Inner Peace, from the Tao te Ching

Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasise wu wei, which is defined as action without intention. Other key components in the philosophy of Taoism are naturalness, simplicity, and spontaneity. Its “Three Treasures” are compassion, frugality, and humility. Taoism receives inspiration from Nature and holds a high regard for Nature.

Here is Verse 10 (translation by Stephen Mitchell). Reading it helps achieve inner peace.

Can you coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become supple as a newborn child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from you own mind and thus understand all things?

Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.

Reading from the Tao the ching has been a constant in my life. Back when life was so busy with work and small children, I kept it at my bedside and read a verse each night before bed. It calmed me and I’d fall to sleep immediately. I believe it is because each verse speaks of letting go and that brings calm.

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