Q&A with Derek Lin

Author of The Tao of Joy Every Day

 What inspired you to write The Tao of Joy Every Day?

When describing a lasting goodness, Chinese people often use the metaphor of a small stream that keeps on flowing. It means a continuous process of improvement and a gift to your life that keeps on giving. This is the primary inspiration for The Tao of Joy Every Day. One page per day — that is all it takes to create a constant and continuous flow of wisdom, a soulstream that will keep you spiritually nourished and refreshed.

Who do you think can benefit from the day-by-day learning approach in The Tao of Joy Every Day?

Having worked with people from all walks of life and all levels of spiritual refinement, I know everyone can benefit from The Tao of Joy Every Day. Those new to the Tao can take each day’s message as a baby step toward immersion in the teachings. Those who have more experience can use each day as an opportunity for further self-reflection.

What Tao lessons in the book resonate the most with you and why?

Each lesson from the book is special in its own way, but one that comes readily to mind is Day 151. It resonates deeply because it talks about the ultimate truth of the self. In the frontiers of science and the depths of spirituality, the answer is one and the same: you, me, everyone you see around you, everyone you have ever known... we are all of us marvelous miracles masquerading as mundane manisfestations.

How did you select the Tao reflections in the book?

I based my selections on a dynamic balance between the structured and the spontaneous. Concepts from the Tao Te Ching appear throughout the book, but not in a predetermined lockstep sequence. Also, some of the pages are self-referential with respect to the significance of their own numbering. For instance, Day 2 speaks of the yin and yang duality, Day 5 talks about the five elements in the Tao tradition, and Day 13 addresses triskaidekaphobia (the fear of 13). These are Tao reflections that have selected themselves.

How do you think readers will learn and benefit from The Tao of Joy Every Day?

There is no better way to learn and benefit from The Tao of Joy Every Day than to let everything flow naturally and gracefully. Make reading that one page every day a mini-ritual where you can spend a precious moment with yourself as your daily meditation. Regard this time as sacred — although it only takes a few minutes, it can set the tone and keep you on the path all day long.

The Tao of Joy Every Day addresses the fast-paced world we live in today. How has the Tao helped you to find the comfortable pace in your life?

This is an area of life where the Tao has helped me tremendously, so it is important for me to infuse what I have learned into the pages of The Tao of Joy Every Day. For instance, Day 181 points out that the most common time for a heart attack to occur is Monday morning. This is true for human beings, but not for animals, since to them Monday morning is simply a morning like any other. This should make it instantly clear that our problems are often our own creations. Once we understand this, it becomes easy for us find a comfortable pace as we navigate around the illusory stress factors of life.