Lao Tzu

c.604 - 531 B.C.

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, power, and politics

When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.

If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes its own people
and doesn't meddle in the affairs of others,
it will be a light to all nations in the world.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, universe, and mastery

The Tao is the center of the universe,
the good man's treasure,
the bad man's refuge.

Honors can be bought with fine words,
respect can be won with good deeds;
but the Tao is beyond all value,
and no one can achieve it.

Thus, when a new leader is chosen,
don't offer to help him
with your wealth or your expertise.
Offer instead
to teach him about the Tao.

Why did the ancient Masters esteem the Tao?
Because, being one with the Tao,
when you seek, you find;
and when you make a mistake, you are forgiven.
That is why everybody loves it.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, greatness, and mastery

Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, mastery, desire, and care

What is rooted is easy to nourish.
What is recent is easy to correct.
What is brittle is easy to break.
What is small is easy to scatter.

Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.
The giant pine tree
grows from a tiny sprout.
The journey of a thousand miles
starts from beneath your feet.

Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
you ruin what was almost ripe.

Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course.
He remains as calm
at the end as at the beginning.
He has nothing,
thus has nothing to lose.
What he desires is non-desire;
what he learns is to unlearn.
He simply reminds people
of who they have always been.
He cares about nothing but the Tao.
Thus he can care for all things.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, ordinary, not-knowing, nature, and self

The ancient Masters
didn't try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.

When they think that they know the answers,
people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don't know,
people can find their own way.

If you want to learn how to govern,
avoid being clever or rich.
The simplest pattern is the clearest.
Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people the way
back to their own true nature.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, endurance, and giving

Those who know don't talk.
Those who talk don't know.

Close your mouth,
block off your senses,
blunt your sharpness,
untie your knots,
soften your glare,
settle your dust.
This is the primal identity.

Be like the Tao.
It can't be approached or withdrawn from,
benefited or harmed,
honored or brought into disgrace.
It gives itself up continually.
That is why it endures.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, leadership, and desire

If you want to be a great leader,
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.

The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao and mastery

If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.
If a country is governed with repression,
the people are depressed and crafty.

When the will to power is in charge,
the higher the ideals, the lower the results.
Try to make people happy,
and you lay the groundwork for misery.
Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.

Thus the Master is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose her will.
She is pointed, but doesn't pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, mastery, understanding, and knowledge

Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.

The more you know,
the less you understand.

The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, knowledge, mastery, and allowing

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.

Lao Tzu (c.604 - 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

Syndicate content