Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Chapter 2 Index to All the Chapters Audio Taoism Cloud Hands Blog
English Chinese Spanish
Beginning of the Book of the Dao (Way or Path) of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), Classic of the Way and Virtue.
Book of the Dao (Way, Path) = Chapters 1-37. Book of the Te (Virtue, Powers) = Chapters 38-81.
English and Chinese (Wade-Giles/Pinyin Romanization) Terms: What is the Tao, Name (ming), Reason's Realization, Observe (kuan), Embodying the Tao, Everlasting (ch'ang), The Inadequacy of Names, Ineffable, Eternal, Being (yu), Spirit and Matter, All or Everything (chung), Nameless (wu-ming), Tao, the Way, Mother (mu), Desires and Thoughts or Habits (yü), Ten Thousand Things or Myriad Beings or Many Things (wan wu), Profound, Deep, Named (yu-ming), Spirituality, External or Appearance (chiao), Wonder, Dark (hsüan), Inexpressible, Portal or Gate (mên), Dao, Two or Duality (liang), Understanding, Origin (shih), Freedom, Manifested (chiao), Gateway, Unity or Oneness (t'ung), Always or Everlasting (ch'ang), Plurality, Life Spring, Desire (yu-yü), Source, Active, Names or Labels (ming), Perceive or Recognize (kuan), Quiescent, Mystery or Secret (hsüan), Essence or Subtlety (miao), Existence, Non-Existence, Non-Being (wu), Mystical, Differ or Diverge (yi), Essence, The Way or Walked or Path: Tao/Dao 道, Virture: Teh/De 德, Classic/Canon: Ching/Jing, 經, 體道
Términos en Español: ¿Cuál es el Tao, Nombre, Realización de Reason, Observar, Inefable, Eterno, Ser, Espíritu, Materia, Todo, Camino, Madre, Deseos, Pensamientos, Hábitos, Diez Mil Cosas, Profundo, Espiritualidad, Externa, Apariencia, Maravilla, Obscuro, Inexpresable, Portal, Puerta, Dualidad, Comprensión, Origen, Libertad, Manifestado, Unidad, Unicidad, Siempre, Pluralidad, Vida, Primavera, Deseo, Fuente, Activo, Nombres, Etiquetas, Percibir, Reconocer, Reposo, Misterio, Secreto, Esencia, Sutileza, Existencia, Inexistencia, No Ser, Místico, Difieren, Esencia, El Camino
"The Dao that can be understood cannot be the primal, or cosmic, Dao.
An idea that can be expressed in words cannot be the infinite idea.
This ineffable Dao was the source of all spirit and matter,
And being expressed was the mother of all created things.
Therefore not to desire the things of sense is to know the freedom of spirituality.
To desire is to learn the limitation of matter.
These two things spirit and matter, so different in nature, have the same origin.
This unity of origin is the mystery of mysteries, but it is the gateway to spirituality."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 1
"Tao that can be expressed is not Everlasting Tao.
The name that can be named is not the Everlasting Name.
The Name, in its inner aspect, is Life-Spring of Heaven and Earth.
The Name, in its outer aspect, is Mother of all created things.
To perceive the mystery of Life, desire always to reach the innermost.
To perceive the limitations of things, desire always to posses them.
These two aspects of Life are One.
In their out-come they become different in Name but in their depth they are One.
In a depth, still deeper yet, is the Door of many mysteries."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 1
"The tau (reason) which can be tau-ed
(reasoned) is not the Eternal Tau (Reason).
The name which can be named is not the Eternal Name.
Non-existence is named the Antecedent of heaven and earth.
Existence is named the Mother of all things.
In eternal non-existence, therefore, man seeks to pierce the primordial mystery;
And, in eternal existence, to behold the issues of the Universe.
But these two are one and the same, and differ only in name.
This sameness of existence and non-existence, I call the Abyss.
The Abyss of Abysses - the Gate of All Mystery."
