The Wisdom of Lao Tzu

LZ

“I know a bird can fly, a fish can swim, and an animal can run. For that which runs, a net can be fashioned; for that which swims, a line can be strung. But the ascent of a Dragon on the wind into heaven is something which is beyond my knowledge. Today I have met Lao-Tzu, who is perhaps like a Dragon. Among the Chinese, particularly, the Taoists, the Dragon is the symbol of Kundalini Shakti, the primordial force.”

As said by Confucius, upon meeting Lao-Tzu Bo-Yang, the founder of Taoism, in the fifth century BC.

There now follows a series of quotations attributed to Lao-Tzu, which sagely demonstrate why he appears to have had such an impact upon the famous Chinese philosopher and many others the world over.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

“Act without expectation.”

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.”

“By letting go it all gets done.”

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”

“Accomplish but do not boast, accomplish without show, accomplish without arrogance, accomplish without grabbing, accomplish without forcing.”

“To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.”

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”

“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”

“Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.”

“Because of a great love, one is courageous.”

“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.”

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

“Loss is not as bad as wanting more.”

“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.”

“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.”

“Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.”

“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”

“Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.”

“To understand the limitation of things, desire them.”

“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”

“One who is too insistent on his own views finds few to agree with him.”

“The Way to do is to be.”

“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”

“If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.”

“So the unwanting soul sees what’s hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.”

“If you show yourself, you will not be seen. If you affirm yourself, you will not shine. If you boast, you will have no merit. If you promote yourself, you will have no success.”

“Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.”

“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”

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

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.”

“As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.”

“Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity.”

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.”

“Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.”

“Respond to anger with virtue. Deal with difficulties while they are still easy. Handle the great while it is still small.”

“Some lose yet gain, others gain and yet lose.”

“Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear?”

“If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.”

“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.”

“Boasting of wealth and virtue brings your demise.”

“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”

“If you want to lead them you must place yourself behind them.”

“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.”

“Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source. Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready.”

“Every step is on the path.”

“Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.”

“The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.”

“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.”

“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”

“When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.”

“If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, There must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart.”

“There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment.”

“Free from desire, you realize the mystery caught in the desire, you see only the manifestations.”

“Be like water.”

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