Being Taoist and Leader

What does it mean to be a Taoist and a leader? In the Taoist wisdom tradition, to be a leader is to embody the view of vastness. Leadership is not about controlling things to go our way or dragging everybody else behind us. Rather, it is inspiring and leading by example. Most important, it is the skill of knowing when to let things run their natural course and when to guide them along. This is the principle of “wu-wei”, the path of effortlessness.

To maintain a view of vastness, a leader needs to understand the natural, human, and the spirit world. Just as the Tao benefits and accommodates all, the leader things and acts for the good of all. Knowing that ambition creates disharmony, the leader does not push him or herself and others beyond physical and mental limits.
Join Eva Wong in exploring the Taoist art of effortless and responsible leadership using references from her best-selling book Being Taoist, and discover how to apply Taoist leadership skills to your social, work, and domestic life.

Strategy and Virtue.

For some, “strategy” is saying that the end justifies the means – which is a selfish approach. In this program we will explore the opposite. The Chinese strategist Sunzi wrote a text that has become a classic on strategy - which is rooted in virtue. His first and foremost question is how to benefit everybody, or as it is called “All Under Heaven”.  

This one day program explores both his profound wisdom, and the skills needed to start putting it to use in our lives. We will look into the importance of virtue as ground for our motivation and actions. Next are some easy to follow steps, on how to strategically engage in our activities. The basis of this is being aware, which will be explored very practically. Finally we will discuss various aspects of leadership, that will help us to conduct our activities in a virtuous and decent manner.

The Strategist and the Sage.

The Tao of Leadership.

In this program, Chinese scholar Eva Wong will present a new and radical way of integrating Taoist principles of strategic leadership using Sunzi’s The Art of War.  Sunzi’s Art of War is one of the most important classics ever written on strategy and tactics. With a history of over 2000 years, the book is remarkably relevant to working with issues in our world today.
The key to strategic leadership is weaving flexibility of leadership styles with virtue according to ever-changing situations. Using examples of Sunzi’s classification of terrain, we will explore how environments determine leadership style and how leadership affects the creation of social environments.
The program will also feature body and situation awareness practices that sensitize our relationship to family, work, and social space. Through experiencing strategic thinking and action in mind and body, awareness increases, which, in turn, reveals fitting action.

Ancient Strategies for Today's World:

Sunzi's Art of War and Warrior Qigong


What You Will Learn

Using the Art of War, Warrior Qigong, and space awareness techniques, this weekend trains embodied strategic thought and action. You will learn:


Situation Awareness

  1. How to Move Around Physical and Social Terrain
  2. How to Embody Strategy and Tactics Using Qigong and Space Awareness
  3. How to Integrate Strategic Thinking with Virtuous Action

The program will focus on the Art of War’s core chapters on terrain, using commentaries translated into English for the first time by Dr. Eva Wong. Selected exercises will be outside on Karmê Chöling’s beautiful and potent 700 acres of land, which includes hills, meadows, and forests.


Process of Strategic Thought and Action:

  • Awareness
  • Reflection
  • Decisiveness
  • Commitment
  • Action with dedicated discipline and virtue

Combining Sunzi’s Art of War, Warrior Qigong, and space awareness training increases our ability to observe and evaluate situations and assess our involvement before acting. By experiencing strategic thinking and action in mind and body, awareness increases, which, in turn, reveals fitting action.


Everything we do is strategic. This is at the heart of the Sunzi.


While strategy can be natural, it is rarely as consciously organized and applied as in the Art of War.Understanding patterns of terrain leads us to understanding physical and social patterns in our lives – at work, in relationships, and for our spiritual growth. The result is a more uplifted and rewarding life for ourselves, and, therefore, others and society.