- Translated by John Chalmers, 1868, Chapter 1
"The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not true.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.
To experience without intention is to sense the world;
To experience with intention is to anticipate the world.
These two experiences are indistinguishable;
Their construction differs but their effect is the same.
Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world."
- Translated by Peter Merel, 1992, Chapter 1
Cloud Hands Blog
"The Tao, or Principle of Nature, may be discussed by all; it is not the
popular or common Tao.
Its name may be named: but it is not an ordinary name.
Its nameless period was that which preceded the birth of the Universe.
In being spoken of by name, it is as the Progenitrix of All Things.
It is therefore in habitual passionlessness that its mystery may be scanned; and in habitual desire that its developments may be perceived.
These two conditions, the Active and the Quiescent, alike proceed from Tao; it is only in name that they differ.
Both may be called profundities; and the depth of profundity is the gate of every mystery."
- Translated by Frederic H. Balfour, 1884, Chapter 1
"A Tao that can be Tao-ed is not lasting Tao.
A name that can be named is not lasting name.
Name-less — the beginning of Heaven and Earth.
Named — the mother of all things.
So, we must be always without desires to see the mystery.
If we always have desires we will see its limits.
These two are the same; once there is out-going, then there is difference of name.
As the same they are called obscure.
The obscure of the obscure is the gate of all mysteries."
- Translated by P. J. Maclagan, 1898, Chapter 1
"The Tao which can be expressed is not
the unchanging Tao;
The name which can be named is not the unchanging name.
The nameless is the beginning of the Heaven Earth;
The mother of all things is the nameable.
Thus, while the eternal non-being leads toward the fathomless, the eternal being conduct to the boundary.
Although these two have been differently named they come from the same.
As the same they may be described as the abysmal.
The abyss of the abysmal is the gate of all mystery."
- Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 1
"The Reason that can be reasoned is not the eternal
The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.
The Unnamable is of heaven and earth the beginning.
The Namable becomes of the ten thousand things the mother.
Therefore it is said:
"He who desireless is found
The spiritual of the world will sound.
But he who by desire is bound
Sees the mere shell of things around."
These two things are the same in source but different in name.
Their sameness is called a mystery.
Indeed, it is the mystery of mysteries.
Of all spirituality it is the door."
- Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 1
- Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1
tao k’o tao, fei ch’ang tao.
ming k’o ming, fei ch’ang ming.
wu ming t’ien ti chih shih.
yu ming wan wu chih mu.
ku ch’ang wu, yü yi kuan ch’i miao.
ch’ang yu, yü yi kuan ch’i chiao.
tz’u liang chê, t’ung ch’u erh yi ming.
t’ung wei chih hsüan.
hsüan chih yu hsüan.
chung miao chih mên.
- Wade Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1
Audio Version in Chinese of Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching
dao ke dao, fei chang dao.
ming ke ming, fei chang ming.
wu ming tian di zhi shi.
you ming wan wu zhi mu.
gu chang wu, yu yi guan qi miao.
chang you, yu yi guan qi jiao.
ci liang zhe, tong chu er yi ming.
tong wei zhi xuan.
xuan zhi you xuan.
zhong miao zhi men.
- Hanyu Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 1
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros.
Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin, German, French and English.
Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB
Chinese Character Dictionary
Dao De Jing Wade-Giles Concordance by Nina, Dao is Open
Dao De Jing English and Wade-Giles Concordance by Mike Garofalo
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English
Tao Te Ching: English translation, Word by Word Chinese and English, and Commentary, Center Tao by Carl Abbott
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, English, Word by word analysis, Zhongwen
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition By Jonathan Star. Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character.
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified
Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale Romanizations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal
Chinese Characters, Wade-Giles and Pinyin Romanizations, and 16 English Translations for Each Chapter of the Daodejing by Mike Garofalo.
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles Romanization spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Version.
Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher.
"The Tao that can be expressed is not the true Tao
The name that can be defined is not the true name
Non-existence is called the antecedent of heaven and earth;
Existence is the mother of all things.
