A Path and a Practice: Using Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching as a Guide to an Awakened Spiritual Life by William Martin


The Tao Te Ching—one of the most loved and widely translated books in human history—has appeared in countless English-language versions. But no modern translation has yet captured the essential thrust of Lao Tzu’s work as a practical guide to living an awakened life.

Now William Martin, whose acclaimed previous reinterpretations of the Tao (for parents, couples, and elders) have introduced or reacquainted this classic text to thousands of readers, strikingly translates the Tao’s eighty-one chapters to uniquely address someone on a Tao—or path—with a practice.

Martin frames his new translation with two illuminating, groundbreaking sections: “A Path,” which introduces the Tao’s nonlinear construction and explains how it works its themes; and “A Practice,” which provides practical guidance for readers exploring each of the Tao’s themes in depth. Martin’s genius in this new translation uncovers how directly the Tao speaks to readers on or about to embark on a spiritual journey.

William Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of nine novels. He is best known for his historical fiction, which has chronicled the lives of the great and the anonymous in American history while bringing to life legendary American locations, from Cape Cod to Annapolis. He has also written an award-winning PBS documentary, one of the cheesiest horror movies ever made, magazine articles, and book reviews for The Boston Globe. He was the recipient of the 2005 New England Book Award. He has three grown children and lives near Boston with his wife.

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