While teaching English in China, Jim Teeters received a copy of the Tao Te Ching from a student. Jim writes that he was drawn to Lao Tzu’s ancient meditations on what it means to be a human instrument guided by the power of the right way. Drawing on his Quaker experience of submission to the Inner Light, “the voice of Christ who speaks to my condition,” Jim waited with each of Lao Tzu’s eighty-one wisdom poems, reading them over and over, listening both for meaning and for how he might respond.
In the first section, “How to Live,” Jim notes that we strive for success, we strive for satisfaction, and we strive for peace. But we can’t earn God’s blessings. We must simply accept them. In the second section, “How to Love,” Jim focuses on the importance of listening and of empathy, showing warmth in a nonpossessive way. In “How to Lead,” Jim suggests that seeking control results in loss of control, but trust empowers people to move forward together.
Keep your mind and heart open as you read and reaect. Peruse, ponder, and discover.