– Suggestion –

Use One-A-Day for Daily Meditation

1

Tao called Tao is not Tao.

Names can name no lasting name.

2

When no credit is taken,

Accomplishments endure.

3

Don’t glorify heroes

And people will not contend.

4

Tao is empty-

Its use never exhausted.

5

Long-winded speech is exhausting.

Better to stay silent.

6

The Valley Spirit never dies.

It is called the Mysterious Female.

7

No self-interest.

Self is fulfilled.

8

Best to be like water,

Which benefits the ten thousand things and does not contend.

9

Withdrawing when work is done:

Heaven’s Tao.

10

Give birth and cultivate.

Give birth and do not possess.

11

Clay is fired to make a pot.

The pot’s use comes from emptiness.

12

Exotic goods ensnarl human lives.

13

Favor debases us.

Afraid when we get it.

Afraid when we lose it.

14

Understand the source of all things.

This is called the record of Tao.

15

The ancients who followed Tao:

Dark, wondrous, profound, penetrating,

Deep beyond knowing.

Because they cannot be known,

They can only be described…

…calm the muddy water,

It becomes clear.

16

Attain complete emptiness,

Hold fast to stillness.

17

Be careful in valuing words.

When the work is done,

Everyone says

We just acted naturally.

18

Great Tao rejected:

Benevolence and righteousness appear…

The nation disordered:

Patriots come forth.

19

Banish learning, discard knowledge:

People will gain a hundredfold.

20

Others have plans,

I alone am wayward and stubborn,

I alone am different from others,

Like a baby in the womb.

21

Great Te appears

Flowing from Tao.

22

Crippled becomes whole,

Crooked becomes straight,

Hollow becomes full,

Worn becomes new,

Little becomes more,

Much becomes delusion.

23

Spare words: nature’s way.

24

According to Tao,

Excessive food,

Extraneous activity

Inspire disgust.

Therefore, the follower of Tao

Moves on.

25

Humans follow earth

Earth follows heaven

Heaven follows Tao.

Tao follows its own nature.

26

Gravity is the root of lightness,

Stillness is the master of passion.

27

Good travelers leave no tracks.

Good words leave no trace.

Good counting needs no markers.

28

Return to simplicity.

29

The world is a spiritual vessel

And cannot be controlled.

30

The most fruitful outcome

Does not depend on force,

But succeeds without arrogance

Without hostility

Without pride

Without resistance

Without violence.

31

Weapons are ill-omened tools,

Not proper instruments.

When their use can’t be avoided,

Calm restraint is best.

32

Tao’s presence in this world

Is like valley streams

Flowing into rivers and seas.

33

Knowing others is intelligent.

Knowing yourself is enlightened.

Conquering others takes force.

Conquering yourself is true strength.

34

Great Tao overflows

To the left. To the right.

35

Music and sweets

Make passing guests pause,

But the Tao emerges, Flavorless and bland.

Look –

You won’t see it.

Listen –

You wont’ hear it.

Use it –

You will never use it up.

36

Soft and weak overcome stiff and strong.

37

No desire is serenity,

And the world settles of itself.

38

And so the ideal person dwells

In substance, not dilution

In reality, not glory:

Accepts one, rejects the other.

39

Noble has humble as its root,

High as low as its foundation.

40

Reversal is Tao’s movement,

Yielding is Tao’s practice.

41

The bright road seems dark,

The road forward seems to retreat,

The level road seems rough.

42

We gain by losing,

Lose by gaining.

43

The softest thing in the world

Rides roughshod over the strongest.

44

Know what is enough—

Abuse nothing.

Know when to stop—

Harm nothing.

This is how to last a long time.

45

Pure calm is the norm under heaven.

46

There is no greater calamity

Than not knowing what is enough.

There is no greater fault

Than desire for success.

Therefore,

Knowing that enough is enough

Is always

Enough.

47

Without going out the door,

Know the world.

Without peeping through the window,

See heaven’s Tao.

48

Pursue knowledge, gain daily.

Pursue Tao, lose daily.

49

People who are good

I treat well.

People who are not good

I also treat well:

Te as goodness.

50

Emerge into life, enter death.

51

Tao is honored

Te is respected

Because they do not give orders

But endure in their own nature.

52

Seeing the small is called brightness.

Maintaining gentleness is called strength.

Use the brightness to return to brightness.

53

Personal wealth is excessive.

This is called thieves’ endowment

But it is not Tao.

54

Well planted, not uprooted.

We embraced, never lost.

Descendants will continue

The ancestral rituals.

55

Knowing harmony is called endurance.

Knowing endurance is called illumination.

56

Those who know don’t talk.

Those who talk don’t know.

57

The more elaborate the laws,

The more they commit crimes.

58

If government is muted and muffled

People are cool and refreshed.

If government investigates and intrudes,

People are worn down and hopeless.

Bad fortune rests upon good fortune.

Good luck hides within bad luck.

59

Living sparingly and responding quickly

Means accumulating Te.

60

Govern big countries

Like you cook little fish.

61

In stillness

The female constantly overcomes the male,

In stillness

Takes the low place.

62

The ancients honored this Tao.

Didn’t they say:

Through it seekers find,

Through it the guilty escape?

This is why Tao is honored under Heaven.

63

The most difficult things in the world

Must be accomplished through the easiest.

The greatest things in the world

Must be accomplished through the smallest.

Therefore the Sage

Never attempts great things

And so accomplishes them.

64

A thousand mile journey

Begins with a single step.

65

Original Te goes deep and far.

All things reverse

Return

And reach the great headwaters.

66

Rivers and seas

Can rule the hundred valleys.

Because they are good at lying low

They are lords of the valleys.

67

I have three treasures

To maintain and conserve:

The first is compassion.

The second is frugality.

The third is not presuming

To be first under heaven.

68

The accomplished person is not aggressive.

69

There is no disaster greater than

Contempt for the enemy.

Contempt for the enemy –

What a treasure is lost.

70

Few understand me,

And this is my value.

Therefore the Sage wears rough clothing

And carries jade inside.

71

Know not-knowing: supreme.

72

Therefore the Sage

Has self-knowledge without self-display,

Self-love without personal pride.

Rejects one, accepts the other.

73

Heaven’s Tao does not contend

But prevails,

Does not speak

But responds

Is not summoned

But arrives,

Is utterly still

But plans all actions.

74

If people do not fear death,

How can you threaten them with death?

75

Only those who don’t strive after life

Truly respect life.

76

The stiff and strong

Are Death’s companions

The soft and weak

Are Life’s companions.

77

Therefore the Sage

Acts and expects nothing;

Accomplishes and does not linger,

Has no desire to seem worthy.

78

Nothing in the world is soft and weak as water.

But when attacking the hard and strong

Nothing can conquer so easily.

Weak overcomes strong.

Soft overcomes hard.

79

Heaven’s Tao has no favorites

But endures in good people.

80

Small country, few people—

Hundreds of devices

But none are used.

81

Good people do not quarrel.

Quarrelsome people are not good.

The wise are not learned.

The learned are not wise.

^^^

Tao Gems

Editor: anthony glenn miller

*All excerpts are from the translation of the Tao Te Ching

by: Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo

Shambhala, Boston & London. 2007