Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life

Living the Wisdom of The Tao

By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

 

Hardcover: 416 pages; Publisher: Hay House; 1 edition (July 31, 2007);
Language: English; ISBN-10: 1401911846; ISBN-13: 978-1401911843

 

5 star must reading.   [The following is what I highlighted during my read of this excellent book -- I recommend it on my Top-ten List of Peace resources.  My purpose in providing them is to interest you, the reader, and hope that you will obtain and read the complete work.  To properly understand the highlights, you need to read the book to put them in the proper context.]

 

 

Preface

 

·         Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life is the end product of my yearlong journey of research.

·         .. it describes a way of living that’s balanced, moral and spiritual; and that works for all facets of life on Earth.

·         If you think that being forceful is the appropriate response, Lao-tzu urges you to see the value in being humble.

·         If action seems called for, he asks you to consider nonaction.

·         If you feel that grasping will help you acquire what you need or want, he counsels you to let go and be patient.

·         The Tao is the supreme reality, an all pervasive Source of everything. 

·         The Tao never begins or ends, does nothing, and yet animates everything in the world of form and boundaries, which is called “the world of the 10.000 things.”

·         …generally interpret Tao as “the way,”  Te as “the shape and power” (that is, how the Tao manifest), and Ching as “book.”

·         Te as adding light or color to the Way.

·         As you read Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, you’re going to find your way through Lao-tzu’s mystical and practical philosophy, along with the joy of applying it to your life in today’s modern world.

·         I know that we humans are like rest of the natural world and that sadness, fear, frustration, or any troubling feeling cannot last.

·         Nature doesn’t create a storm that never ends. 

·         Within misfortune, good fortune hides.

·         It’s my vision that in this 21st century, our world must recruit future leaders who are steeped in the importance of Lao-tzu’s words.

·         Our survival may depend on understanding that the concepts of  “enemy” and “war” can cease to exist through living Tao-centered lives.

·         Government will need to retreat from regulating our personal lives, overly taxing our income, and invading our privacy.

·         Yet the lessons and truths of the Tao must be discovered and applied by individuals.

·         In this way, it can bring you to the enormous wonder of your own being – yes, you are the Tao at work.

·         …make reading this book a personal journey.

·         If you spend a long period of time in study and self-cultivation, you will enter Tao.  By doing so, you also enter a world of extraordinary perceptions.

·         You experience unimaginable things, receive thoughts and learning as if from nowhere, perceive things that could be classified as prescient.

·         Yet if you try to communicate what you experience, there is no one to understand you, no one who will believe you.

·         The more you walk this road, the farther you are from the ordinary ways of society.

·         You may see the truth, but you will find the people would rather listen to politicians, performers, and charlatans.

·         To speak to them of the wonders you have seen is often to engage in a futile bout of miscommunication.

·         That is why it is said that those who know do not speak.

·         If you meet someone who can profit by your experience, you should share.

·         But if you are merely a wanderer in a crowd of strangers, it is wisdom to be silent.

·         As you put its ideas into practice, you’ll discover how profound it all is – but then you’ll find yourself started by its simplicity and naturalness.

·         …stay in harmony with your nature, which can be trusted if you just listen and act accordingly.

·         …the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.

 

 

1st  Verse

Living the Mystery

 

·         …this book is asking that we change our ingrained ways of thinking and see how our lives change as a result.

·         …letting go of trying to see the mystery will actually allow us to see it.  Or, as I like to think of it, “let go and let God.”

·         ..desireless means trusting, permitting, and allowing.

·         The point here is to recognize the difference in your body between tying and allowing, and to then become aware of the effortless sensation of the latter.

·         First and foremost, enjoy the mystery!

·         Let the world unfold without always attempting to figure it all out.

·         Let relationships just be, for example, since everything is going to stretch out in Divine order.

·         Don’t try so hard to make something work – simply allow.

·         Don’t always toil at trying to understand your mate, your children, your parents, your boss, or anyone else, because the Tao is working at all times.

·         When expectations are shattered, practice allowing that to be the way it is.

·         Relax, let go, allow, and recognize that some of your desires are about how you think your world should be, rather than how it is in that moment.

·         Become an astute observer….judge less and listen more.

·         Take time to open your mind to the fascinating mystery and uncertainty that we all experience.

·         Practice letting go of always naming, and labelling.

·         …bask in the magnificence of what is seen and sensed, instead of always memorizing and categorizing.

·         Decide to do the Tao (or practice the Way) in that moment by turning inward with curiosity about where you are on the continuum between desire and allowing.

·         Permit the paradox of wanting the irritant to vanish and allowing it to be what it is.

·         Look inward for it in your thoughts and allow yourself to feel it wherever it is and however it moves in your body.

·         Turn all of your attention to becoming open-minded, allowing permissiveness to befriend the mystery within yourself.

·         Accept whatever comes.

·         …the sage lives openly with apparent duality and paradoxical unity.

·         The sage can act without effort and teach without words.

·         Nurturing things without possessing them, he works, but not for rewards; he competes, but not for results.

·         When the work is done, it is forgotten.

 

 

2nd  Verse

Living the Paradoxical Unity

 

·         …truly live the bliss of oneness.

·         What if you….perceived all as a piece (or a glimpse) of  the perfection of oneness?

·         Imagine the perfect oneness coexisting in the apparent duality.

·         The trees, flowers, and animals know not of ugliness or beauty; they simply are….in harmony with the eternal Tao, devoid of judgment.

·         Living without judgment and in perfect oneness

·         ….combine perceived opposites and live a unified life.

·         Once the dichotomies or pairs of  opposites are transcended,  or at least seen for what they are, they flow in and out of life like the tides.

·         Believe strongly in your free will and ability to influence your surroundings, and simultaneously surrender to the energy within you.

·         In other words, accept the duality of the material world while still remaining in constant contact with the oneness of the eternal Tao.

·         The debilitating necessity to be right and make others wrong will diminish.

·         Live a unified life.

·         Contemplate the insight that duality is a mind game.

·         See the unfolding of the Tao inside everyone, including yourself, and be at peace with what you observe.

·         When other people create dichotomies, you can always know oneness by practicing the Tao.

·         Accomplish much by trying less.

·         ..effortless action without attachment to outcome.

·         Eliminating opposites paradoxically unifies them so that it is unnecessary to identify with one position.

·         Just be.

·         Do the Tao today by noticing an opportunity to defend or explain yourself and choosing not to.

 

 

 

3rd  Verse

Living Contentment

 

·         Practice not doing….When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place.

·         …rearranging priorities to ensure contentment.

·         Focusing on obtaining more objects of desire encourages external factors to have control over us.

·         Rather than seeking more, the Tao practice of gratitude is what leads us to the contented life.

·         We must replace personal desires with the Tao-centered question:  How may I serve?

·         …trusting in the Tao is the way to be directed by the Source of your creation and to be guided by a higher principle than your ego-driven desires.

·         In a state of frenzy? Trust in the Tao.

·         Listen for what urges you onward, free from ego domination, and you’ll paradoxically be more productive.

·         ..empty their minds of thoughts about status and acquisitions, and think instead about serving others and contributing to the health and strength of all.  Model the harmony of this attitude.

·         Remind yourself daily that there is no way to happiness; rather, happiness is the way.

·         Desires can produce anxiety, stress, and competitiveness, and you need to recognize those that do.

·         Bring happiness to every encounter in life, instead of expecting external events to produce joy.

·         “Stop pushing yourself.”

·         “and feel gratitude and awe for what is. Your life is controlled by something far bigger and more significant than the petty details of your lofty aspirations.”

·         Trust the perfection of  the eternal Tao, for it is the ultimate Source of the 10,000 things.

·         Choose to do the Tao and listen for guidance.

·         Through your feelings, the Tao will reveal the way for you in that moment. 

·         Trust it.

 

 

4th Verse

Living Infinitely

 

·         This 4th  verse of the Tao invites you to consider rearranging your thoughts about who you are.  It seems to be saying that cultivating an awareness of the infinite aspect of yourself is the way to tap into the limitless Source of creative energy that flows through you.

·         …acquaint yourself with the limitless creative energy that’s a part of you, the time and energy you require will appear.

·         ….what you imagine for yourself is not only on its way – it’s already here!

·         Consider all things that seem to be a problem from the perspective of the eternal Tao.

·         ….connect to the bottomless supply.  Do it first in your thoughts by affirming:  Everything I need now is here.

·         Be an infinite observer.

·         If you view your life from the vantage point of an infinite observer, concerns, anxieties, and struggles blend into the eternal mix.

·         …while you’re living, stay as close to love as you can.

 

 

5th Verse

Living Impartially

 

·         He gives and gives, without condition, offering his treasures to everyone.

·         Man was made to quietly and find the truth within.

·         Taoism reveres and respects existence impartially, as an ebb and flow that is to be and then released.

·         Stay in harmony with the impartial essence of the Tao in all of your thoughts and all of your behaviors.

·         ..the act of exclusion and partiality eliminates their functioning from their true self.

·         …if a thought or behavior divides us, it is not of God; if it unites us, it is of God.  Stay centered on this Tao that resides within you, Lao-tzu advises, and you’ll never have a thought that isn’t in harmony with spirit.

