Lao Tzu

c.604 - 531 B.C.

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, blame, failure, opportunity, and responsibility

Failure is an opportunity.
If you blame someone else,
there is no end to the blame.

Therefore the Master
fulfills her own obligations
and corrects her own mistakes.
She does what she needs to do
and demands nothing of others.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, enemy, victory, forces, and opposition

The generals have a saying:
"Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard."

This is called
going forward without advancing,
pushing back without using weapons.

There is no greater misfortune
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means thinking that he is evil.
Thus you destroy your three treasures
and become an enemy yourself.

When two great forces oppose each other,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on teachings, tao, heart, and understanding

My teachings are easy to understand
and easy to put into practice.
Yet your intellect will never grasp them,
and if you try to practice them, you'll fail.

My teachings are older than the world.
How can you grasp their meaning?

If you want to know me,
look inside your heart.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, knowing, disease, mastery, and knowledge

Not-knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick;
then you can move toward health.

The Master is her own physician.
She has healed herself of all knowing.
Thus she is truly whole.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on awe, tao, religion, mastery, and trust

When they lose their sense of awe,
people turn to religion.
When they no longer trust themselves,
they begin to depend upon authority.

Therefore the Master steps back
so that people won't be confused.
He teaches without a teaching,
so that people will have nothing to learn.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, mastery, leadership, and competition

All streams flow to the sea
because it is lower than they are.
Humility gives it its power.

If you want to govern the people,
you must place yourself below them.
If you want to lead the people,
you must learn how to follow them.

The Master is above the people,
and no one feels oppressed.
She goes ahead of the people,
and no one feels manipulated.
The whole world is grateful to her.
Because she competes with no one,
no one can compete with her.

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

Source: Tao Te Ching

Contributed by: Gaia Team

A Quote by Lao Tzu on tao, simplicity, patience, compassion, action, and thoughts

Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.
And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep.

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings 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, excellence, competition, and harmony

The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.
The best general
enters the mind of his enemy.
The best businessman
serves the communal good.
The best leader
follows the will of the people.

All of the embody
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don't love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.
In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.

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

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