We found 4 Reddit comments about Lao-tzu's Taoteching. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Hmmm… I need to create a "Taoist Starter Kit" article…
As far as translations go… one I like is Red Pine's translation because it has commentary and the Chinese. The nice thing about the commentary is it lets you see all of the different ways each chapter can be interpreted. Political strategists see strategy and alchemists see instructions for spiritual immortality. :)
If you want something chill and direct. I like these comics:
If you wanna compare a bunch of translations…
I don't really think you can go "wrong" with any translation/interpretation if you're planning on reading more than one. If it was just the one, I'd go with Red Pine's.
As for meditation, I would look into Zen or Chan Buddhism close to where you are. You can also get started right away by just closing your eyes and breathing for a minute a day and build up to more as you do more research (via videos, books, seminars, teachers, etc.)
More important than any technique is developing the habit of doing it every day.
This app is awesome and it comes with a bunch of free guided meditations. I just use it for the timer. :)
If you start getting serious I'd look for a teacher of some kind, but good teachers for Taoism seem kind of elusive. I think that's from the nature of the practice and it's history.
Google searches, reading reviews, talking to people, etc will take you where you want to go although in the beginning it's hard to tell the difference between "good" and "bad", but there's no way around that other than to start doing stuff and getting some experience under your belt. :) Also "bad" for you might be "good" for someone else. :P ;)
There are probably some good books for beginners as well, but I'm not familiar with those yet. I'm gonna start ordering and reading through them… (I haven't been a beginner for a long time… that said… I'm still a beginner… lol)
Oh! There's a cool Eva Wong book on Taoism that gives you a nice historical overview and breakdown of the different styles.
Hopefully you'll get some other recommendations! :)
Stephen Mitchell's version was the first I ever read, and resonated with me from the very beginning. However, I've since learned that he paraphrased greatly and inserted lines and interpretations that aren't found or supported by the original texts. He also did not actually translate anything, but curated his version from other English translations.
I've recently been reading through Red Pine's translation, which is based on some of the oldest copies of the Tao Te Ching that have been discovered. He also includes selected commentary from various sources from across the past 2,000 years.
You can find this copy here, or search for a used copy elsewhere.
That sounds awesome man. Good to have goals. Congrats on retiring!
If you are into philosophy check out:
The Tao Te Ching;
Tao Te Ching translated by Red Pine