·         Offer your  treasures to everyone.

·         1.  Eliminate as many judgments of others in your thoughts as possible.  The simplest, most natural way to accomplish this is to see yourself in everyone.

·         2.  Remove the word special from your vocabulary when you refer to yourself or others.  If anyone is special, them we all are.

·         3.  Finally,  implement the third step of this process by extending generosity through living the Tao impartially and connecting with the inner space of being the Tao.

·         …decide to approach interactions or situations involving other people with a completely fair mind-set, which you allow and trust to guide your responses.

·         Holy  Spirit, guide me now.

 

 

6th Verse

Living Creatively

 

·         If you choose to be aware of the inherent creativity that resonates deep within you…

·         …you’ll assist the birthing of new ideas, new accomplishments, new projects, and new ways of understanding your life.

·         Know that you are a Divine creation birthed, not by your parents, but by the great spiritual Divine Mother, the Tao.

·         Listen to your inner callings, ignore how others might want to direct your life energies, and allow yourself to radiate outward what you feel so profoundly and deeply within you.

·         Be creative – in your thoughts, in your feelings, and in all of your actions.  Apply your own uniqueness to everything you undertake.

·         Serve the needs of others, and all you own needs will be fulfilled.

·         Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.

 

 

7th Verse

Living Beyond Ego

 

·         Tao…is eternal.

·         By extension, the original nature of life is everlasting and enduring.

·         ..live from our Tao center, rather than from our worldly ego center.

·         ...radically change our thoughts in order to change our lives.

·         …by giving without asking, he attracts everything that he’s capable of handling or needing.

·         The ego is a demanding force that’s never satisfied:  It constantly requires that we seek more money, power, acquisitions, glory, and prestige to provide the fuel it thinks it must have. 

·         Living a Tao-centered life rather than an ego-centered one removes us from that rat race, as it offers inner peace and satisfying fulfillment.

·         Make an attempt to reverse ego’s hold on you by practicing the Tao’s teaching to “serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled.”

·         The main problem with listening to ego is that you’re always caught in the trap of striving and never arriving.

·         Thus, you can never feel complete.

·         I see the sacred invisible Source of all in its eternal state of giving and asking nothing in return.  I vow to be this, too, in my thoughts and behaviors.

·         Everyone Is God speaking, Why not be polite and Listen to Him?

·         Stop the chase and be a witness.

·         By letting go, you let God; and even more significantly, you become more like God and less like the ego,  with its lifetime practice of ending God out.

 

8th Verse

Living in the Flow

 

·         Live in accordance with  the nature of things.

·         In dwelling, be close to the land.  In meditation, go deep in the heart.

·         In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.

·         Stand by your word.  Govern with equity

·         Be timely in choosing the right moment.

·         Live as water lives, since you are water.

·         It is natural for you to be gentle, to allow others to be free to go where they’re inclined to go, and to be as they need to be without interference from you.

·         It is natural to trust in the eternal flow, be true to your inner inclinations, and stick to your word. It is natural to treat everyone as an equal.

·         When you’re free to flow as water, you’re free to communicate naturally – information is exchanged, and knowledge advances in a way that benefits everyone.

·         Let your thoughts float freely.

·         …our intentions can impact the entire planet (and beyond)…

 

 

9th Verse

Living Humility

 

·         Puff yourself with honor and pride and no one can save you from a fall.

·         Excess is eschewed by the Tao.

·         Cramming life with possessions, pleasures, pride, and activities when we’ve obviously reached a point where more is less indicates being in harmony with ego, not the Tao!

·         Living humility knows when to just stop, let go, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

·         …excessive growth, like cancer, will ultimately destroy itself.

·         Come to grips with the radical concept of “enough is enough”!

·         Seek the joy in your activities rather than focusing on ego’s agenda.

·         Seek the pleasure in what you’re doing, rather than how it might ultimately benefit you.

 

 

10th Verse

Living Oneness

 

·         Giving birth and nourishing; having, yet not possessing; working, yet not taking credit; leading without controlling or dominating.

·         Embrace oneness by seeing yourself in everyone you encounter.

·         ..view others as an extension of yourself.

·         .. “the primal virtue.”

·         In situations where you’re expected to hate an assumed enemy, stop yourself from these judgments and walk an imaginary mile ( or two ) in their shoes.

·         We are the world.

·         Take pleasure from what you possess without being attached to these things.

·         You literally own nothing and no one:  All that is composed will decompose; all that is yours will leave and become someone else’s.

·         ..the kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it….Today, know that practicing oneness thinking will help you see that kingdom.

 

 

11th Verse

Living from the Void

 

·         …live from the invisible void that’s at the core of our being….

·         Your imperceptible center is your vital essence.

·         ..the thoughts that emerge from your inner  self are pure love and kindness.

·         Rather than trying to have positive, loving notions, simply be sensitive to the essence of your beingness.

·         Practice the power of silence every day.

·         ..meditation.

·         The difference between saints and the rest of us isn’t that they have loving, pure beliefs and we don’t; rather, they function solely from their essence, where the way of the Tao flows invisibly through their physical being. 

·         This is the primary purpose of learning to meditate, or to be in the silence, inviting your essence to reveal itself and allowing you to live in the void.

·         …your very usefulness as a material being is completely dependent upon this void.

 

 

12th Verse

Living with Inner Conviction

 

·         He prefers what is within to what is without.

·         Since everything comes and goes, the nature of the material world is obviously restricted to transitory status.

·         If you’re locked into a belief that the pursuit of sensory satisfaction is the focus of life, you’ll be consumed by what Lao-tzu calls “the chase.” 

·         This quest for adoration, money, and power is a waste of energy because there’s never enough, so striving for more defines your daily regimen.

·         You can’t arrive at a place of peace and inner satisfaction when your entire existence is motivated by not having enough.  I

·         In fact, Lao-tzu states that the relentless chase is a formula for craziness.

·         The master goes within, where inner convictions replace the chase.

·         Extend your perspective beyond the sensory level.

·         Experience the essence of the creator who allowed this blossoming masterpiece to emerge from a tiny seed.

·         Discontinue pressuring yourself to perpetually accumulate more.

 

 

13th Verse

Living with an Independent Mind

 

·         ….it’s crucial to remain independent of both the positive and negative opinions of the other people.

·         …if we make their assessments more important than our own, we’ll be greatly afflicted.

·         No ego means no trouble; big ego equals big trouble.

·         ..what others think of you is really none of  your business!

·         Practice trusting your own inner nature.

·         I am a guardian of the world and I am fit to be the teacher of the world.

·         Ask yourself right now, What’s my own nature if I have no outside forces telling me who or what I should be?

 

 

14th Verse

Living Beyond Form

 

·         Discovering how things have always been brings one into harmony with the Way.

·         Try to imagine the idea of forever:  that which has never changed, that which has no beginning or end. 

·         It cannot be seen, heard, or touched…but you know it is and always has been.

·         Think of that which even now, in this very moment as you read these words, is the very understanding that’s within you – that essence that permeates you and everything else, yet always eludes your grasp.

·         This primordial principle has ruled – and still rules – all beings…

·         Tapping into this invisible, untouchable, immeasurable force will enable you to gain the harmony that comes with being connected to the oneness, and harmony is your ultimate objective in deciding to live an “in-Spirited” life.

·         The way has no conflict in it.

·         Use the technique of walking meditation to obtain knowledge of the absolute.

·         Stay in a persistent state of awareness of the eternal principle that animates all of life.

·         Improve your vision by looking beyond what your eyes see.

 

 

15th Verse

Living an Unhurried Life

 

·         Watchful, Alert, Simple, Hollow, Yielding, Amorphous…

·         …masters who enjoyed and indescribably profound level of cooperation with their world.

·         ..two ways of being..

·         ..first to meld into, and therefore become at one with, your immediate surroundings; and to then simultaneously stay so relaxed that your stillness allows all things around you to settle, resulting in a deep clarity.

·         Stop chasing your dreams.

·         Imagine all that you’d like to experience in life and then let go.

·         Trust the Tao to work in Divine perfection, as it does with everything on the planet.

·         Get in the flow of life and allow yourself to proceed gently down its stream.

 

 

16th Verse

Living with Constancy

 

·         …the value of being supremely conscious of the constant cycle of all.

·         When you see change as the only constant there really is, you start to recognize it as an expression of ongoing life that’s a welcome clue to your own purpose and meaning.

·         If you get trapped in these emotional endings, you’re not permitting them to also be a natural part of life, leading you to feel disconnected from your Source. 

·         You become stuck in the “rush of worldly comings and goings,” unable to remember the constancy where “endings become beginnings.”

·         “this too shall pass” – it always has and always will. 

·         When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!

·         Take time to be an impartial observer of  life, particularly when an ending is causing despair.

·         Write these words and post them in a conspicuous place in your living environment:  This too shall pass.

 

 

17th Verse

Living as an Enlightened Leader

 

·         The great leader speaks little.

·         He never speaks carelessly.

·         He works without self-interest and leaves no trace.

·         When all is finished, the people say, “We did it ourselves.”

·         ..viewing great or enlightened leaders as those who don’t actually lead anyone!

