Skillful Means Podcast

#41 Dharma Book Club: "Tao Te Ching"

May 11, 2021 Jennifer O'Sullivan & Sarah Jane Shangraw
Skillful Means Podcast
#41 Dharma Book Club: "Tao Te Ching"
Show Notes

In our second book club, Jen and Sarah Jane follow some dharmic threads through the ancient Taoist text the “Tao Te Ching” by Laozi and enjoy the poetic language used to, somehow, beautifully illuminate something that cannot be defined.

The Tao is the source of everything and the way of life, and this text invites us to align ourselves and our lifestyle with the natural order of things. In their discussion, Jen and Sarah Jane focus on just a couple of themes: effortless action (wu wei), as well as Taoism’s Three Treasures: compassion, frugality, and humility.

Both Jen and Sarah Jane’s teaching practices and offerings have been informed by years of study and practice in Yin Yoga, which is based in Taoist energy practices. Their appreciation for the text, the lineages it has birthed, and the teachers who transmit its teachings is great.

If it has been years since you read the pithy 81 chapters that constitute this metaphysical classic, or you haven’t yet picked it up, you won’t want to miss this. 

As Skillful Means Podcast heads into a partial summer break (though Jen and Sarah Jane will continue adding guided practices to the podcast feed), you are invited to also drop into simplicity inspired by advice both practical and profound of the “Tao Te Ching.”

Tao Te Ching Translations Used in this Episode

"Tao Te Ching Online Translation" is Derek Lin and Lama Surya Das’s “Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained.”

“Tao Te Ching” translated by Gia-fu Feng, Jane English, and Toinette Lippe:

"Tao Te Ching" translated by Wikisource:

Online Programs

Jen leads Yin Yoga teacher trainings and is offering a 35hr Yin Yoga & Taoism virtual course in June 2021. You can find out more at

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