Timothy Leary’s Tao Te Ching

Dearest Yogis and Yoginis,

I am reading a fantastic book.

They recently republished Timothy Leary’s version of the Tao Te Ching, “Psychedelic Prayers”. (Psychedelic Prayers: And Other Meditations (Leary, Timothy)
) I had an old version once, but I gave it to Paulie Zink. I was without one for a while, because I didn’t feel like spending $50 on a old tattered printing from the 60’s. But It’s back again, and I found one on ebay for 8 bucks. it has some extra stuff in the back that is wonderful too.
Tim wrote his version while in india, studying with a Buddhist Lama and a Vaishnava Monk. He had nine different english translations, and carefully crafted his version based on his readings and meditations. He writes it as a guidebook for a psychedelic experience, and gives it a clear beginning, middle, and end. The result is an elegant and transformational text, one suitable for any voyager of consciousness. any one who “floats through the universe of the body, without getting lost”. It works really well as a guide through yoga or meditation practice as well.

Here is a verse, it focuses on impermanence. I’ve been really into impermanence lately. Its a good thing to get a handle on. nothing fancy, its simplicity holds it beauty.

I – 5

All Things Pass

All things pass

A sunrise does not last all morning

All things pass

A cloudburst does not last all day

All things pass

Nor a sunset all night

All things pass

What always changes?

wind…fire lake…

These change

And if these do not last

Do man’s vision’s last?
Do man’s illusions?

During the session
Take things as they come

All things pass


and this one has been my favorite for a very, very long time.

VI – 17

Walk Carefully When You Are Among

“holy men” and
“righteous” deeds
Distract from the internal

“Learned men”
Distract from
Natural wisdom

Professional know-how
Addicts people to the contrived
And the external

Be respectful and compassionate
But walk carefully when you are among-
learned men
holy men
government officials
religious leaders
rich men
social scientists
women with beautiful faces
artists and writers
men who
charge fees
city men
movie makers
men who want to help you
men who want you to help them
Christians and Jews

For such as these
However well meaning
Place you on their chessboard
Addict you to their externals
Distract you from the
TAO within

The lesson of the TAO is more likely to be found among-
mountain men
smiling eccentrics
men who build their own homes
parents who learn from their children
amateur musicians
serene Psychotics
men who look at sunsets
men who walk in the woods
beautiful women
men who sit by the fire
men who make bread
couples who have been in love for years
unemployed men
smiling men with bad reputations

get your own copy of the book here: Psychedelic Prayers: And Other Meditations (Leary, Timothy)

turn off your mind, relax and float down stream…..


Sitaram Das