The Tao Te Ching, was written by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu in the 6th century BC. It is a collection of thoughts, guidelines and perceptions following the religion of Tao. A precursor to many Eastern religions this text continues to stay relevant to modern times. Heavily concentrated on perceptions of self, ways to attain peace and stop others from negatively effecting you. If you haven’t read it, I’d strongly recommend it. It is easy to read and written in a way that is accessible to everyone. These selected quotes may be enough to tempt you into picking up a copy. If you’ve already read it here are some choice reminders.
The Great Tao flows everywhere, to the left and to the right, all things depend on it to exist, and it does not abandon them. To its accomplishments it lays no claims. It loves and nourished all things, but does not lord it over them.
Tao is a form of philosophy with many similarities to Buddhism. In this quote Tzu is saying that following this code of living shouldn’t be a burden or pedestal to lord over others. The understanding gained from the Tao are inherent in all things.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Intelligence and wisdom are frequently confused for one another. Intelligence is understanding a process or idea. Wisdom is knowing how and when to apply certain ideas and processes.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
We are all one entity, we are just distinctive expressions of the infinite. If you want to understand others and their truths and motives, you need to understand your own first. You are best equipped to access the infinite through your personal connection. Explore it.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Probably one of his more famous quotes, he is saying that to go anywhere or doing anything dreaming and visualizing aren’t enough. You need to start somewhere. Even if your not sure its the ‘perfect’ step, you need to just start doing it.
A man with outward courage dares to die. A man with inward courage dares to live.
Taking a strong stance on what you believe in and expressing it in the form of grand expressions is one thing. To consistently stand for what you believe in and always be working towards that expression is another. There is more power in many smaller actions than in one grand one.
The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.
Tolerant like the sky,
all-pervading like sunlight,
firm like a mountain,
supple like a tree in the wind,
he has no destination in view
and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.
To seek balance and moderation in all things is the best way to maximize your resources and time. Don’t waste your energy chasing after extremes. Let your life and external forces take their own route and path.
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
Everything is as it is supposed to be, and everything is always changing. Be happy that you have the awareness to see things as they are and posses the knowledge of impermanence. While something may seem to be not as you would like, re-evaluate how you are observing the aspect. Have faith in the knowledge that everything is due to change.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
The contentment that comes with thorough perceptions of the world around is one of the most powerful attributes of mindfulness.
Great acts are made up of small deeds.
Same as a great adventure starts with the step outside of your house, the greatest accomplishments were made in steps. Trying to accomplish great change in a single act is not feasible, and the attempt is unproductive.
To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.
Knowledge is knowing facts, wisdom is knowing when to use that knowledge. Knowledge is a tool, wisdom is a way of life.
I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.
Don’t try to be what you aren’t. You have within you every possible combination of personalities and solutions. As soon as you start acknowledging and expressing your true self, greatness will come your way.