Tao Te Ching - A Guide to Life
If you are a wisdom seeker like me, then you’ve probably already of the Tao Te Ching – a tiny book of only 81 ‘stanzas’ written by Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu between the 4th-6th century BC. The wisdom of this little book has been so powerful that it’s credited with influencing Confucius, Buddha, and other philosophers.
On this page I aim to share some of my favorite wisdom from The Tao. I’m also including visual content to make it easy for you to share with your friends too.
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The Tao Te Ching - In Pictures
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Tao Stanza 2
The Master of the Tao acts without doing anything. She teaches without saying anything. She has, but doesn’t possess. She acts but doesn’t expect. When her work is done, she forgets about it. That is why her work lasts forever.
Tao Stanza 7
The Master stays behind, that is why she is ahead. She is detached from all things, that is why she is one of them. Because she has let go of herself, she is perfectly fulfilled.
Tao Stanza 8
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
Tao Stanza 9
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about other people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back. This is the path to serenity.
Tao Stanza 10
Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.
Tao Stanza 11
We join spokes to make a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds what we want.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.
We work with being, but non-being is what we use.
Tao Stanza 15
Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
That Master doesn’t seek fulfillment. Not seeking, not expecting, she is present and can welcome all things.
Tao Stanza 22
The Master sets an example for all. Because he doesn’t display himself, people can see his light. Because he has nothing to prove, people can trust his words. Because he isn’t supposed to be anyone, people can recognize themselves in him. Because he has no goal in mind, everything he does succeeds.
Tao Stanza 23
Express yourself completely, then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature: when it blows there is only wind; when it rains there is only rain; when the clouds pass the sun shines through.
Tao Stanza 24
He who stands on tiptoes doesn’t stand firm. He who rushes ahead, doesn’t get far. He who tries to shine, dims his own light. He who has power over others, can’t empower himself. He who clings to his work, will create nothing that endures.
To live in the Tao, Do your job, then let go.
Tao Stanza 27
What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man’s job?
Tao Stanza 29
The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.
Tao Stanza 30
Believe in yourself and don’t try to convince others.
Be content with yourself and don’t need other’s approval.
Accept who you are and the whole world will accept you.
More Tao Wisdom Coming Soon
This brings us a little more than 1/3 of the way through the Tao Te Ching. Keep checking back for more as I create new images you can use to share the Tao wisdom with your friends.
Do YOU have a favorite Tao Stanza?
Let us know in the comments below.
Get Your Copy of The Tao Te Ching
Video Readings of The Tao
References to Learn More about The Tao
Here are some helpful links to learn more about The Tao Te Ching and Lao Tzu.
- The Tao Te Ching: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao_Te_Ching
- Lao Tzu, AKA Laozi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozi
- Lao Tzu Teachings: http://www.laotzu.org/
- Lao Tzu GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2622245
- Complete Online PDF of Tao: http://www.with.org/tao_te_ching_en.pdf
- 81 Clickable Tao Te Ching Stanzas: http://thetaoteching.com/taoteching5.html