Daily Tao

Some Tao A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

69
goban
trevoke
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 marching without appearing to move,
Rolling up your sleeves without showing your arm,
Capturing the enemy without attacking,
Being armed without weapons.

There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy.
By underestimating the enemy, I almost lost what I value.

Therefore when the battle is joined,
The underdog will win.
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There's an old military saying:
"I'd rather face an attack
than have to make one.
I'd rather retreat a foot
than try to advance an inch."

That's the secret to moving forward
while staying put,
preparing for battle
without revealing your strength.

When you defend yourself
without any show of force,
you give your opponent
nothing to fight.

Attacking an enemy
you've underestimated
is a costly mistake.
When two forces oppose each other,
the winner is the one most reluctant to fight.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

63
goban
trevoke
Practice non-action.
Work without doing.
Taste the tasteless.
Magnify the small, increase the few.
Reward bitterness with care.

See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in little things.

In the universe the difficult things are done as if they are easy.
In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds.
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieved greatness.

Easy promises make for little trust.
Taking things lightly results in great difficulty.
Because the sage always confronts difficulties,
He never experiences them.
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Keep still.
Don't work so hard.
Learn to appreciate everyday life.
Pay attention to details.
Start small and work your way up.
When people give you trouble,
let it slide.

Break everything down to its essentials.
Get the job done
before it becomes a chore.

With the right preparation,
difficult tasks
can be completed with ease;
every major project
consists of simple steps.

The Masters don't take on
more than they can handle,
which is why
they can do just about anything.

Don't promise
more than you can deliver,
and don't underestimate the task:
You'll only make things harder for yourself.

The Masters are always aware
of the difficulties involved,
which is why
they never have to deal with them.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

62
goban
trevoke
Tao is source of the ten thousand things.
It is the treasure of the good man, and the refuge of the bad.
Sweet words can buy honor;
Good deeds can gain respect.
If a man is bad, do not abandon him.
Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned,
Or the three officers of state installed,
Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses,
But remain still and offer the Tao.
Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.
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Every living thing
gets its strength from Tao.
Good people respect the value of Tao.
The wicked and foolish don't,
but Tao provides for them anyway.

Some people gain power and prestige through fancy words,
others through great deeds.
But Tao is available to everyone,
not just the powerful.
So don't look down on anybody.

When people become powerful,
and everybody lines up
to kiss their ass,
sit still and stay right with Tao.

Why have the Masters
always respected Tao?
Because when you get right with Tao,
you can always find
swhat you need to get by,
and trouble can never find you.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

61
goban
trevoke
A great country is like low land.
It is the meeting ground of the universe,
The mother of the universe.

The female overcomes the male with stillness,
Lying low in stillness.

Therefore if a great country gives way to a smaller country,
It will conquer the smaller country.
And if a small country submits to a great country,
It can conquer the great country.
Therefore those who would conquer must yield,
And those who conquer do so because they yield.

A great nation needs more people;
A small country needs to serve.
Each gets what it wants.
It is fitting for a great nation to yield.
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Power flows down
to every level of existence
like a river to the ocean.

Victory comes
from lying perfectly still
and waiting for power
to come your way.

If you yield to someone
less powerful than yourself,
you will be in a position
to influence them.

If you submit to someone
more powerful than yourself,
you create an opportunity
to get your own way.

So if you want to get ahead,
lay low and bide your time.
That way, everybody's happy.
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

60
goban
trevoke
Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish.
Approach the universe with Tao,
And evil will have no power.
Not that evil is not powerful,
But its power will not be used to harm others.
Not only will it do no harm to others,
But the sage himself will also be protected.
They do not hurt each other,
And the Virtue in each one refreshes both.
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Being a leader
is like cooking a small fish;
get right with Tao,
and it's quick and easy.

When you're in touch with Tao,
you don't need to worry
about misfortune.
You can't make it go away, of course,
but you can keep it
from harming other people.

