Philosophers, scholars and other intellectuals have tried countless times to translate Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. There are so many translations and commentaries. However all of these other translations provide a linear comprehension of the Tao Te Ching. Linear meaning the knowledge derived is thought to be of ideological value. Reason being that all these philosophers, scholars and other intellectuals are not Masters of the Tao and hence they conject based on their inadequate level of realization. Hence providing the linear, incorrect and "missing the point" translation.
Master Liao, being a Grandmaster of the Tao has given the dimensional and applicable translation of the Tao Te Ching. I'm a Taiji Gong practitioner and through my own meditative experiences I can understand and apply the Tao Te Ching as translated by Master Waysun Liao.
If I may paraphrase to help others understand the Tao and the Te is analogous to "part and parcel of the whole" - Te being part and Tao being the whole. This dimensional aspect, that interaction of the Te and the Tao is what Master Liao elaborates on in Nine Nights with the Taoist Master.
I highly recommend this book for anyone studying the Tao. I hope this book becomes widely known as a great translation for the Tao Te Ching because its standard is higher then intellectual.
Nine Nights with the Taoist Master, Deluxe Study Edition
The Deluxe Study Edition includes all 24 chapters of "Nine Nights" and adds an additional 110 pages of appendices and an "afterward". These additions are a fascinating addition to Master Waysun Liao's story of Lao Tzu's visit to a border town in China before wandering across the Western mountains toward India. During the visit he reveals the secrets of living in the Tao. Portions of these secrets eventually become the text of the Tao Te Ching.
The importance of this story is that it lends context to the enigmatic text of the Tao Te Ching. Without this context, the interpretation of this classic will vary widely. With the context of a story, there is a cohesive vision of the eighty-one chapters of the Tao Te Ching which explain how man may live in harmony with the world and the world unseen.
The"Afterword" is a conversation with Master Liao about interpreting the Tao Te Ching, religion, and the practice of Taichi today. He expresses a view that is insightful and controversial.
Appendix 1 is a direct, character by character translation of the latest scrolls unearthed in 1973. These scrolls are felt to be the earliest record of the Tao Te Ching. This translation is keyed, line by line to references in the story. Thus a student of the enigmatic version of the Tao Te Ching can refer back to the contextual meaning given within Master Liao's story. It truly gives the poetry an enriched meaning.
Appendix 2 is the original text, IN CHINESE, of the scrolls. This should be invaluable should an able scholar wish to understand the basis of Master Liao's translation.
The third Appendix is a jewel of a glossary of 23 key terms used by Lao Tzu. Not only is the meaning of each term explained, but suggestions are made on how to incorporate the concepts into the reader's meditative practice. For example Master Liao explains how to use breathing techniques to reunite the mind and body. Appendix 3 will inspire many productive meditation sessions, sessions that hopefully will lead the meditator to experience the power of the Tao.
The Deluxe Study Edition is definitely worth the additional money. With the study edition, the Tao Te Ching goes way beyond puzzling poetry; it becomes instead a resource for your practice, a practice that can guide you towards a life in harmony with the Tao.