·         Through the perspective of the Tao, such individuals create an environment where everyone feels that they have a personal responsibility to, and are a part of, the process.

·         First, you must stay in the background and become an astute observer of what’s taking place; then ask yourself how, without interfering, you can create an environment that will help everyone act responsibly.

·         Truly inspiring leaders get results by their own example:  They encourage others to be responsible and do the right thing.

·         They create space for others to be inspired and to achieve their own greatness.

·         The supreme Taoist leader always leaves people to choose and pursue their own way of life, their own conception of the good.

·         …they raise the energy of an environment through a viewpoint that elevates lower inclinations.

·         ..make a difference in the lives of others, resolving conflicts through love.

·         The ineffectiveness of fear as a leadership style is obvious: If  I can get you to do as I desire by using that weapon, then you’ll only behave in these ways as long as I have the power to threaten you.

·         When I leave, my influence over you departs as well.

·         The enlightened leader trusts those whom he or she is in a position to govern.

·         ..raise your children to be self-sufficient, to make their own decisions as soon as they’re able, and to feel pride in the decisions they do make.

·         Instead of believing that you know what’s best for others, trust that they know what’s best for themselves.

·         Allow other people to share their thoughts about the path they see for themselves. 

·         Let your position be known, but also convey that you trust them to make the right choice.

·         Then step back…

·         Take pride in refusing to take credit for the achievements of others.

·         Simply be there to serve, never demanding anything in return.

 

 

18th Verse

Living Without Rules

 

·         When the greatness of the Tao is present, action arises from one’s own heart.

·         …you don’t need rules to be kind and just.

·         …when you adjust rule-based thinking to a heart-based attitude, you life will change!

·         Make love the bedrock of your…motivation to be loving.

·         The existence of codes of conduct are proof that we aren’t allowing the Tao to flow freely through our lives.

·         Rules are created to impose penalties to control or govern people who haven’t learned their individual responsibility as a part of the wholeness of the group.

·         …when the Great Way is deserted: The need for justice arises. Falsity among the people creates a need for rules, and rulers are needed to restore order.

·         Political ministers appear to bring light to the disorder and darkness.

·         Let your actions arise from your Tao-centered heart.

·         Don’t act virtuous; be virtue.

·         Everyone is God speaking.

·         Why not be polite and Listen to Him?

 

 

19th Verse

Living Without Attachment

 

·         …cultivate your true nature.

·         ..the greatest trust is placed in your accessing the sacred Tao center of yourself.

·         Within you lies a piece of God that instinctively knows what to do and how to be.

·         These, then are the three outward forms:  education, justice, and business. 

·         You’re being encouraged to update how you see the reasons for, the methods used by, and the way  well-meaning people have taught to value those arenas of life.

·         Observe your relationship to systems of education, justice, and business.

·         You are not saintly ( a good person ) because an organization says so, but rather because you stay connected to the divinity of your origination.

·         Live without attachment by being generous.

·         The less you focus on making a profit – instead shifting your energy to living your purpose in harmony with everyone else – the more money will flow to you and the more opportunities for generosity will be available to you.

·         I am moral, profitable, and a genius extraordinaire, regardless of what any institutional  transcript or bank statement says.

 

 

20th  Verse

Living Without Striving

 

·         ..experience your life free of worldly striving.

·         Being here now is accomplished by adopting an acceptance of life as it is presented by the great Mother, or the Tao.

·         It’s a surrendering process, if you will –simply allowing this great all- creating, all-nourishing Source to take you where it will.

·         ..an outsider who is unlike most people.

·         The world and everything in it are already taken care of by the Tao

·         … it has always done so and always will.

·         Practice letting go of thoughts about what’s not here now.

·         It is all perfect.  God’s love is everywhere and forgets no one.

·         I trust in this force the guide me, and I am not allowing ego to enter now.

·         Take time to “let go and let God,” every single day.

·         ..catch yourself wrapped up in striving for future benefit, notice what you’re doing, and focus on the now.

·         …accepting what is offered – that is, know that this situation, in some way that your striving ego rejects, is actually sustenance from the Great Mother.

 

 

21st Verse

Living the Elusive Paradox

 

·         …let go of  seeking results in money, accomplishments, acquisitions, fame, and so on.  Instead, shift your attention to the energy in the beginning of all things – the elusive and intangible Tao. 

·         The greatest virtue is to find this nameless, formless force within yourself.  Know it by looking within and seeing it at work in all of your thoughts and actions.

·         Have an unquenchable thirst for the intangible and enigmatic force that supports all life.

·         ..take a moment or two several times a day to say aloud “Thank You, God, for everything.”

·         Repeat these two sentences: “How do I know the ways of all things at the beginning?  I look inside myself and see what is within me.”

 

 

22nd Verse

Living with Flexibility

 

·         When destructive energy comes along, allow yourself to resist brokenness by bending.

·         …remaining open to all possibilities.

·         Change the way you see the storms of your life.

·         Imagine yourself as a tall, stately palm tree.

·         Keep an inner vision of the wind symbolizing difficult situations as you affirm:  I have no rigidity within me.  I can bend to any wind and remain unbroken.  I will use the strength of the wind to make me even stronger and better preserved.

 

 

23rd  Verse

Living Naturally

 

·         Those who follow the Way become one with the Way.

·         Those who follow goodness become one with the Goodness.

·         If you conform to the Way, its power flows through you.  Your actions become those of nature.

·         ..observe the ways of nature and then  make the choice to live harmoniously with them.

·         …you always have a choice!

·         ..what seems so devastating in the moment is benevolent perfection in another moment.

·         Change your life by actively observing nature’s way.

·         This is a temporary setback.  I am going to release myself from having to be the person in control.

·         Change your life by trusting your ability to respond naturally to the circumstances in your life.

 

 

24th Verse

Living Without Excess

 

·         Everything that you see, touch, or own is a gift from the Tao; thus, it is your duty to suspend your ego and seek an attitude of gratitude and generosity for the Tao’s creativity.

·         In this way, you walk the path of the Tao by becoming like it is, which is always existing in a state of unlimited giving.

·         Change your life by consciously choosing to be in a state of gratitude.

·         Practice silently repeating I thank You.

·         Change your life by examining your urge to boast and be self-righteous.

·         By returning to radical humility and seeing the greatness within everyone, you’ve then cleared your life of excessive self-importance….

 

 

25th Verse

Living from Greatness

 

·         To know the Way, understand the great within yourself.

·         The story appears to want the reader to realize there’s a pure, timeless energy that’s within everything on the planet and that remains uncontaminated by the solid appearance of form.

·         The conclusion is a directive to the student, who is you, the reader.

·         To know this formless perfection, you must  “understand the great within yourself.”

·         You’re the central character in this wonderful saga!

·         Since you’re animated by the eternal Tao,  this tale’s message of greatness invites

       you to change the way you live and to see the life you’re living change.

·         The need that one feels every day of one’s life, even though one does not acknowledge it.

·         To be related to something bigger than one’s self, something more alive than one’s self, something older and something not yet born, that will endure through time.

·         That enduring “something” confirms your greatness, your absolute connection to the infinite.

·         There’s a sense of being permanently aligned with a sort of senior partner that is greatness itself.

·         By persistently hanging on to your own “greatness heritage,” you ensure that the always-present Tao is consciously available.

·         From a perspective of greatness, only greatness can emerge from you; from an inner perspective of inferiority, you only attract events that align with those beliefs.

·         Trust in your own greatness.

·         I come from greatness.  I attract greatness.  I am greatness.

·         Look for beliefs that contradict your status as a being of greatness.

·         I get what I think about, whether I want it or not.

 

 

26th Verse

Living Calmly

 

·         …the successful person is poised and centered in the midst of all activities

·         To be restless is to lose one’s self-mastery.

·         Maintain a sense of serenity regardless of what you may see taking place around you.

·         …the ability to stay calm is always located within.

·         ..own your feelings and actions.

·         ..know that you have a choice.

 

 

27th Verse

Living by Your Inner Light

 

·         Be wise and help all beings impartially, abandoning none.

·         Waste no opportunities.

·         This is called following the light.

·         The “knower of the truth” lives by an inner light.

·         It's the Source you're encouraged to always carry with you and to consult when you feel the need for assistance or direction.

·         ...you're here to teach yourself and others in some way, and that the work is to raise the collective energy of our entire universe.

·         The great secret is this: Waste no opportunity, abandon no one, respect the teachers, and care for the student.

·         Trust in yourself.

·         Don't judge yourself or others.

·         If the entire world of the 10,00 thing knew the simple truth that we are all one, then in my opinion war, hostilities, confusion, and even illness would cease to exist.

 

 

28th  Verse

Living Virtuously

 

·         ... the best governor governs the least.

·         By being one with nature, the sage is in concert with the Tao and is a virtuous person in daily life.

·         It is my most fervent intention to spread these teachings throughout the world in such a way as to facilitate a transformation of all those who call themselves “leaders” and are destined for, or presently in, positions of power.

·         Every person has the inherent capacity to spark massive charges that can lead to tranquility, harmony, and peace that are our heritage.