Also, as a wise leader,
you cause no harm to others,
so people won't have to worry
about getting hurt,
and they'll take the opportunity
to do the right thing.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

59
goban
trevoke
In caring for others and serving heaven,
There is nothing like using restraint.
Restraint begins with giving up one's own ideas.
This depends on Virtue gathered in the past.
If there is a good store of Virtue, then nothing is impossible.
If nothing is impossible, then there are no limits.
If a man knows no limits, then he is fit to be a ruler.
The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time.
This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation,
The Tao of long life and eternal vision.
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Leadership is based on moderation.
Practice moderation,
and you'll get in touch
with the power of Tao.

If you get right with Tao,
nothing is impossible.
If you get right with Tao,
there's no limit to what you can do.
If you get right with Tao,
you can be a true leader.

Remember this advice
if you want to be a leader:
Plant deep roots in firm soil.
Get right with Tao,
and you'll always see things clearly.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

58
goban
trevoke
When the country is ruled with a light hand
The people are simple.
When the country is ruled with severity,
The people are cunning.

Happiness is rooted in misery.
Misery lurks beneath happiness.
Who knows what the future holds?
There is no honesty.
Honesty becomes dishonest.
Goodness becomes witchcraft.
Man's bewitchment lasts for a long time.

Therefore the sage is sharp but not cutting,
Pointed but not piercing,
Straightforward but not unrestrained,
Brilliant but not blinding.
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When a nation is ruled
with a light touch,
people lead simple lives.
When a government
is harsh and demanding,
people will spend their time
trying to outsmart it.

Happiness is rooted in misery,
and misery lurks beneath all joy.
Who knows what could happen tomorrow?

Everything is relative;
what's considered proper today
may become improper.
Correct appearances
may hide dishonesty and sinfulness.

No wonder so many people get confused.

The Masters have sharp minds,
not sharp tongues.
They are austere,
but never judgmental.
They are straightforward,
but not provocative.
They are brilliant,
but not flashy.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

57
goban
trevoke
Rule a nation with justice.
Wage war with surprise moves.
Become master of the universe without striving.
How do I know that this is so?
Because of this!

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

Therefore the sage says:
I take no action and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.
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You can run a country
by sticking to principles,
and you can win a war
with strategy and tactics.
But you can gain the entire world
by doing nothing at all.

How do I know this?
I've seen it happen:
The more restrictions
a nation imposes,
the poorer its people become.
When a nation hoards weapons,
troubles arise from within
and from without.
When its leaders try
to be cunning and clever,
the situation spins
further out of control.
When they try to fix things
by passing more laws,
they only increase the number of outlaws.

A wise leader says to himself:
"I do nothing,
and people transform themselves.
I keep silent,
and they do the right thing
on their own.
I stay out of the way,
and they prosper.
I want for nothing,
and they lead simple lives."
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

56
goban
trevoke
Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the Earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.
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Those who know, don't talk.
Those who talk, don't know.

Shut your mouth.
Be still. Relax.
Let go of your worries.
Stay out of the spotlight.
Be at one with the world
and get right with Tao.

If you get right with Tao,
you won't be worried
about praise or scorn,
about winning or losing,
about honor or disgrace.
That's the way to be.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

55
goban
trevoke
He who is filled with Virtue is like a newborn child.
Wasps and serpents will not sting him;
Wild beasts will not pounce upon him;
He will not be attacked by birds of prey.
His bones are soft, his muscles weak,
But his grip is firm.
He has not experienced the union of man and woman, but is whole.
His manhood is strong.
He screams all day without becoming hoarse.
This is perfect harmony.

Knowing harmony is constancy.
Knowing constancy is enlightenment.

It is not wise to rush about.
Controlling the breath causes strain.
If too much energy is used, exhaustion follows.
This is not the way of Tao.
Whatever is contrary to Tao will not last long.
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A person filled with the power of Tao
is like a baby boy:
bees can't sting him,
wild beasts can't attack him.

A baby has soft bones
and weak muscles,
but a firm grip.
He hasn't had sex,
but he can get an erection.
That's because he's got lots of energy.
He can cry all day
and never lose his voice.
That's because he's at one with his world.

If you're at one with the world,
you know constancy.
And if you know constancy,
you've been enlightened.

It's not healthy
to try to prolong your life.
It's unnatural to impose the mind's will
upon the body.
People waste time and energy
trying to be strong or beautiful,
and their strength and beauty fade.
They've lost touch with Tao,
and when you lose touch with Tao,
you might as well be dead.
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The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

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