worst of all is a leader who is despised


 

The

best leader is one

whose existence is barely known.

Next best is one who is loved and praised.

After that, one who is feared. Worst

of all is a leader who is

despised.

 

If you

fail to trust people,

you won’t inspire their trust.

Therefore, guide others by quietly

relying on Tao. Then, when the

work is done, the people can

say, “We did this

ourselves.”

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 17

 

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this world is an open sky and also a dustbin


 

This world

is an open sky and also a dustbin,

giving life to some and death to others;

the outcomes are not controlled

by this world. 

 

Press

your finger into the world

and put it to your nose.  You may smell

sweetness, or you may smell dung. 

Discernment is possible in

these matters.

 

True hearts

stay awake if love is possible. The

others have no need for beauty, nor hope of

it.  If you are holding gold in your hand,

don’t imagine ways to turn it

into mud.

 

Bahauddin

 
 

Everything passes,

nothing remains. Understand

this, loosen your grip, 

and find serenity.

Lama Surya Das

 

For the

awakening of the heart,

conditions are always

good enough.

Ajahn Sumedho

the one who fights with sorrow will triumph


 

In conflict

it is better to be receptive

than aggressive, better to retreat

a foot than advance an inch. This is called

moving ahead without advancing, capturing the enemy

without attacking him. There is no greater misfortune

than underestimating your opponent. To

underestimate your opponent is

to forsake your three

treasures. 

 

When opposing

forces are engaged in

conflict, the one who fights

with sorrow will

triumph. 

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 69

 

melt and let go and rest


 
All the myriad things are neither opposed to nor contrary to your true self. Directly pass through to freedom and they make one whole. It has been this way from time without beginning.

The only problem is when people put themselves in opposition to it and spurn it and impose orientations of grasping or rejecting, creating a concern where there is none. This is precisely why they are not joyfully alive.

If you can cut off outward clinging to objects and inwardly forget your false ideas of self, things themselves are the true self, and the true self itself is things: things and true self are one suchness, opening through to infinity…

Time and again I see longtime Zen students who have been freezing their spirits and letting their perception settle out and clarify for a long time. Though they have entered the Way, they immediately accepted a single device or a single state, and now they rigidly hold to it and won’t allow it to be stripped away. This is truly a serious disease.

To succeed it is necessary to melt and let go and spontaneously attain a state of great rest.
 

Yuanwu

 

weapons turn on their wielders


 

Those

who wish to use

Tao to influence others 

don’t rely on force or weapons

or military strategies. Force rebounds. 

Weapons turn on their wielders. 

Battles are inevitably

followed by

famines. 

 

Just do

what needs to be done,

and then stop. Attain your purpose,

but don’t press your advantage. Be resolute,

but don’t force. Succeed, but don’t

crow. Accomplish, but don’t

overpower. 

 

Overdoing

things invites decay, 

and this is against Tao. 

Whatever is against

Tao soon ceases

to be.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 30