In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.
When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.
Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn’t reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn’t waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.
What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man’s job?
If you don’t understand this, you will get lost,
however intelligent you are.
It is the great secret.
Chanting is no more holy than listening to the murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more scared than simply breathing, religious robed no more spiritual than work clothes.
He who is contented is rich.
In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creatures flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
when man interferes with the Tao
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.
Respond to anger with virtue. Deal with difficulties while they are still easy. Handle the great while it is still small.
The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
Thus it is said:
The path into light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak…
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.