·         “Preserve your original qualities”

·         ...love, kindness and beauty...

·         Entertain the exact opposite of what you're conditioned to believe.

·         Replace all negativity with love.

 

 

29th  Verse

Living by Natural Law

 

·         ...all of life is a movement toward perfection...

·         Albert Einstein: [The scientist's] religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.

·         This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work...

·         The Tao is the informing principle of God, not nature's lord and master.

·         All of those times that you felt betrayed, abandoned, abused, frightened, anxious, or incomplete–they all came about according to a natural law that also led you to feel cared for, protected, loved, comforted, and whole.

·         ...the sage within you desires to be more harmonious with the perfection of the Tao.

·         How do you allow this?

·         ...avoid the extremes, the excesses, and the extravagant, and know that all is unfolding perfectly, even if your thoughts tell you that it's imperfect.

·         Give up needing to control.

·         Surrendering is a mental process: It involves taking a split second to stop yourself in your mode of judgment or frustration and have a brief talk with yourself on the spot.

·         Just remind yourself to step back and be a witness rather than a protagonist, which you can do by providing a sanctuary for the feeling you're judging.

·         ...your belief that ego can control life is an illusion.

·         Practice recognizing that there's a time for everything.

·         Yes, there seems to be a time for such things, and I choose not to remain in extremes of resentment and anger.

·         But there is also my desire to do something about these circumstances–that feeling is also a part of the natural law unfolding.

·         I choose to act on my inner desire to rectify these conditions.

·         By remaining internally peaceful and avoiding the extremes, I will impact the world in the same loving way that the Tao eternally manifests from love and kindness.

·         The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.

 

30th   Verse

Living Without Force

 

·         ...warn him against the use of arms for conquest.

·         Weapons often turn upon the wielder.

·         If you were to explicitly follow the advice offered in this 30th verse of the Tao Te Ching, you'd be in a position to have conflict free existence.

·         Force creates a counterforce, and this exchange goes on and on until an all-out war is in progress.

·         Once war has begun, decimation and famine result because the land cannot produce crops.

·         Now when you create war in your personal life, it produces a dearth of love, kindness, and joy, which leaves you and everyone around you stripped of Divine Motherhood.

·         ...look for an alternative to force settling disputes.

·         If you can find no other option, then you're encouraged to abandon any reference to yourself as winning or conquering.

·         Force includes any use of physical or mental abuse in which the weapons of hatred and intolerance are applied.

·         There will always be a counterforce, and what you've opted to do isn't “attuned to the Way”.

·         This means that you'll ultimately lose...

·         ...Martin Luther King Jr., once observed that the only way to convert an enemy into a friend is through love.

·         ...the Great Way of Tao is that of cooperation, not competition.

·         Whenever you're in a mode that propels you in the direction of using force, you've lost sight of your connection to the Tao.

·         ...wu-wei, or “not forcing”, which means to take the line of least resistance in all of one's actions, and by doing so, create more strength.

·         Eliminate verbal and/or physical force in all situations.

·         Bite your tongue!

·         These are great reminders to you to become attuned to the Way.

·         If you insist on escalating devastation, your weapons will be turned back upon you.

·         Refuse to participate i n violent actions in any way.

·         Eventually, when enough of us are unwilling to tolerate such behavior in any form, we'll be closer to bringing an end to the use of all force on our planet.

·         ...increase that “no tolerance” policy to include movies, videos, and games that have beatings, homicides, and chase scenes.

 

31st  Verse

Living Without Weapons

 

·         Arms serve evil.

·         It is a good sign when man's higher nature comes forward.

·         The Tao is about life; weapons are about death.

·         By making this verse your personal calling, you have the ability to save our planet from becoming a lifeless one.

·         Begin to see the use of physical or verbal weapons as unwanted responses.

·         Discontinue celebrating death or violence in any form.

·         Tech your kids, and any children you can, to sanctify life.

·         Say a private prayer today for every person you read or hear about who's a victim of killing by a weapon, no matter how distant.

 

 

32nd  Verse

Living the Perfect Goodness of the Tao

 

·         Be aware of anything that's directing you toward activities that truly ignite your passion.

·         ...quit fighting your calling.

·         Pay attention to the flow of your life.

·         Look for a new, joyous feeling within you.

 

 

33rd  Verse

Living Self-Mastery

 

·         A Tao oriented life focuses on understanding yourself...

·         ...as you realize that you are responsible for your reaction in any given moment,..

·         … other will cease to have any power of control over you.

·         ...there's no “they” who have power over you.

·         By refusing to turn the controls of your existence over to anyone or any set of circumstances, you're exercising personal strength instead of force.

·         You don't need the approval of others or another possession in order to be happy–you must merely understand yourself as a Divine piece of the eternal Tao, always connected to that infinite essence.

·         Focus on understanding yourself instead of blaming others.

·         It's important to bypass blame and even your desire to understand the other person; instead, focus on understanding yourself.

·         Change the way you choose to perceive the power that others have over you and you will see a bright new world of unlimited potential for yourself

·         Cultivate your desire for others to discover the Tao in their lives.

 

 

 

34th  Verse 

Living the Great Way

 

·         It is this indifference toward notoriety that makes true greatness.

·         Discontinue deciding what anyone else should or shouldn't be doing.

·         ...disregard any inclination to dominate in all of your relationships.

·         Discover a new definition of greatness.

 

 

35th Verse

Living Beyond Worldly Pleasures

 

·         Notice the eternal bliss that's always with you– even when the delicacies are out of sight!

·         Introduce transcendent thankfulness to your everyday life.

 

 

36th  Verse

Living in Obscurity

 

·         ...”the wisdom of obscurity” allows you to eliminate competition from your life and retreat into quiet strength.

·         ...take it easy and base your view on entirely new criteria. As you do, your world will begin to reflect a gentle, low-key soul who outlasts those who measure their strength by how much status they have compared to their peers.

·         ...understanding the dichotomous nature of the material world...

·         ...become an astute observer of your life.

·         Avoid the pitfalls of feeling weak, unimportant, stressed, or fearful by transcending the thinking that got you there in the first place.

·         ...release your need to be more anything in the eyes of others.

·         Stay under the radar and you'll outlast all who strive to be recognized.

·         Strive to know oneness by seeking awareness of opposites.

·         Recognize the opposing feeling so that you can know both of them simultaneously.

·         Do this with any sensation: If you're depressed, weak, jealous, unloved–anything–the antithesis of what you're going through is within your experimental framework.

·         Seek the opposite feeling right in the moment and be at one with it in your mind, for this will provide you with a balanced sense of being at peace within yourself.

·         Withdraw yourself and allow others.

 

 

 

37th Verse

Living in Simplicity

 

·         When you start to allow your true nature–which is the anchor of the universe–to shine through, you'll recognize that the way you look at things has absolutely changed.

·         Cultivate your unique, natural self.

·         Expect to see the essential nature of others by remaining silent.

·         This new discipline of resisting you habit to get involved by pausing before interfering will enable you to see how capable everyone truly is when they're in the energy field of someone who allows rather that dictates.

·         Let your all-knowing guest fix things while you live naturally.

 

 

38th  Verse

Living Within Your Own Nature

 

·         Your nature is to be good because you came from the Tao, which is goodness.

·         But when you're trying to be good, your essential nature becomes inoperative.

·         In you effort to be good, moral, or obedient, you lose touch with your Tao nature.

·         Live by your essential nature, the Tao, which is oneness; it has no polarity.

·         Yet the moment that you know you're good, you introduce the polarity of “good” versus “bad”, which causes you to lose your connection to the Tao.

·         The Tao is oneness; it has no standards for you to follow.

·         Trust your own essential nature.

·         Let go of all polarities and live in the indivisible oneness that is the Tao.

·         Live in your essential nature by rejecting artificial principles.

·         Abandon outmoded familial and cultural customs.

 

 

39th  Verse

Living Wholeness

 

·         A man's life brings nothing unless he lives in accordance with the whole universe.

·         ...while the sky and the trees may truly be in a unified state, your ego insists that you're separate, distinct, and generally superior.

·         But if you can modify your ego's viewpoint, your life will change.

·         ...you'll destroy yourself if you participate in destroying the Tao upon which you are dependent for your survival.

·         Each seemingly individual part of a whole is potentially dangerous (and generally useless) if it doesn't function in harmony.

·         Cultivate your relationship with the planet.

·         Change the way you think of yourself from being separate to seeing yourself in all that you encounter.

 

 

40th  Verse

Living by Returning and Yielding

 

·         ...he was teaching an essential truth even then: It's spirit that gives life.

·         So to truly live out your destiny as a piece of the originating Tao, you must shed your ego and return to spirit–or you can wit until your body dies and make your return trip at that time.

·         How is this accomplished?

·         You do so by yielding your ego, surrendering, and being humble.

·         As you take your return journey, you not only get to lose your ego-identification card, you have the added bonus of regaining the power of your Source, which is the all-creating power of the universe.

·         You merge into the oneness of a being who dissolves ego concerns, and the world that you now see is perfect and infinite in nature.

·         There is no more worry, anxiety, or identification with your possessions–you're a free person.

·         You're a spiritual being first, last, and always.