From eternal non-existence, therefore, we serenely observe the mysterious beginnning of the universe;
From eternal existence we clearly see the apparent distinctions.
These two are the same in source and become different when manifested.
This sameness is called profundity. Infinite profundity is the gate whence comes the beginning of all parts of the universe."
- Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 1
The way that may be traversed is not the Eternal Way.
The name which can be uttered is not the Eternal Name.
Without name — Heaven and Earth (Nature) at the beginning were called the mother of all things.
Thus it always is that he who is without passion can grasp the inner essence, while he who is blinded by passion can only apprehend the outer form.
These two have really the same issue, and differ only in name.
Together they are spoken of as the First Cause.
The cause of the First Cause itself is the gateway of the Essential."
- Translated by T.W. Kingsmill, 1899, Chapter 1
"The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.
Conceived of as having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth;
Conceived of as having a name, it is the Mother of all things.
Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.
Under these two aspects, it is really the same;
But as development takes place, it receives the different names.
Together we call them the Mystery.
Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 1
"The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders"
- Translated by Derek Linn, 2006, Chapter 1
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices By Mike Garofalo
"The tao that can be described
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be spoken
is not the eternal Name.
The nameless is the boundary of Heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of creation.
Freed from desire, you can see the hidden mystery.
By having desire, you can only see what is visibly real.
Yet mystery and reality
emerge from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness born from darkness.
The beginning of all understanding."
- Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 1
"The Providence which could be indicated by words would
not be an all-embracing Providence,
nor would any name by which we could name it be an ever-applicable name.
“Non-existence” is a name for the beginning of heaven and earth.
“Existence” is a name for the genetrix of the innumerable objects of creation.
Hence, “absolute non-existence” suggests to us the miraculous working of what in “absolute existence” has become the resulting essence.
These two emanate from the same, though their namings are dissimilar, and jointly they are termed “state of colourless dissolution.”
Dissolution, again, within dissolution this connects us with the various miraculous workings."
- Translated by E. H. Parker, 1903, Chapter 1
English Language Audio-Version, Four Translations of Chapter 1, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Reading by Michael P. Garofalo, July 25, 2014, WMA Format.
Readings include translations by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, Isabella Mears, Lin Yutang, and Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo.
Chapter 1, Daodejing, Laozi, Cloud Hands Blog Post, July 25, 2014
Chapter 1, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Cloud Hands Blog Post, December 13, 2013
Index to Audio Recordings of Readings by Michael P. Garofalo of Chapters of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter Index to the Dao De Jing by Laozi
Tao Te Ching Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Translated by John C. WuLao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching Translated by Livia Kohn
Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts
Tao que puede llamarse Tao
no es el verdadero Tao.
El nombre que se le puede dar
no es su verdadero nombre.
Sin nombre es el principio del Cielo y la Tierra;
y con nombre, es la madre de las diez mil cosas.
Desde el No-Ser comprendemos su esencia;
y desde el Ser, sólo vemos su apariencia.
Ambas cosas, Ser y No-Ser, tienen el mismo
origen, aunque distinto nombre.
Su identidad es el Misterio.
Y en este Misterio
se halla la puerta de toda maravilla."
- Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capítulo 1
"Camino que se puede describir de manera articulada
no es el Camino Invariable.
El nombre que se puede decir en voz alta
no es el Nombre Invariable.
Con la boca cerrada y las cosas sin definir,
estás al principio del universo.
Si haces definiciones, eres la medida de toda la creación.
Así, estando siempre sin deseo,
miras en lo hondo de lo trascendente.
Albergando constantemente el deseo,
todas las cosas que te rodean te estorban la vista.
Estos dos entran en el mundo semejantes,
pero sus nombres son diferentes.
Semjantes, se llaman profundos y remotos.
Profundos y remotos y más aún:
Esta es la puerta de todos los misterios."
