who can say that tao is far from us?

césar ancelle hansen


I have discarded

the world of fame and profit.

How elegant is the morning sun shining

on the rafters and eaves. How cool are the terrace

and pond after the rain. I burn incense to break the deep

silence, and drink the spring water and relax in joy. I penetrate

into the wonders of Tao, and chant ancient sutras. When my

mind is at ease, my spirit is gay. When understanding

is gained, there is nothing left to comprehend.

Who can say that the realm of Tao is far

from us? How tranquil it is; as at

the beginning of Heaven

and Earth.


Ni Tsan


nothing is excluded

not even one thought


For the unified mind

in accord with the Way all

self-centered striving ceases.

Doubts and irresolutions vanish

and life in true faith

is possible.


With a single stroke

we are freed from bondage:

nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of

the mind’s power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge

and imagination are of no value. In this world

of suchness there is neither self

nor other-than-self.


To come directly

into harmony with this reality

just say when doubt rises “not two”.

In this “not two” nothing is

separate, nothing is



Seng T’san


a truly good person


A truly

good person doesn’t

dwell on her goodness.

Thus she can be good.

A person of false goodness

never forgets her goodness.

Thus her goodness is

always false.


A truly

good person does nothing,

yet nothing remains undone.

A person of false goodness is forever

doing, yet everything remains

forever undone.


Those who

are interested in service

act without motive. Those who are

interested in righteousness act with

motives of all sorts. Those who are

interested in propriety act, and

receiving no response, they

roll up their sleeves

and use force.



Tao is lost,

goodness appears.

When goodness is lost,

philanthropy appears.

When philanthropy is lost,

justice appears.

When justice is lost,

only etiquette

is left.



is the faintest husk

of real loyalty and faith,

and it is the beginning of confusion.

Knowledge of the future is only

a blossom of Tao; to become

preoccupied with it

is folly.


Thus the

sage sets her sights

on the substance and not the

surface, on the fruit and not the

flower. Leaving the one,

she gains the



from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 38


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