·         Monitor your direction, emphasizing returning and yielding.

·         ...ask yourself, In which way I am truly moving?

·         Am I getting away from my originating place, or am I returning to it?

·         Surrender!

 

 

41st  Verse

Living Beyond Appearances

 

·         ...when life looks difficult, stop and realize that you're only one thought removed from being at peace.

·         A person in the Tao sees the world quite differently, knowing that inner peace is power.

·         Ego convinces you to see a cold and indifferent planet, while the ego-transcending Tao shines pure love to all that you're connected to.

·         Be diligent.

·         The Tao truth is unprovable in physical terms.

 

 

42nd  Verse

Living by Melting into Harmony

 

·         The violent do not die a natural death.

·         That's my fundamental teaching.

·         ...blending these seemingly opposing forces is the way to achieve harmony.

·         Parents, possessions, and self-worth are only necessary to the existence of your mortal self.

·         ...recognize this difference within the oneness that you are.

·         My conclusion is that when you're violent in any way–including in your thoughts, behavior, pronouncements, and allegiances–then you're choosing to die in the same way.

·         ...a person who embraces the Tao and eschews violence and hatred will live and die naturally...

·         … which is in harmony with the perfection of the Tao.

·         You must be willing to give up your attachment to all forms of violence in your life if you want to melt into harmony.

·         Remember that violence violates the harmony of life and death.

·         Make a decision to live harmoniously with the Tao by removing all associations that you have with violence.

·         Stop supporting entertainment that promotes any type of it, for instance.

·         Monitor your vocabulary to remind yourself to remove words that direct hatred or killing toward any living creature.

·         Explore avenues for resolving disputes peacefully, and get involved with organizations that discourage violence.

·         Remember that the one fundamental principle of the Tao Te Ching is that if you take up savagery in any way, then you're signing up for a savage end on this planet.

·         And this includes your mental activity as well as behavior, so seek kind and forgiving thoughts in place of revenge and hatred.

·         Change the way you look at life to seeing a picture that's free of violence and melts into harmony as you live and die.

·         Examine your attachments with the idea that you gain by losing and lose by gaining.

·         Start seeing everything as God, but keep it a secret.

 

 

43rd  Verse

Living Softly

 

·         ...the pure essence of the teaching seems to be to help us become Tao-inspired sages through oneness with the environment.

·         To live softly is to live the watercourse way.

·         The value of non action is performing without action!

·         Apply this way of seeing everything in your world: Tasks will be simplified, your performance level will increase, and the pressure to be better than others by using superior hardened strength will cease to be a factor.

·         You'll naturally incorporate the wisdom of peaceful harmony that's found in the martial arts by letting the efforts of others become a source of your own power.

·         Your softness will override the hardness of others.

·         Introduce a soft, nonaction style to your life.

·         Practice the way of nonaction, or performing without effort.

·         By letting go of your inner drive to push ahead, you'll see that you ironically do better than when you tried so hard.

·         Encourage desires to freely flow in your imagination.

·         ...imagine yourself flowing like water through the barrier.

·         ...the condition of Inspiration–marry nature, don't use her for pleasure.

 

 

44th  Verse

Living by Knowing When to Stop

 

·         ...changing the way you prioritize your life ensures a fruitful one.

·         ...look into your heart and examine what is truly important.

·         ...note the senselessness of demanding more, exhausting yourself in pursuit of what keeps you trapped in a vicious cycle of “striving and never arriving” or trying to find fulfillment.

·         ...know when to stop.

·         When you prioritize life, you'll find that love and a feeling of abundance are not only what you desire, but these two principles are instantly available because you've changed the way you look at the world.

·         The fruits of wealth and love are seen right there before you when you simply stop the chase.

·         Make your relationship to the Tao your top priority.

·         Your primary relationship needs to be with yourself...

·         The number one priority in my life is my relationship with my Source of being.

·         Practice knowing when to stop.

 

 

45th  Verse

Living Beyond Superficialities

 

·         This verse subtly asks you to view the world with new eyes.

·         Most likely you've been conditioned to evaluate just about everything with a cursory and fleeting glance.

·         ...stop seeing through your ego-dominated culture, and to instead begin noticing the still and tranquil invisible space within everything.

·         See the imperfections as perfect, even if your ego-mind cannot comprehend this.

·         Give yourself permission to be perfect, even with all of your seeming imperfections.

·         You are the truth from foot to brow. Now, what else would you like to know?

 

 

46th  Verse

Living Peacefully

 

·         There is no greater loss than losing the Tao, no greater curse than covetousness, no greater tragedy than discontentment; the worst of faults is wanting more–always.

·         ...the experience of inner peace becomes your true gauge of accomplishments.

·         ...even if so many of our Divine selves seem to be engulfed by the flames of unease, you can begin the process of putting Lao-tzu's advice to work.

·         When you truly understand what it means to live peacefully, satisfaction will begin to replace your desire for more.

·         Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love.

·         Practice gratitude and contentment everyday.

·         When your feet hit the floor every single morning, without exception, say, “Thank You for an opportunity to live in a state of contentment”.”

·         Invite the magical energy of the Tao to freely flow through you and inform your responses throughout the day.

·         You're in harmony with your Source when you're soliciting gratitude and gratification in these ways.

·         Be one with your nature.

·         In a world that seems to produce more and more violence, become a person who chooses to be an instrument of peace.

·         Let your nature be the “horses” that are bred to till the fields, feed the hungry, and offer comfort to the lame or less fortunate.

·         Live as if you and the Tao are one, which of course you are when you're in your natural state.

 

 

47th  Verse

Living  by  Being

 

·         …information is not always knowledge, and knowledge is not always wisdom.  Wisdom connects you to your heart in …recognize the difference between striving for more facts and being in the world that is complete as it is. 

·         As you live from this perspective of wisdom or connection to the Tao, the world looks so very different.

·         Being the process of trusting your heart.

·         Your deepest feelings are reflections of your “heart space” talking to you.

·         You don’t have to do anything to activate this internal profundity; simply let your heart speak to you.

·         Trust in your “sense of knowing,”  which is always with you.

·         You can get in touch with this knowing through the practice of meditation.

 

 

 

48th Verse

Living  By  Decreasing

 

·         The benefit  of living by decreasing is seeing your world in a different light one in which, believe or not, you’ll experience a greater sense of  completeness.

·         …practice decreasing your reliance upon things.

·         …think of yourself as a guest here, rather than a proprietor.

·         See the value in subtraction or  ‘daily diminishing.”

·         There’s even greater pleasure to be had in knowing  that your ability to live.

·         …the more you can let things unfold naturally,  the more harmoniously you’re living the Tao.

·         Be with the World, in it and adoring it, but not needing to possess it.  This is the way of Peace.

·         The fish in the water that is thirsty needs serious professional counseling.

 

 

49th Verse

Living  Beyond Judgment

 

·         … the nature of  his being is good.

·         ..faithful

·         ..replace our idea of criticizing them with an acknowledgment of us without criticism.

·         Imagine the possibilities for all of humanity if we simply eliminated prejudice and could live “in harmony with all below heaven.”

·         …simply start substituting noticing for judging..

·         Calling your behavior “bad” or “good” just pits you against yourself and others by using competition, punishment, or as your motivational markers – hatred, anger, and threats become necessary because love, acceptance, and kindness can’t be trusted.

·         ..exist in harmony with the Tao that excludes no one and has no conception of divisions and  loyalties.

·         The oneness of the Tao entices you away from any belief that others are separate.

·         This is the basic solution to wars and conflicts.

·         God bless humanity –let me do all that I can to treat everyone, without exception, with goodness and kindness, as all of  those whom we revere as spiritual masters taught us by their example.

·         As your world view changes, you’ll extend goodness to everyone you encounter.

·         You see yourself in everyone, without the need to criticize them or yourself.

·         Change the way you look at  yourself.

·         …see yourself as flexible, since being open is the higher virtue.

·         Change the way you look at other people.

·         …Namaste.

·         “I honor the place in you where we are all one.”

 

 

50th Verse

Living  as an Immortal

 

·         …death is an insignificant detail that doesn’t need to be consciously struggled with or dreaded.

·         “Talk about your life changing when you change your thoughts! This is the ultimate, since the fear of  death tops virtually everyone’s list of anxieties.

·         You’ll experience life on the active side of infinity, knowing yourself first and foremost as a spiritual being having a temporary human experience, rather than the other way around.

·         Creates affirmations

·         No one dies, including myself.

·         Die while you’re alive!

·         In your imagination, contemplate the death of your physical shell:  Visualize it lying there lifeless, and observe how you, the witness, aren’t identified with this corpse.

·         …nothing can harm you now because you are not that body – you’re the invisible witnessing essence.

·         Inner vision  quest.

 

 

51st  Verse

Living by Hidden Virtue

 

·         ..the Tao fosters growth without ruling, This is called hidden virtue.

·         Living by hidden virtue allows you to get the most out of life because it means seeing that it’s your choice and responsibility to decide how you’re going to spend it.

·         Not living by hidden virtue, on the other hand, ensures that your role in a family or culture is assigned at birth for even conception, with predetermined expectations about how you should and will function.

