most profound—spiritual texts ever written. Short enough to read in an afternoon, subtle enough to study for a lifetime, the Tao Te Ching  distills into razor-sharp poetry centuries of spiritual inquiry into the Tao—the “Way” of the natural world around us that reveals the ultimate organizing principle of the universe.
Derek Lin’s insightful commentary, along with his new translation from the original Chinese—a translation that sets a whole new standard for accuracy—will inspire your spiritual journey and enrich your everyday life. It highlights the Tao Te Ching’s insights on simplicity, balance, and learning from the paradoxical truths you can see all around you: finding strength through flexibility (because bamboo bends, it is tough to break); achieving goals by transcending obstacles (water simply flows around rocks on its way to the sea); believing that small changes bring powerful results (a sapling, in time, grows into a towering tree).
Now you can experience the wisdom and power of Lao Tzu’s words even if you have no previous knowledge of the Tao Te Ching. SkyLight Illuminations provides insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that describes helpful historical background, explains the Tao Te Ching’s poetic imagery, and elucidates the ancient Taoist wisdom that will speak to your life today and energize your spiritual quest.
“Hits the mark! A native speaker of both Chinese and English, Lin adeptly bridges the gap between translation and interpretation ... applying [2,500-year-old teachings] to our modern world. Don’t miss this book if you want ancient knowledge that can change life for the better today.”
Edward Monaghan, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
“A magnificent presentation of arguably the most perfect and complete spiritual teaching ever published, the Tao Te Ching. An absolute must in any home library, no matter what tradition one follows.”
Rabbi David A. Cooper, author of God is a Verb
Koinonia Newsletter
“Highlight[s] the simplicity, balance, and learning from lifeís paradoxical truths.”
Midwest Book Review
“Immerses us in its lyrical, mystical, and down-to-earth wisdom and counsel.”
Spirituality & Health
“Lin’s unique rendering captures the spiritual wisdom, poetic grace and immense practicality of this classic text. Will illuminate your way regardless of the path you follow.”
Philip Goldberg, author of Roadsigns: On the Spiritual Path—Living at the Heart of Paradox
“Derek Lin’s fine new translation is as good as any and better than many, and his commentaries help illumine the text.... [The Tao Te Ching’s] sublime little sutras have edified, instructed, encouraged, and entertained millions of people for millennia, and they continue to do so today. Like a veritable treasure trove, this masterful book of wise living and authentic being provides both spiritual sustenance and practical guidance, so necessary for us today and tomorrow.”
from the Foreword by Lama Surya Das
Derek Lin is director of Tao Studies at the Great Tao Foundation of America and is an active speaker and educator on the Tao Te Ching and Tao spirituality. He also serves as webmaster of, a leading resource for the Tao on the Internet.
Lama Surya Das, one of the foremost Western Buddhist leaders and teachers, is author of the best-selling Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World and other books. Founder of the Dzogchen Meditation Centers in America, he also organizes the Western Buddhist Teachers Conferences with the Dalai Lama.
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