The Tao Te Ching is one of the most widely read and deeply loved works of ancient spiritual wisdom in the world. But its dense and cryptic lines can sometimes yield more confusion than illumination. If you’ve ever found yourself understanding the printed words but thinking, “Yes, but what does this mean and how is it relevant to me?” then Francis Pring-Mill’s In Harmony with the Tao: A Guided Journey into the Tao Te Ching is your guide into deeper understanding of this classic work of Chinese philosophy.
Today’s fast-paced world leaves us little time to spend with the timeless questions, such as how to live a meaningful life in harmony with the world around us. Nonetheless we yearn for answers — and answers are to be found in the Tao Te Ching, a book written twenty-five hundred years ago that resonates with people everywhere as though it had been written yesterday. Of the many English translations and versions, some are scholarly, others are philosophical. What’s new in In Harmony with the Tao is the concept of a guided journey accompanying the text of perhaps the best-known English edition: Stephen Mitchell’s elegant, authoritative interpretation Tao Te Ching: A New English Version. This book, In Harmony with the Tao, includes the complete text of Stephen Mitchell’s work accompanied by Francis Pring-Mill’s illuminating commentaries on each chapter. In a skillful rendition of ancient wisdom reimagined for modern times, In Harmony with the Tao reveals the common threads weaving through the eighty-one brief chapters. In Harmony with the Tao will appeal to anyone keen to understand the ideas contained in, and especially between, the lines of the Tao Te Ching.
Francis Pring-Mill presents ideas in understandable ways to help others gain insights. He has been fascinated by the Tao Te Ching since discovering a copy in a secondhand store as a teenager. In this book he applies skills developed as a professional facilitator, course developer and instructor, and communicator to offer the reader a guided journey into a densely written ancient spiritual text.
In Harmony with the Tao is the product of analytical thinking combined with a creative talent for explaining ideas. The result will appeal to anyone interested in understanding the ideas contained in the Tao Te Ching and in applying them to daily life in the modern world.
Francis Pring-Mill has a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he also won a postgraduate scholarship which funded three years of doctoral research. He then held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. In the business world, his roles have included government statistician, software engineer, and director in an IT professional services firm.
He has published in the fields of zoology, software engineering, and methodology. His writing is characterized by success at analyzing, simplifying, and presenting ideas to make them easier to understand and apply. In this book, he brings the same skills to a new subject.