·         Your days become filled with stressful attempts to please those to whom you’re biologically related.

·         …expand your vision and begin to see yourself as an creation of the Tao.

·         Imagine that the tiny seedling that was you didn’t come from another particle, but rather from an invisible Source. 

·         And this Source that sprung you into existence, herein called  “the way” has no preconceived doctrine dictating what you should do, whom you should listen to, where you should live, or how you should worship.

·         …the seedling that was you is perfect and free to complete itself in whatever way it chooses.

·         …a force.

·         ..that allows you to move through the material world in your body, perfectly aligned with the creative originating force.

·         Read this verse as a reminder that you’re protected and completed by your ultimate originating Source.

·         …learning to trust by changing your view of life to include Te, or hidden virtue.  It’s about seeing yourself as a member of a family of oneness, with the same parents as all other creatures. 

·         It’s about feeling your total freedom – to produce without possessing, and to keep from becoming a possession yourself.

·         So give without expecting, and don’t be victimized by the expectations of others.

·         Practice feeling safe and protected.

·         ..the feeling of  being secure, shielded, and nurtured.

·         ..it will arise when you know that you’re in constant contact with a virtuous power that lies within every cell of your being.

·         This hidden force is responsible for your very presence.

·         Trust in it.  Worship it.  Feel safe in the force that remains hidden.  This is all you need to feel complete.

·         Remember that the Tao produces  -it doesn’t possess.

·         Be a caretaker, not a owner.

·         Don’t attempt to control anyone; instead, foster growth without dominating or ruling.

·         When you’re in a supervisory role, allow others to activate their hidden virtue as much as possible.

·         Just as you wish to feel protected and trust in that invisible force that animates you, so does everyone you encounter.

 

 

52nd  Verse

Living by Returning to the Mother

 

·         Open your mouth, always be busy, and life is beyond hope.

·         …the practice of eternal light.

·         …your life is more than just a linear experience happening in time and space.

·         ..see that your existence is a return trip to the place where all the planets’ creations emerge.

·         “All under heaven have a common beginning.  This beginning is the Mother of the world.”

·         …the mysterious nothingness flows through and sustains all of life, including you.

·         It’s vital that you spend a few moments each day getting to know your (and my) eternal Mother, which you can do by simply acknowledging her presence and silently communicating with her.

·         Once you decide to know and honor her, you’ll begin to change the way you look at all of her children, including yourself.

·         …spend time with the maternal part of yourself, and seek clarity by noticing the Tao in the small and the large.

·         Practice abandoning rigidity, and instead cultivate elasticity to improve your strength.

·         Change your linear thoughts about your presence here on Earth, and begin to see your life change right before your eyes!

·         Open mouth – spirit escapes.  Closed mouth – spirit connection excellent!

·         Cultivate your strength with the flexibility of consciously deciding when to involve your speaking and auditory senses.

·         Seeing the smallest mystery reveals the grandest mystery.

 

 

53rd  Verse

Living Honorably

 

·         ….view the world from a position of complete honor and oneness.

·         If a critical mass of humanity had this same perspective, seeing the whole globe as part of ourselves would translate to the same respect for every form of  life that we have for our individual bodies.

·         How can there be such men as these Who never hunger, never thirst, Yet eat and drink until they burst!

·         I’m not writing these words to try to change the way in one fell swoop; rather, I’m doing  so to encourage you to change the way you see the world.

·         If you make that modification, others will gravitate toward living honorably as well.

·         When enough of us do this, we’ll reach a critical mass that will eliminate  “the boasting of thieves after a looting.”

·         See yourself in all others and you’ll find the compassion, love, and willingness that replaces your belief in your uniqueness and differentness.

·         Make compassion the essential foundation of your personal philosophy.

·         This is one of the most significant ways of initiating the growth of a critical mass.

·         As that mass grows, kind hearts and actions will realign our planet:  Like-minded leaders will emerge, and gross inconsistencies will be reduced and eventually eliminated.

·         …vow to make a difference on a daily basis throughout your life…

 

 

54th  Verse

Living as If Your Life Makes a Difference

 

·         Cultivated in the Self, virtue is realized;  cultivated in the family, virtue overflows; cultivated in the community, virtue increases; cultivated in the state; virtue abounds.

·         …see your role in the transformation of the planet.

·         Instead of perceiving yourself as one insignificant individual among billions of people, you’re urged to see yourself as the Tao itself.

·         “We are the World” is everybody’s theme song.

·         You do make a difference!

·         When you live with the joyful awareness that you potentially have an infinite effect on the universe, you’ll radiate Tao consciousness.

·         You’ll be like a wave of energy that illuminates a room – every-one will see the light and become affected.

·         Those who were unaware of their Tao nature will notice the difference, and those who were aware – but not living as if their lives mattered – will be attracted and begin changing.

·         So recognize and live your life as part of the Great Way , and help bring balance into the world.

·         Choose an area to concentrate on making a difference

·         …develop a vision for Earth and convince yourself that you are perfectly capable of contributing to this vision, whether it’s grandiose or small.

·         “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

·         Realize how much your life matters.

 

 

55th Verse

Living by Letting Go

 

·         …luck isn’t something that randomly happens – it’s yours for life when you decide to live by letting go.

·         You attract the cooperative power of the Tao when you release the need to control your life.

·         Living by letting go means releasing worry, stress and fear.

·         Visualize yourself as indestructible.

·         Change the way you look at your potential for becoming a lucky person.

·         I am open to allowing what needs to happen.

·         I trust luck to guide me.

·         …live in the flow with the Tao.

·         Peace will replace stress, harmony will replace effort, acceptance will replace interference and force, and good luck will replace fear.

·         “If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon  in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”

 

 

56th Verse

Living by Silent Knowing

 

·         ..those who are compelled to pontificate and persuade are almost always tied to an attachment of some kind – perhaps it’s to a point of view, to being right, to winning, or to profiting in some way.

·         …see your inclination and desire to persuade and convince others.

·         Living in silent knowing becomes the process that casts your existence in a different light – you have less of an edge and feel settled, softer, and more centered.

·         Those who care the least about approval seem to receive it the most.

·         While their calm wisdom may make them appear to be aloof,  they  actually end up gaining the respect of everyone.

·         Block all the passages!

·         Use the acronym BUSS to remember the four directives of this verse.

·         -Blunt your sharpness…listen….offer loving compassion.

·         -Untie your knots.  Detach.

·         -Soften your glare.

·         Settle your dust.  Don’t kick it up in the first place!

·         …not giving unsolicited advice.

·         Ask a question,…citing an example from your life….that’s  “the highest state of man.”

 

 

57th Verse

Living Without Authoritarianism

 

·         His advice is pertinent today, in the 21st century, to all forms of leadership, including government, business, and, in particular, parenting.

·         …allow  rather than interfere.

·         …you must be sensible when supervising those who could harm themselves or others.

·         Examine the restrictions that you enforce in your family.

·         Remember that effective parents don’t want to be learned on; they want to make leaning unnecessary.

·         ..set an example and let them see that it’s possible to be self-sufficient and enormously successful.  Allow them to learn to trust in their highest nature, rather than having to thumb through a rule book to decide what’s right.

·         Practice the art of allowing yourself.

·         …be more spontaneous and less regimented in your daily life.

·         I am free to be myself.

·         I do not have to live by anyone else’s rules, and I release the need for laws to regulate my behavior.

·         Practice the art of allowing others.

·         Everyone has a strong sense of what they want to do, what limits they have, and how to actualize their dreams.

 

 

58th Verse

Living Untroubled by Good or Bad Fortune

 

·         …the master is content to serve as an example  and not to impose his will.

·         He is pointed but does not pierce; he straightens but does not disrupt; he illuminates but does not dazzle.

·         Change your view of the peaks and valleys of all of  life to an attitude that allows you to discover what’s hidden in both of those experiences.

·         Begin to see wholeness rather than good or bad fortune.

·         See wholeness in place of good or bad fortune.

·         When bad fortune feels so troublesome that you can’t get unstuck, see good fortune leaning on it.

·         …learn to live untroubled by them both.

 

 

59th Verse

Living by Thrift and Moderation

 

·         People whose lives are run by rules, dogma, and fear can only do what they’ve been told to do….nothing more.

·         Children raised in families where that blind obedience is demanded have the highest levels of prejudice when they become adults.  Why? Because they’ve been taught to “prejudge” what’s acceptable, according to someone in a position to lead them. That’s why it’s so vital to give your kids an example of  leadership that encourages them to make choices based on higher standards.

·         “if nothing is impossible, then there are no limits.”  So practice living without limits by gathering virtue and modeling it.

·         Gather as much virtue as you possibly can.

·         Practice moderating your ego.

·         When you moderate your demands and use only what you and your family require, you’ll gather virtue points by serving rather than accumulating…..this is “the secret of long life and lasting vision.”

 

 

60th  Verse

Living with Immunity to Evil

 

·         The Tao…gives sustaining energy to everyone, without exception.

·         When people violate this principle, they’re only successful when others respond in kind.

·         Negativity then begets more negativity.

·         My loved ones and I  cannot and will not be impacted by the presence of evil anywhere in the world.

