Chico Taoist Study Group

The Chico Taoist Study Group practices ongoing contemplative meditation and discussion of the 81 Chapters of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching.

Meetings are Sunday 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Newcomers are welcome. Instruction in meditation available on request.

For further information, contact David Philhour

The Still Point Center was founded around 2000 by Bill and Nancy Martin. Their work is centered on meditation and guidance following the teachings of Zen teacher Cherie Huber and the multiple translations and interpretations of the Tao Te Ching by Bill Martin and many others.

Bill and Nancy have since retired from fulltime daily teaching. Bill still offers seminars and guidance on line and through his downtown office in Chico. He can be reached through his website .

Since Bill and Nancy’s retirement and the closing of the Still Point, the Sunday morning Lessons in the Tao have continued at Sky Creek Dharma Center  as the Chico Taoist Study Group meeting every Sunday from 11 to Noon. Sunday meditation and discussion with guides who rotate sitting on the front cushion. Our practice starts with 10 minutes of silent meditation followed by readings from usually two different translations of a single chapter from the Tao Te Ching. We then use the “privileged environment” style to discuss that chapter. One uses the signal of folded hands (palms together) followed by the Gassho (a seated short bow) to indicate the desire to speak. The guide responds with a Gassho and the conversation takes place between the guide and the speaker. This is a one-on-one conversation between the speaker and the guide for all to hear, but others in the room are not to offer remarks to the speaker directly. This style of communication seems strange and controlled at first, but slowly it reveals its goal for safety and the opportunity to self-reflect on the text as it relates to one’s own suffering and journey, not as an opportunity to offer advice to fellow participants.

We welcome you to the practice. There is no right or wrong way to be in the Tao. As soon as we try to name it, it eludes us. Yet speaking and our sitting with these paradoxes, we find, helps us to drop our suffering, recognize our common humanity and to live more openly in the world. We are all seekers and guides upon this path.