Lao Tzu

c.604 - 531 B.C.

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It can't be approached or withdrawn from,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, moderation, and freedom

For governing a country well
there is nothing better than moderation.

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.

Nothing is impossible for him.
Because he has let go,
he can care for the people's welfare
as a mother cares for her child.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

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

Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking.

Center your country in the Tao
and evil will have no power.
Not that it isn't there,
but you'll be able to step out of its way.

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

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, 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

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