·         This is not about me.  I choose not to have any thoughts of harm directed to anyone by me.

·         I am a being of light and love, and therefore the only thoughts that can emerge from me are in harmony with the great loving Tao.

·         …you’ve made yourself immune to negativity by being Tao centered.

·         As Tao awareness grows one person, one family, one community, and one country at a time, priorities will shift.

·         Our energies.

·         Cooperation will replace hatred and thoughts of harm. …when rulers and people change the way they think about harming each other.

·         …it’s  impossible to pick a fight with someone who refuses to fight!

·         Bolster your immunity to negativity by controlling yourself in the midst of noxious thinking.

·         …conscious of  all your thoughts, changing them midstream if necessary.

·         Declare yourself immune to injurious entreaties.

·         Visualize a protective shield all around you, guarding you  against what’s perceived as evil in the world.

·         Your shield is permeable only to energy that harmonizes with the Tao. Love, kindness, and help…

 

 

61st Verse

Living by Remaining Low

 

·         ….if a small country can lower itself before a great one, it will win over that “great” country.

·         We need to become a critical mass of individuals who are willing to model the wisdom that the great…master offers us.

·         …see the value of living as if you can win trust and friendship.

·         Reassess your personal view of what constitutes strength.

·         Look at the story of violence throughout human history.  Those obsessed with positions of power ultimately resort to brutality, and then incur the same kind of violence on themselves.

·         And so it is in your personal life.

·         Emulate those whose greatest impact on humanity used the least violent methods.

 

 

62nd  Verse

Living in the Treasure – house of  the Tao

 

·         I can access a sacred treasure-house deep within me,…

·         Practice seeing the door of the treasure-house opening to you.

·         Practice forgiving, and avoiding judgment, when you see reprehensible or evil-minded ways.

 

 

 

63rd  Verse

Living Without Difficulties

 

·         …learn to think in moments,  rather than in days, weeks, months, years, decades, or lifetime.

·         All we ever get is right now – that’s it.

·         So we must avoid the inclination to magnify tiny events or worry about future that may ever never arrive.

·         …difficulties are not experienced when they’re confronted.

·         Look for the simplicity in what you call complicated by seeing that in this moment, it’s not hard.

·         “To believe that you need what you don’t have is insane.”

·         “Believing that you can’t be content and happy now because your future appears to you to be difficult is another form if insanity.”

·         “You have no problems, though you think you have.”

·         Think small.

·         Change your notion of  “thinking  big” to “thinking small and getting big things done.”

 

 

64th  Verse

Living by  Being Here Now

 

·         “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

·         Every goal is possible from here!

·         …the follower of the Tao finds a way to manage problems before they exist, and prior to disorder breaking out.

·         There are three steps to enlightenment that most people traverse:

  1. The first is through suffering
  2. The second is by being in the present moment.
  3. The third is by getting out in front of big problems.

·         ..foresight.

·         ..neutralize..

·         Just do one thing, one day at a time.

·         Become a master anticipator.

·         Become conscious of prevention rather than waiting for challenges to materialize.

 

 

65th  Verse

Living by Staying Simple-hearted

 

·         …the effective leader guides others to their own nature.

·         …ego is a false master, drawing people away from knowing their true nature.

·         Be willing to proudly say to those in your charge, “ I don’t Know.”

·         Practice keeping your life simple and uncomplicated.

·         …keep it simple.

 

 

66th Verse

Living by Emulating the Sea

 

·         …the Tao is perceived as a natural energy

·         ..the Tao only asks you to live in harmony with nature.

·         …nature’s great symbol is water, …

·         When you emulate that element, you’ll begin to see that judgment and exclusion have no place in the Tao.

·         ..stay low.

·         ..process…

·         Be humble.

·         Become a servant not a dominator.

·         …patient, accepting…

·         …suspending your ego and releasing the need to lord anything over anyone.

·         The people you’re entrusted to lead will gravitate to you and the watercourse way of the Tao’s natural flow.

·         Never assume that you know what’s best.

·         …imagine yourself as the great ocean that allows and encourages the smaller streams to come to you.

·         Stay  low, speak softly, and remain humble – and let others be in control of their lives as much as is humanly possible.

·         No one should feel the heaviness of your directions or be hurt by your instructions.

·         Remain a servant.

·         See yourself as someone who’s on this planet to assist others.

 

 

67th Verse

Living by the Three Treasures

 

·         The first is mercy.  The second is frugality.  The third is humility.

·         From mercy comes courage.  From frugality comes generosity.  From humility comes leadership.

·         Love vanquishes all attackers, it is impregnable in defense.

·         ….compassion, good-heartedness, love, kindness, and charity.

·         …think of others first by being willing to serve and exhibit kindness and love, even toward your enemies,…

·         …frugality..

·         economy, moderation, thrift, or simplicity.

·         The less attached you are to your stuff,  the easier it is to be generous; to more you cling to it, the more you feel you need, and the less concerned you are with the welfare of others.

·         …humility,…. “not presuming to be above nature”  “daring no to be ahead of others,” and “not always trying to be number one.”  From this quality,….come true leadership that radiates Tao energy.

·         Often our perception of strength, power, and triumph is influenced by the yang masculine qualities of arrogance, loftiness, and self-importance.

·         So when you change the way you think about enlightened leadership, you can discover what genuinely successful people have learned before you – that is, that we’re all instruments for Tao or God or whatever you call the energy that writes the books, delivers the speeches, makes the lifesaving discoveries, and so on.

·         Humility is akin to surrendering to a force greater than your ego, giving credit to that Source, and being grateful for any wisdom and influence that’s given to you by that power.

·         Live in harmony with the myriad manifestations of the Tao.

·         The key to living in harmony is compassion and mercy.

·         You’re not in competition with anyone, so don’t feel as if you must defeat another person or compare yourself on any level.

·         Extend mercy and compassion toward every form of  life, including yourself!

·         See the hidden strengths of simplicity and humility in those whom you may have previously judged to be weak or ineffective leaders.

 

 

68th  Verse

Living by Cooperating

 

·         …employing the powers of others.

·         …reconsider what you think you have to do to be a winner.

·         In the Western world, getting ahead most often implies having to be in a state of contention and competition.

·         …change this kind of thinking by embodying “the virtue of noncompetition,”  which can work for you even in a society where conquering and being number one are so highly valued.

·         ….oneness,….implies complete collaboration.

·         …see them as a part of you that’s working to help you achieve excellence.

·         Without them, you couldn’t improve, get a  good workout, or become victorious.

·         …cooperate with your opponents by wanting them to play at a high level  - the best they’re capable of.

·         When anger isn’t a component, you game will go to a new level.

·         And this is true off the athletic field as well:  What you fight weakens you; what you cooperate with strengthens you. 

·         So change your thinking about competing to cooperating in all areas of your life, including your work.

·         I practice this concept by thinking of every person whose purpose is to help improve the quality of life on our planet as being my partner, on my “team.”

·         …celebrate by thinking, My teammate has helped me with my mission.

·         When I’m less stressed, less angry, and less violent in my thinking,  I’m living in the moment that Lao-tzu calls “the ultimate unity with heaven.”

·         My level of excellence soars, regardless of the outcome on the scoreboard.

·         Declare that you’re not going to fight.

·         Practice seeing yourself in everyone else.

·         …whenever you say or do something that’s harmful to someone you love, you’re doing something to harm yourself.

·         Extend this awareness to all of humanity.

 

 

69th  Verse

Living Without Enemies

 

·         There is a saying among soldiers:  I dare not make the first move but would rather play the guest; I dare not advance an inch but would rather withdraw a foot.

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

·         …when two opponents meet, the one without an enemy will surely triumph.

·         Imagine a world with a common heritage that bonded all begins on the planet

·         This grand vision begins right here, right now, with you!

·         Remove the concept of “enemy” from your life, and model this behavior for those around you. 

·         Ultimately, the ripple effect will move everyone around the globe toward an “enemy-less” world.

·         “We have no enemies; we are all God’s children, and forgiveness is at the very core of  our…faith.

·         If  we can’t forgive those who are lost and would do harm to us, then our faith would be meaningless.

·         “The old perception of conflict as combat only narrows our vision, limits our choices, pulls us into endless struggles between competing polarities.”

·         “Making enemies gives away our power, keeps us from taking responsibility for our lives.

·         Instead of resolving conflict, we focus our attention on fearing, hating, and lashing out at perceived “enemies.”

·         …conflict doesn’t have to mean combat.

·         …if every general took these words of the Tao….to heart and practiced them:  “I dare not make the first move…

·          “There’s no way war could exist.

·         …if war ever does become inevitable, one should practice defense rather than offense.

·         One should never initiate hostilities.

·         With no concept of “enemy” and a heart that’s filled with compassion, one stays harmonized..

·         ..every war and battleground conflict should be treated as a funeral…

·         ..the more important  line in this verse: “When I and enemy exist together, there is no room left for my treasure.”

·         Your treasure is your peace of  mind and your Tao connection, so your competitors in business, your opponents in an athletic match, and the members of a competing political party  are not your foes.

·         And those people whom a government declares are your enemies are most assuredly not.

·         Vow to never start a fight.

