Daode Jing

DaodeJingTitleokThe Daode Jing (Tao-te Ching) has been called ‘the bible of Daoism’, a blend of folk-beliefs, homely wisdom, religion and mythology which pervades old China.  Less orthodox than Buddhism, more allowing than Confucius, its ideas of interconnectivity, peaceful co-existence, inner nourishment,  and self-responsibility are surprisingly being recognized as the hallmark of the contemporary world .  Buried in its pages are a science of Qigong, and the practice of inner quiet.  At barely 5000 words, its influence has been quite disproportionate…….

Tao (or Dao) is the Way, method, skill:  the Te, inner virtue, power or energy.

This work instructs one in inward cultivation.  It is also a spiritual tract, giving veiled instruction in breath-control and meditative practice; as well as a treatise on government and personal behavior.  Philosophy in China was concerned with how to live; how to be a good ruler over the people.  It never saw much need in being speculative, metaphysical.  They were so busy living!…(from introduction)

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Excerpt

Of old, the best masters of the path
Were subtle in their ways,
And hid their understanding.
They were so profound they were not easily recognized.
And because they were not easily recognized,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Wary as when fording streams in winter,
Alert as if fearing attack from any side,
Courteous as visiting guests,
Yielding like ice about to melt,
Genuine as an uncarved block of wood,
Broad in view as a valley,
Unrefined like muddied water.