Taoist Books and References

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A Personal Tao By Casey Kochmer
[2005 – 2010]A Taoist book written with a 21st century perspective of Taoism. This book resonates with readers searching for their own identity. A Personal Tao is unlike many other modern Taoist texts that either re-translate the Tao Te Ching or wrap the Tao Te Ching with inspirational art. Instead A Personal Tao creates a fresh work teaching Taoism with its own style of thought, philosophy and art upon its own terms.
The Encyclopedia of Taoism A good reference site with many Taoist materials on it. Worth spending some time and exploring for a more historical look at Taoism.
Chuang Tzu By Zhuangzi ( Chuang Tzu )
Lin Yutang, TranslatorThis is one of the most famous Taoist works. The statement “Am I a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man” comes out of this work. This isn’t a complete translation. Rather it’s a selection from the larger works of the Chuang Tzu.This is in the public Domain.
Tao Te Ching By Lao Tzu
R. B. Blakney, Translator
1955The Tao Te Ching is by far the most central book in Taoism in terms of public mind share. Its simple prose mixed to deeper insights offer an excellent starting point for those wanting to experience Taoist thought. This is in the public Domain.
Tao Te Ching By Lao Tzu
J. Legge, Translator
(Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39) [1891]A classic baseline translation for the Tao Te Ching This is in the public Domain.
The GNLTao Te Ching By Lao Tzu
Peter A. Merel
1992A composite version based upon several earlier translations of the Tao Te Ching. This is an open source book.
More Versions
of the
Tao Te Ching
By Lao TzuThis link will take you to a archived copy of a now inactive site having a hundred English translated versions of the Tao Te Ching and dozens of translations in other languages.
Another Collection of the
Tao Te Ching
By Lao TzuThis link will take you to an still active site having a number of translated to English versions of the Tao Te Ching


Translation Notes:

I posted several translated versions of the Tao Te Ching in the library. Each version will have cross links so a reader can quickly jump and compare the various translations. No one version is correct. Instead focus on the images you experience while reading each one.

Keep in mind hundreds of other translations exist.

What’s an acceptable translation? Scholars fight entire careers over this little topic.
So to clear things up, here is the truth of the matter:

Taoism simply states: it doesn’t matter. Words can never capture the true Tao.

Translations change over time, due to personal differences, cultural changes and the shifting nature of language to be relative to now. So discover over time new meanings upon each reading. This is about your own relative needs “in the now” determining how to best embrace these works.

Don’t worry about the translation… just enjoy each one as it is!

Additional Books and Taoist Resources

Advanced Resources for Daoist Studies

Chinese Text Project

Comprehensive searchable bibliography of books and articles on Daoist Studies

Daoist texts

DaMo Qigong & Taoist Internal Alchemy

Fabrizio Pregadio Golden Elixir Site (includes Essays, Blogs, and Books)

Patheos Religions Library

Prof. James Miller’s On-line Publications

Publications by Dr. Russell Kirkland

Selected Writings of Dr. Nathan Sivin

Taoism and the Arts of China (Teacher’s Resource from an exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago)

Taoist Treasure- Taoist Scriptures and Sacred Texts in English

Terebess Asia Online

Towards a Spirit at Peace

The Nei-yeh (Inner Cultivation or Inward Training) Anonymous

Yang-Sheng Online Magazine

Other Taoist Books:

If you know or have a link to other Taoist materials in the public domain or publicly available books from Google books or other similar sources please let me know and I will get it listed here.


13 Comments. Leave new

Dr. Hilmar Alquiros
October 1, 2011 1:45 pm

The Tao of Wisdom (H. Klaus), 5 new verbatim + analogous translations, 600 p., original caracters, pronunciation, Guodian and Mawangdui, synopsis, and more!

Roberto Giammaria
April 21, 2012 9:17 pm

Peace ~

Can these books be purchased for viewing on IPad 2, so soft copy

casey Kochmer
April 22, 2012 1:09 am

Yes Roberto

If you look on Amazon you should be able to get some of these Taoist books in a soft copy format.

Is the a God in Taoism?
Do you beileve in apocalyse?

I from a Christian background. And being a indigo made me a curious person

Casey Kochmer
January 10, 2014 2:47 am

BanelE: No I don’t believe in the apocalypse… but all things end and many endings , especially when it is one’s own… can seem to be apocalyptic as it approaches.

On topic of god, It depends upon the god you refer to and then it depends on the version of Taoism you refer to. Humanity has listed out many versions of what gets called God. Since definitions are based on each person’s perceptions, upon each religion’s framework… the answer will vary from person to person, from faith to faith. I could answer: yes, I could answer no… I stay out of defining god, yes or no. It’s up to you, god and your relationships on how to answer that question.

Some people find god in Taoism, others do not.

Where can I get a Tao bible/Book does it speak about the third eye and ones higher self (Maybe advicing me how to interpret things that I have no clue about like The ying yang and dragons in visions [book of taoist] )

Maybe it has answer that I can realate to.
Is a person born a taoist or they can just join?

I didnt wanna google these questions cause google is kurpt

Casey Kochmer
January 18, 2014 1:47 am

You can look at The secret of the golden flower.


You are trying too hard still Banele. Because of that you are going to approach Taoist teaching all too literally.

First take the time to go slowly and practice Qi Gong. Learn it thru your body first. Then after you have practiced Qi Gong for a year or two let the mind catch up.

Well, these aren’t of the same level as the books you have listed, but they are good reads especially for those who are either just starting learning about Taoism and the Tao Way of Life:

(1) The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (creator of Winnie the Pooh)
(2) The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff (haven’t really read that one yet but I know it is related)
(3) The Knight in Rusty Armor by Robert Fisher
(4) Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

While Hoff’s efforts to explain the Tao in an easier way are commendable, the first (and I suspect, the second) can still be a bit hard to digest even by adults and especially by non-Taoists. Meanwhile, I highly recommend the third which is really an easy read and very easy to understand. Non-Taoists may not recognize immediately, if at all, how much it is related to the Tao, but the messages are clear.

Just Google these and anyone can find downloadable copies.

I would also recommend The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, also a favorite of mine, but there is a part of it that glaringly tells me it’s a bit off the Tao way. Unless I am mistaken. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Question: Which translation of Tao Te Ching, in your opinion, is best?


Trix: I don’t think any one translation of the Tao Te Ching is best. You can learn from each one, and each one will have something to ponder.

I personally feel life itself is the best teacher and I have learned more from the rivers I meandered than from any other source.

Clariece Paulk
October 2, 2014 4:39 pm

I am writing a book of inspiring affirmations and wish to use some Lao Tzu quotes. Please tell me to contact to request permission of find if they are in the public domain.

Thank you so much!

Casey Kochmer
October 2, 2014 7:24 pm

Here is a link to a site which has dozens of Tao Te Ching Books


You will have to go thru each one, based on the author you can search amazon / library of congress for publish dates / copyright and determine which ones are in the public domain and which ones you would have to ask permission.

Much fortune in writing your book Clariece

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