Those who care for the ailing, whether helping someone recover, grapple with a long-term disability, or face a terminal illness, often feel alone, overwhelmed, exhausted. William and Nancy Martin have worked as counselors, hospice trainers, and Zen guides — and as caregivers to Nancy’s late mother. With empathy and insight, they offer readers solace drawn from the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching.
Like the original Chinese text, this book contains eighty-one chapters. Each chapter includes a poem for caregivers, evocative of the verses of the Tao Te Ching, followed by a reflection that presents practical guidance for navigating the emotional and physical hardships of caregiving. The resulting resource gently awakens readers to the grace, growth, and even joy possible at each step along their path.
“Whether one is a caregiver by choice or obligation, Bill and Nancy Martin offer support, understanding, and the possibility of sustaining a healthy practice. If you feel stuck, frustrated, or especially challenged, The Caregiver’s Tao Te Ching shines a light on a path through difficult times.”
— Richard Briggs, hospice educator
“Whether you are caring for a family member or acting as a professional, the wisdom of Bill and Nancy Martin’s words shines through, illuminating the path for both the giver and receiver of care. They compassionately show us how caregiver and patient can be as one, moving gently together through a profound time in life. If taken to heart, their messages of peace and acceptance will help the caregiver find great meaning and fulfillment.”
— Patricia Watters, RN, director, Paradise Hospice
William Martin has worked as a research scientist, a minister, a marriage and family therapist, and a college instructor. He is now a teaching guide at The Still Point, Center for Zen Practice in Chico, California. He is the author of five books, including the classic The Parent’s Tao Te Ching, which was picked by Oprah Winfrey to be on her “O List” of recommended books. As part of his work at The Still Point, he offers contemplative-based continuing education credits for counselors, social workers, educational psychologists, and clergy.
Nancy Martin spent eleven years as a clergywoman with the United Methodist Church and five years as the director of volunteers for Enloe Hospice in Chico, California, where she trained and supervised volunteers working with patients and families facing end-of-life issues. For the past three years she has been the director of The Still Point, Center for Zen Practice, in Chico. She offers continuing education credits for nurses through seminars that focus on the practice of bringing compassionate awareness to the work of caregiving professionals. The parents of two grown children, she and William live in Chico, California.