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While reading the chinese classic Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, one can observe its striking similarities to Hindu thoughts.

Some parts are mystical, but the text is full of sound practical wisdom on how to live well.


When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

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.

Chase after money and security and you heart with never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.

Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear.

The Master doesn’t talk, he acts. When his work is done, the people say, “Amazing, we did it, all by ourselves!”

Must you value what others value, avoid what others avoid? How ridiculous!

If you want to be given everything, give everything up.

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.

Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can’t be improved. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

The Master does his job and then stops. He understands that the universe is forever out of control, and that trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao. Because he believes in himself, he doesn’t try to convince others. Because he is content with himself, he doesn’t need others’ approval. Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him.

If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

When there is no desire, all things are at peace.

The greatest wisdom seems childish. True wisdom seems foolish.

If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled.

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

The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings.

Knowing how to yield is strength.

The Master’s power is like this. He lets all things come and go effortlessly, without desire. He never expects results; thus he is never disappointed. He is never disappointed; thus his spirit never grows old.

Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know.

The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas.

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

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

Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.

The Master takes action by letting things take their course.

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.

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. There the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others.

The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is.


Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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