Words of Wisdom from Lao Tzu Part 2

Here is part 2 of the words of wisdom from Lao Tzu are from his famous book, Tao Te Ching. We are taught that “The tao that can be told of is not the absolute tao,” so please take this to heart as you explore these teachings.

Lao TzuOn being soft and slow:

“The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.”

“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.”

On flow:

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”

On getting rid of something:

“If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given. This is called the subtle perception of the way things are.”

On beginning anew:

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

On approval:

“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.”

On humility:

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

On generosity:

“The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.”

On leadership:

“The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’”

“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.”
On having enough:

“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

On staying at home:

“Without stirring abroad, one can know the whole world; without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows.”

If you missed part 1, click here.

The two quotes that got to me this week were on generosity and having enough. Generosity is one of the foundation teaching of Buddhism. Without the generosity of the thousands of villagers in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia, Buddhism would not have survived. On the other hand without the generosity of the Buddha‘s teachings, the people would not have learned to be generous.

Our teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says, “We have everything we need to be happy in the present moment.” This is in line with Lao Tzu’s teaching on having enough.

Which of these teachings from Lao Tzu have the most meaning for you this time? Please share.

Books by Lao Tzu

The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu is one of the most widely read and deeply cherished books in the world, a work many consider the wisest book ever written. In his introduction, translator Brian Browne Walker says, “It is less a book than a living, breathing angel.”

In his new translation,… [Read More…]

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.