- Translated by Alejandro Pareja, 2012, based upon the William Scott Wilson translation into English, Capítulo 1
Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Daodejing by Laozi: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English. This is an outstanding resource for serious students of the Tao Te Ching.
Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table Provides side by side comparisons of translations of the Tao Te Ching by James Legge, D. T. Suzuki, and Dwight Goddard. Chinese characters for each paragraph in the Chapter are on the left; place your cursor over the Chinese characters to see the Pinyin Romanization of the Chinese character and a list of meanings.
Center Tao. Includes a brief commentary on each Chapter. A keyword glossary for each chapter is provided.
Tao Te Ching English Language Corncordance by Gerold Claser. An excellent English language concordance providing terms, chapter and line references, and the proximal English language text. No Chinese language characters or Wade-Giles or Pinyin Romanizations. Based on the 1996 translation by John H. McDonald, available in the public domain on the Internet.
Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros.
Audio Recordings in English of the Chapters of the Tao Te Ching. Recordings by Michael P. Garofalo.
Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions
Taoism and the Tao Te Ching: Bibliography, Resources, Links
Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching, Daodejing en Español
Concordance to the Daodejing
The Tao of Zen. By Ray Grigg. Tuttle, 2012, 256 pages. Argues for the view that Zen is best characterized as a version of philosophical Taoism (i.e., Laozi and Zhuangzi) and not Mahayana Buddhism.
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition By Jonathan Star. Translation, commentary and research tools. New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2001. Concordance, tables, appendices, 349 pages. A new rendition of the Tao Te Ching is provided, then a verbatim translation with extensive notes. Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character. An excellent print reference tool!
Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-Shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-Tzu. By Professor by Alan Kam-Leung Chan. SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. State University of New York Press, 1991. Index, bibliography, glossary, notes, 314 pages. ISBN: 0791404560.
Chinese Reading of the Daodejing Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation. By Professor Rudolf G. Wagner. A SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. English and Mandarin Chinese Edition. State University of New York Press; Bilingual edition (October 2003). 540 pages. ISBN: 978-0791451823. Wang Bi (Wang Pi, Fusi), 226-249 CE, Commentary on the Tao Te Ching.
Chapter 1 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 6
Tao Te Ching English Translations from Terebess Asia Online. Over 30 translations.
Lao-tzu's Taoteching Translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter). Includes many brief selected commentaries for each Chapter draw from commentaries in the past 2,000 years. Provides a verbatim translation and shows the text in Chinese characters. San Francisco, Mercury House, 1996, Second Edition, 184 pages. An invaluable resource for commentaries.
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation By Ha Poong Kim. Xlibris, 2003, 198 pages.
Chapter 1, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary
Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall. Ballantine, 2003, 256 pages.
Thematic Index to the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China) Translated with and introduction and detailed exposition and commentary by Professor Robert G. Henricks. New York, Ballantine Books, 1992. Includes Chinese characters for each chapter. Bibliography, detailed notes, 282 pages.
Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living. Translated by Eva Wong. Lieh-Tzu was writing around 450 BCE. Boston, Shambhala, 2001. Introduction, 246 pages.
Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic. By Hu Huezhi. Edited by Jesse Lee Parker. Seven Star Communications, 2006. 240 pages.
Cloud Hands Blog Mike Garofalo writes about Taoism, Gardening, Taijiquan, Walking, Mysticism, Qigong, and the Eight Ways.
Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. By Ellen Chen. Paragon House, 1998. Detailed glossary, index, bibliography, notes, 274 pages.
The Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching. By Michael Lafargue. New York, SUNY Press, 1994. 640 pages. Detailed index, bibliography, notes, and tables. An essential research tool.
The Whole Heart of Tao: The Complete Teachings From the Oral Tradition of Lao Tzu. By John Bright-Fey. Crane Hill Publishers, 2006. 376 pages.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
This webpage was last modified or updated on July 16, 2014.
This webpage was first distributed online on October 30, 2010.
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Zhou, Master Chuang) 369—286 BCE
The Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) circa 500 BCE
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