Thanks for visiting my blog. My name is Amy Putkonen and I am the author of this blog. I love studying the Tao Te Ching and writing my thoughts about the beautiful timeless principles within it.
I have been interested in the principles of Tao for many years. To me, it has always just made sense – much more so than most religious or spiritual practices available today. The principles of Tao are fluid and inclusive. Many religions seem to be exclusive in nature and it has never been my belief that a beautiful and loving God would practice this behavior.
Before I started this blog, a mentor of mine suggested that I find a role model to help inspire me so I started looking more deeply at the work of Wayne Dyer. I bought his book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. This book reminded me of another mentor that I had studied years before, Taoist Master Hua Ching Ni, so I decided to dive more deeply into the Tao Te Ching to enhance my research on Wayne Dyer’s work and to see where the work of two of my favorite role models coincided.
To enhance my studies, I bought several other versions of the Tao Te Ching to compare them – including two versions translated by Master Hua Ching Ni. This work fascinates me because the original text written by Lao Tzu is over 2,500 years old and yet is still relevant today. There are literally thousands of translations – each one unique!
In his book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, Wayne Dyer made it a goal to live and write the principles of Tao for a full year. He took the 81 verses and divided them up throughout the year. He focused on one verse for four to five days, which works out to a year. So I decided to do this as well. Why not? What a great way to study such an amazing piece of ancient literature!
Shortly after starting this project, I considered writing some essays on the principles of Tao myself as a way to enhance my understanding. I love the Tao and I love writing. My original idea was to collect one translation of each verse that I loved the best and then, along with that, write an essay on what I learned. I quickly realized that no ONE translation captured quite what I had imagined the verse meant! I would find one line in one verse I liked, and then another line in a different verse so it was a combination of two verses that I loved.
It was then I realized that I just needed to write my own version. To help me do this, I used the “Definitive Guide” to the Tao Te Ching by Jonathan Star. In the back of this book, Jonathan Star breaks down each verse by the original Chinese characters and gives phrases that explain what each character means in Chinese. This is superb. With that book in hand, I have been able to create my own version of the Tao Te Ching which I have published for you here.
That was 2012. Now, three years later, I am working on putting all of this into a book. I am also currently working through the I Ching, a related Taoist text. This year, 2015, I am offering I Ching readings to my lovely readers. I hope that you will join me and see how the I Ching can teach you some amazing insights into your life.
Here is how to reach me if you want to connect:
I am not a Chinese scholar. I do not even really know the Chinese language, but I believe that the Tao Te Ching was meant to be read and absorbed individually and uniquely by each person. This work is for anyone who is inspired by it and my wish is for you to be inspired to look deeply into your life and see what it contains for you. Enjoy!
If you are just getting started on my blog, I would like to introduce you to a few of my favorite posts…please let me know what your thoughts are!