Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 37

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道常無為而無不為。
侯王若能守之,萬物將自化。
化而欲作,吾將鎮之以無名之樸。
無名之樸,夫亦將無欲。
不欲以靜,天下將自定。

The Tao never does,
Yet through it everything is done.
If princes and dukes can keep the Tao,
the world will of its own accord be reformed.
When reformed and rising to action,
Let it be restrained by the Nameless pristine simplicity.
The Nameless pristine simplicity
Is stripped of desire (for contention).
By stripping of desire quiescence is achieved,
And the world arrives at peace of its own accord.
( Translation by Lin Yutang )

The image is from Boss Royal BossRoyal.

The Wu Wei (never does) suggests natural action rather than action inspired by desire. The practitioners of Wu Wei will stay at rest unless and until they are motivated. They act by need and then return to rest without claiming credit or glory for themselves.

The people will respond with Wu Wei to a leader who practices Wu Wei. A desireless person or a nation will remain at rest, and people can be of their own accord and remain at peace. In this way, all things would be at peace.

The Wu Wei is the principle of Tao. Within the working of the Tao, there is neither strife nor struggle because the Tao devoid the action and does not attempt to achieve, and yet nothing is beyond its power to achieve. On the other hand, if we take action with desire, and attain the goal in mind, we end up with chaos and fruitless both in a big scale-a country and a small scale-individual respectively.

Many years ago, I lost my husband; I was in grief. Seeing how distressed I was, my cousin suggested for me to take a trip back to my hometown(Taiwan). She hoped the trip would not only keep me occupied in doing the networking business to lessen my stress and also my financial hardship. She then prepared two pieces of luggage filled with nutrition bottles from the networking company for me to bring and recruit members there.

Once I settled at one of church friend’s house, I immediately took action and started to connect with all of my friends. Many referred their friends to me, but I failed to produce any result. One of my high school friends even convinced all of the classmates to buy all the products from me. Before I was getting ready to ship the package to them, I found out that they would not consume the products, they bought it was to help me out because of my circumstance. Of course, I could not impose on my friends with my need. I quickly put an end to my newfound career and brought back the two pieces of luggage. The content inside was the same except the hope of making money was no longer there.

While I was overseas, I did one thing effortlessly- that is to tell my daughter to purchase the brand new house in the new development in the city of Laguna Niguel. I moved right into the new home when I came back to the State. Whose to know that this effortless deed I did over the phone land me a gold mine. The price of the house doubled then almost tripled its original purchasing price many years later.

 

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 36

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將欲歙之,必固張之;
將欲弱之,必固強之;
將欲廢之,必固興之;
將欲奪之,必固與之。
是謂微明。
柔弱勝剛強。
魚不可脫於淵,國之利器不可以示人。

 

That which shrinks
Must first expand.

That which weakens
Must first be strong.

That which is cast down
Must first be raised.

Before receiving
There must be giving.

This is called perception of the nature of things.

Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.

Fish cannot leave deep waters,
And a country’s weapons should not be displayed.

(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Image result for image of school of fish in deep water
Image is from Shutterstock.

 

This is one of the chapters that people easily miss the point of and underestimate its value. In the first section, Lao Tzu tells us that nature has its origin. Just as the balloon would never pop if it were not first blown up, the strong tree must also start from a tiny seed.

The second section tells us that things which are tender and soft conquer the rigid and strong.

The third section tells us that fish would be foolish to seek escape from its natural environment. For a nation, there is nothing to gain by showing off its weapons which are not of the natural environment.

 

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 35

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執大象,天下往。
往而不害,安平大。
樂與餌,過客止。
道之出口,淡乎其無味,視之不足見,聽之不足聞,用之不足既。

Image result for image of 道之出口,淡乎其無味,視之不足見,聽之不足聞,用之不足既。

The image is from https://www.jianshu.com/p/41011fdc9003

The whole world goes towards he who holds in his hands the Great Image (of the invisible Tao), where there will be no harm, but peace and ease.

Music and food will make passerby stop.
But though the Tao has no flavor, can’t be seen, nor be heard, its use is inexhaustible.

This chapter uses music and food to compare with Tao. The world loves both food and music, but there is the question about how many people know and practice the “Tao.” Therefore, Lao Tzu uses music and food to compare with Tao, to awaken the world and hope that the world will know the benefits of Tao more than music and food.

“Tao” is not spoken of by mouth. If “Tao” is spoken out of a mouth, it is light and tasteless; “Tao” is immaculate and full of silence in the universe, and though it can not be seen or heard it is inexhaustible. Inexhaustible and everything relies on it, this is the magic of “Tao”.

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 34

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大道汎兮,其可左右。
萬物恃之而生而不辭,功成不名有。
衣養萬物而不為主,常無欲,可名於小;
萬物歸焉,而不為主,可名為大。
以其終不自為大,故能成其大。

The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right.
All things depend upon it; it holds nothing back.
It fulfills its purpose and makes no claim.

It nourishes all things,
And yet does not dominate them.
It has no desire; you can name it small.

All things return to it,
Yet it does not master them,
you can name it great.

It does not show its greatness,
And it is therefore great.

This chapter of Lao Tzu emphasizes the greatness of Tao. How great is Tao?

1. Tao fills the whole universe, and it moves freely in all directions.

2. Everything relies on “Tao” to raise and nourish them. “Tao” never ceases to exist and does not exist for itself.

3. “Tao” nurtures all things, rather than dominating all things so that all things can survive and develop; it can be said to be small.

4. All things are thankful and return to the “Tao,” while the “Tao” still does not control them, and it gives them the freedom to live to develop, thus “Tao” can be called great.

5. “Tao” never thinks of itself as great, so that it can achieve the greatness of “Tao.”

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 33

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知人者智,自知者明。
勝人者有力,自勝者強。
知足者富。強行者有志。
不失其所者久。死而不亡者壽。

Knowing others is intelligent
Knowing yourself is wise
Controlling others is strong
Controlling yourself is powerful

Contentedness is rich
Perseverance is determination
Integrity lasts long
Spiritual legacy begets immortality
(From http://tao-meditation.blogspot.com/2013/12/inspired-by-tao-te-ching-chapter-33.html?m=1)

Image result for image of inner strength
The image is from 3 Simple Ways To Build Inner Strength.

Lao Tzu makes it clear that the “inner-self ” is much more important than the outside factors.

He who understands other people is merely intelligent; he who understands himself is genuinely enlightened.

He who overcomes other people has external strength; he who overcomes himself possesses inner power. External strength never lasts. Inner power resides within and lasts forever so it makes you more powerful.

Furthermore, he mentions the significance of contentment, perseverance, and keeping your integrity (knowing your position).

The last and not the least that keep you self-searching instead of finding outer material, and help you not to perish but to be eternally present.

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