Encountering the Tao

Encountering the Tao


A seminar-styled close reading of one of the most cherished of the world's texts, the Tao Te Ching.

A seminar-styled close reading of one of the most cherished of the world's texts, the Tao Te Ching. The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao: The name that can be named is not the eternal name."

The enigmatic text of the Tao Te Ching (often translated as “The Way and Its Virtue”) dates back some 2500 years, yet its powerful images beckon to us as deeply today as when they were written. Attributed to the Chinese sage Lao Tzu, written at the end of his life to summarize his mystical teaching, these brief verses—some 81 in all—invite the big questions about the true nature of reality, power, energy, and our interactions with the world and one another. Its sage advice asks us to consider the paradox of a wisdom in which the softest material offers the greatest strength, and where darkness offers the greatest light.

One of the most cherished of the world’s texts, the Tao “can be read in half an hour or a lifetime,” as Huston Smith writes. It has been translated into more editions than any book except the Bible, and its complex and paradoxical vision has challenged and informed every generation seeking spiritual and philosophical wisdom. Join David Wallace in exploring the beautiful and mysterious ruminations of this ancient masterpiece, taught seminar style across four evenings.

Multiple translations of the text are welcome, but we’ll be using Jonathan Star’s translation Tao Te Ching: The New Translation from Tao Te Ching, The Definitive Edition (published by Tarcher/Penguin) as our primary source.



Rev. David Wallace

Rev. David Wallace was ordained as an interfaith minister in 2001 and has been a second-year teacher for One Spirit Interfaith Seminary since 2004. He is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, and has continued these studies as a lifelong student of the “great books” of philosophy and archetypal psychology. Prior to his work in ministry, David had an extensive career in publishing and marketing, and created the award-winning retail galleries The Enchanted Forest and After the Rain in Soho. He was a founding board member of the teaching facility Miriam’s Well in Saugerties, NY, and served on both the worship committee and board of Judson Memorial Church in NYC, where he also preached and taught centering prayer. David has an active ministry as a ceremony officiant, has served as a Spiritual Disaster Care Chaplain in NYC, and has been active with the Alzheimer’s Association. A popular teacher, David has been a regular guest lecturer at the Kripalu Institute in Lenox, MA, the Interspiritueel Seminarie in the Netherlands, and has taught at Integral Yoga, the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute, and other educational venues. In addition to teaching classes in the core curriculum of the seminary, David teaches electives on the sacred texts of both the Eastern and Western spiritual traditions for One Spirit.

Tuesdays, March 12,19, 26, & April 2, 2019 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
OneSpirit Elective Credit: 1.0
Available by: Download Recordings Only (learn more about videoconference)
Price: General Public: $ 100.00 | One Spirit Graduates: $ 90.00

Register Here

If you have questions about registering for this course, please contact One Spirit Learning Alliance by email to [email protected] or call 212-931-6840 x 0.