·         See colleagues where you once saw combatants by finding yourself in them.

·         “…in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart…

·         ….I can feel the suffering of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right.”

 

 

70th Verse

Living a God-Realized Life

 

·         ..precious gems.

·         …an internal awareness of what was possible for all of this fellow human beings if they would only change the way they looked at their lives.

·         Freedom, peace of mind, contentment, and virtually every other principle that I’ve described in these 81 essays were only a thought away.

·         This is oh-so easy, so simple to understand and to practice, yet so few are willing or able to grasp the essence of heaven on earth.

·         I think like God thinks; I speak as God, the creator of the universe, would speak; and therefore I act in accordance with these God-realized principles.

·         …allow this life-sustaining Tao energy to guide you.

·         Stop fighting, eschew violent thoughts and deeds, and give up trying to control others or the world.  Stay humble; don’t interfere; respect your creative genius, as well as that of others; and above all, return to your invisible Source and shed your troublesome ego while you’re still alive..

·         If you do all of this, you will naturally live a long life in joyful, nonjudgmental peace.

·         Dressing plainly keeps the sage in harmony with the simplicity of this message.

·         Know the Tao Te Ching

·         See God everywhere

·         Listen carefully; if this birth has truly taken place within you, then every single creature points you toward God.

·         “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “Thank You” that would suffice.”

·         Practice saying Thank You, God for everything.  This is the way to God realization.

 

71st  Verse

Living Without Sickness

 

·         Ignoring knowledge is sickness.

·         Have a happy mind.

·         Examine your habits.

 

 

72nd  Verse

Living with Awe and Acceptance

 

·         …the sage knows himself but makes no show of himself;  love himself but does not exalt himself.

·         He prefers what is within to what is without.

·         ..two components that work together for a harmonious life:  a sense of awe and total acceptance.

·         The reason it’s crucial to have a sense of awe is because it helps loosen the ego’s hold on your thinking.

·         You can then know that there’s something great and enduring that animates all of existence.

·         Being in awe of that something staves off disasters because you have no fear of worldly conditions.

·         …accept yourself..

·         …avoid self-limits, accept your body as a perfect creation, and allow your life to unfold in accordance with its own nature.

·         “stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you.”

·         …neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are.

·         See the miraculous in everything.

·         Live the mystery by beginning to perceive what average eyes fail to notice.

·         Focus on loving the life you have now in the body you’ve got

·         My body is perfect, born at precisely the right time, and this is the perfect age now.

·         I accept myself as I am.

·         I accept my role in the perfection of this universe at this time.

·         I surrender to the natural course of my body’s destiny.

 

 

73rd  Verse

Living in Heaven’s Net

 

·         …be a respectful, cautious being.

·         …be less of a dauntless hero and more vigilant and alert in order to live the Great Way .

·         …conquer without striving…..

·         …be in harmony…by being more cautious and reserved.  Listen more and speak less, trusting that your answers will come to you.

·         You have an infinite supply of all that you ever need.

·         …everything is completed precisely as it should be…..slow your pace so that it harmonizes with heaven’s way.

·         Don’t see caution as a weakness or an expression of fear.

·         …reckless bravery – that is, where you rush in without thinking – is a sure way to invite disaster.

·         ….think before you act.

·         Be an active listener.

 

 

74th  Verse

Living with No Fear of Death

 

·         There’s still someone underneath the external layers, though, so when you know and understand who that formless someone is, your fear of dying will evaporate.

·         You can live on the active side of infinity by knowing your infinite Tao nature, which probably means that you’ll alter the way you think about birth, life and death.

·         Since death is as much a part of the Tao as life, it must be allowed to be in accord with nature, not performed as an ego decision.

·         A reverence for life as a form of the Tao helps us all realize that we’re not in charge of death decisions.

·         Discontinue fearing your death.

·         Examine the ways you kill

·         …noninterference is one of the major positions of the Tao Te Ching.

·         During meditation, practice dying while still alive. 

·         That is, leave your body, discard it, and float above the world.

·         Remember that you are not this body – you are a piece of the infinite Tao, never changing and never dying.

 

 

75th  Verse

Living by Demanding Little

 

·         When the government is too intrusive, people lose their spirit.

·         Act for the people’s benefit; trust them, leave them alone.

·         ..rulers used onerous methods to impose order on the masses..

·         Those who were overtaxed and overburdened would lose their spirit and sense of loyalty and ultimately rebel against the laws imposed upon them.

·         …change the way you look at assisting others to stay inspired and have contented and peaceful lives.

·         …the rule makers and others in power are using their positions to take advantage of ordinary people.

·         …leave those you’re in charge of alone whenever feasible, trusting in their inherent wisdom to do the right thing.

·         Don’t overtax yourself.

·         Trust those you’re entrusted to lead.

 

 

76th  Verse

Living by Bending

 

·         The hard and stiff will be broken the soft and supple will prevail.

·         The thing I love most about studying the Tao Te  Ching is its impeccable adherence to finding the Great Way by closely studying nature.

·         …when confronted with any stressful situation, keep in mind that being stiff won’t get you very far, whereas being flexible will carry you through.

·         By strong by bending.

·         ..the way you relate to others, so listen more, allow your viewpoints to be challenged, and bend when necessary, knowing that you’re actually choosing strength.

·         Examine your unbendable attitudes.

·         If leaders on both sides of any matter were willing to at least listen to each other, conflicts wouldn’t need to escalate to life-and-death proportions.

·         By listening, yielding, and being gentle, we all become disciples of  life.

 

 

77th  Verse

Living by Offering the Surplus

 

·         The master can keep giving because there is no end to his wealth.

·         He acts without expectation, succeeds without taking credit, and does not think that he is better than anyone else.

·         When there are enough of us, there will be a pool from which we Tao – centered people emerge to govern.

·         Then we’ll put into place the way of living offered in this verse.

·         Reduce surplus.

·         ..think about your intangible abundance of health, joy, kindness, love, or inner peace, and seek  ways to offer those glorious feelings to those who could benefit from your bounty.

·         Be an instrument of increasing.

 

 

78th  Verse

Living like Water

 

·         Overcome the unyielding parts of your life by yielding!

·         “The weak overcomes the strong”

·         When you stay soft and surpass the hard, you too will be indestructible.

·         Try patience rather than attempting to rigidly control.

·         Trust your innately gentle self.

·         Change the way you look at strength versus weakness.

·         Give up interfering and helping, and opt instead to stream like water – gently, softly, and unobtrusively – wherever  you’re needed.

·         Be soft like water.

·         …flow everywhere there’s an opening.

·         Picture yourself entering their private inner selves, seeing perhaps for the first time what they’re experiencing.

 

 

79th  Verse

Living Without Resentments

 

·         Resentments don’t come from the conduct of the other party in an altercation – no, they survive and thrive because you’re unwilling to end that altercation with an offering of kindness, love and authentic forgiveness.

·         It’s over, so offer forgiveness to yourself and the other person and encourage resentment to dissipate.

·         …the creator of life is always giving, never taking.

·         …feel the question How may I serve?  The universe will seem to respond, finally, you got it – you’re acting like me!  I’ll keep that flow coming into your life in ways that will astound and delight you.

·         End on love, no matter what!

·         Practice giving.

·         Be a giver of forgiveness as he teaches:  Bring love to hate, light to darkness, and pardon to injury.

 

80th  Verse

Living  Your Own Utopia

 

·         “Keep it Simple, stupid.”

·         Vote instead for candidates who support peaceful ways for dealing with conflict.

·         Practice radical appreciation.

·         See paradise all around you.

·         Paradise is where I am.”

81st  Verse

Living Without Accumulating

 

·         …giving more, arguing less, and releasing your attachment to everything in….

·         ….good is synonym for God,  which is truly the same as the Tao.

·         …change your thoughts, and ultimately your life, forever…

·         Quit accumulating points for being right!

·         Reduce yourself down to zero or no-thing- ness.

·         Be willing to change.

·         The sage does not hoard, and thereby bestows.

·         The more he lives for others, the greater his life.

·         The more he gives to others, the greater his abundance.

 

 

Epilogue

 

·         ..we had to get these important messages or perish as a civilized society.

·         I felt the deep internal hurt that often drives human beings into conflicts.

·         I felt the anger that allows people to think of  themselves as victims and ultimately leads to the extremes of war…

·         So you think you’ve mastered the Great Way because you’ve spent a year reading and interpreting these 81 verses.

·         Here’s an opportunity to explore your mastery of the Tao.

·         Here’s something unexpected that’s capable of turning you upside down and inside out spiritually, physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

·         Apply all that I’ve taught you:  Stay peaceful; trust your nature; know that it is all perfect; and most of all, do nothing.

·         Live the hidden virtue of the Tao.

·         If you feel dragged into a war, refuse to have any enemies.

·         Don’t have any violence in your mind – no revenge and absolutely no judgment.

·         Do this while staying centered in the all-loving, all-knowing perfection of the Tao in the face of what you think of as insurmountable.

·         Then you will be able to call yourself a man of the Tao.

·         What at first seemed so hopeless and devastating became my ultimate calling:  to live joyously and with deep gratitude for all that the Tao brings me.