From Master Luke Chan:
I have been writing and meditating on Tao Te Ching for more than ten years and every word becomes a friend and has life in it. To me, Tao Te Ching is not just a bunch of old words but words with emotions and compassion. But how can I express how I feel? After I had done all the possible ways of translating Lao-tzu’s words, I still felt I had done nothing to bring out the essence of his words. Then one morning I woke up with an extremely calm mind. I felt like myself again. I dropped all the burdens of wanting to write a perfect Tao Te Ching. I began to write the words from my soul. So I meditated on each chapter before I went to bed and would come up with a translation of that chapter in the morning. Once I had a difficult time of coming up with something. So I prayed. Wow! Like something hit me, the answer came. I never asked again. But just kept being grateful that words were coming through me as if I were not the one writing them. Wherever I use the word “oh” to begin a sentence, somehow I have entered into an altered state. I feel the emotion of the words. I feel the joy of life; I feel the sadness of war; I feel the gentle breathing; I feel the power of simplicity; I feel the power of loving myself, loving others and loving nature.
What is Tao Te Ching?
Tao Te Ching is a philosophical book written by Lao-tzu 2,600 years ago. It consists of about five thousand words with 800 Chinese characters.
The title “Tao Te Ching” can be translated as “The Book of Tao and Te”. Tao is the first cause of the universe. What causes Tao? Author Lao-tzu says he doesn’t know and therefore Tao is undefined. Te is the use of Tao.
The basic idea of Tao Te Ching is that everything can ultimately be explained by one thing – Tao. Tao is the complete explanation of space, time, energy, life, consciousness, human intelligence, thoughts, and all visible and invisible aspects of reality. Tao is the beginning and ending of all reality in the Universe. Tao manifests itself in different forms and laws in the Universe.
Te is the use of Tao. Fish have obtained Te so that they can live in water. Birds have obtained Te so that they can fly in air. Humans have obtained Te so that we can live on land. All living creatures have obtained Te so that they can become living creatures. In a broader sense, all things, including non-living things, have obtained Te so that they become what they are.
The purpose of Tao Te Ching is to teach the world to live harmoniously through the Tao of natural long life. Tao Te Ching sets out to answer eight important questions:
- Where do we come from and where are we going?
- Can the opposite of a profound truth also be true?
- What is the invisible action wuwei (Can a flap of the wings of a butterfly in one place cause a tornado in another)?
- What happens when we reach total silence?
- Are we born enlightened beings?
- Is there cosmic justice?
- What is enough?
- Are we altruistic in nature?
According to the answers to the above questions, Tao Te Ching can be grouped into eight principles: 1. Tao; 2. Oneness; 3. Action; 4. Silence; 5. Life; 6. Peace; 7. Contentment; 8. Love.
The principles of Tao Te Ching have been applied to religion, science, politics, commerce, medicine, education, sports, arts, and kung fu.
“Luke has worked for over 10 years on the monumental effort of translating the Tao Te Ching into an accessible and thoroughly researched version of this timeless document. Much has been written about the Tao Te Ching, but no one, before Luke, had made the effort to take into account the most scholarly interpretations of the text. He organized his book into the Eight Secrets of Tao Te Ching, the verbatim translations of the text, the English translation of Chuang-tzu stories, Ho Shang Kung and Wang Pi Commentaries, and a concordance of dictionary definitions of Chinese characters.”
- Rick Bellingham
“Your book is wonderful, absolutely and incredibly wonderful. I am able to read and apply the passages with great ease - they are so very clear, easy to read, easy to understand and profound. You have done a great service for humanity, for all of us. Thank you for walking your path.”
- Deborah Lucas
“It’s wonderful! Absolutely a masterpiece! Whenever I read quietly to myself or loudly to my students, the words are touching, inspiring and moving me deeply. Thank you so much for all your dedicated work over the years.”
- Melanie Keller