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This version of the Tao Te Ching, translated by Thomas Cleary, presents the classic text in a unique light, through the eyes of the Zen master Takuan Soho, who lived from 1573 to 1645. Takuan was an acerbic, witty, free spirit who became a seminal figure in Rinzai Zen. He was a painter, poet, author, calligrapher, gardener, and a tea master. He was also a confidante and teacher to shoguns, the famed swordsman Yagyu Munenori, and many other powerful and famous figures, including (according to legend) Miyamoto Musashi.
True to the teachings of the Tao Te Ching itself, as well as to the tradition of Zen, Takuan draws from everyday experience and common sense, to reveal the basic sanity of nature and the inherent wholeness of life. Takuan reveals how the Tao Te Ching applies to a wide range of concerns, including health, personal relationships, and individual lifestyle. He interprets the text through a philosophical and psychological lens, and also elucidates its radical social and political concepts.