William Martin and the Gentle Path of the Tao Te Ching

Hey everybody… it’s Pete.

At one point in our conversation today, Dodge will say that he’s going to try to explain to you all what the Tao is. Our guest, who has been studying and thinking about the Tao for more than three decades says in response, “Good luck with that.”

That pretty much says it all for me, too. I’ve read a bit, thought some, studied my fair share. But the Tao is one of those pesky constructs, an intellectual raccoon trap, and just when I think I have a handle on what it means for me, I get my metaphorical fist stuck in the bottle and can’t break free.

That’s why we’re glad to have William Martin on the show with us today. He’s written many Tao-inspired books, including The Parent’s Tao Te Ching, and his latest, The Activist’s Tao Te Ching. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Western Theological Seminary, he has worked as a research scientist for the Department of the Navy, a clergyman, and a college instructor in counseling, communications, and the humanities—and for many years, conducted workshops and seminars on the application of Taoist and Zen thought to the issues of everyday life.

All that is to say, we’re in good hands with Bill today. He’s not a high mystic — an oracle on the hill — he’s a guy who has worked hard to understand this thing in a way that can make it approachable to the rest of us. We deeply enjoyed talking with him and hope you do, too.

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