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Taoism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "taoism" Showing 1-30 of 467
Alan W. Watts
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”
Alan Wilson Watts

Miyamoto Musashi
“1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.”
Miyamoto Musashi

Benjamin Hoff
“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you've got.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Lao Tzu
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.”
Lao Tzu

Ming-Dao Deng
“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.”
Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Michael Ende
“Nothing is lost. . .Everything is transformed.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

Ursula K. Le Guin
“To light a candle is to cast a shadow...”
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.”
Stephen Russell, Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior

Lao Tzu
“Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Michael Ende
“You must let what happens happen. Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

Lao Tzu
“To bear and not to own; to act and not lay claim; to do the work and let it go: for just letting it go is what makes it stay.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Ming-Dao Deng
“Those who don't know how to suffer are the worst off. There are times when the only correct thing we can do is to bear out troubles until a better day.”
Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Liezi
“Some people think they can find satisfaction in good food, fine clothes, lively music, and sexual pleasure. However, when they have all these things, they are not satisfied. They realize happiness is not simply having their material needs met. Thus, society has set up a system of rewards that go beyond material goods. These include titles, social recognition, status, and political power, all wrapped up in a package called self-fulfillment. Attracted by these prizes and goaded on by social pressure, people spend their short lives tiring body and mind to chase after these goals. Perhaps this gives them the feeling that they have achieved something in their lives, but in reality they have sacrificed a lot in life. They can no longer see, hear, act, feel, or think from their hearts. Everything they do is dictated by whether it can get them social gains. In the end, they've spent their lives following other people's demands and never lived a life of their own. How different is this from the life of a slave or a prisoner?”
Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living

Lao Tzu
“Shape clay into a vessel;

It is the space within that makes it useful.

Cut doors and windows for a room;

It is the holes which make it useful.

Therefore benefit comes from what is there;

Usefulness from what is not there.”
Laozi

Zhuangzi
“Only he who has no use for the empire is fit to be entrusted with it.”
Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

Osho
“If a man is crossing a river and an empty boat collides with his own skiff, even though he be a bad-tempered man he will not become very angry. But if he sees a man in the boat, he will shout at him to steer clear. If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing. And all because there is somebody in the boat. Yet if the boat were empty, he would not be shouting, and not angry. If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world, no one will oppose you, no one will seek to harm you…. Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost amid the masses of men? He will flow like Tao, unseen, he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home. Simple is he, without distinction. To all appearances he is a fool. His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation. Since he judges no one, no one judges him. Such is the perfect man: His boat is empty.”
Osho Rajneesh

Lao Tzu
“A man who knows how little he knows is well, a man who knows how much he knows is sick. If, when you see the symptoms, you can tell, Your cure is quick.
A sound man knows that sickness makes him sick and before he catches it his cure is quick.”
Lao Tzu, The Chinese Translations

Ming-Dao Deng
“Who you are is always right.”
Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Lao Tzu
“He who is in harmony with the Tao
is like a newborn child.
Its bones are soft, its muscles are weak,
but its grip is powerful.
It doesn't know about the union
of male and female,
yet its penis can stand erect,
so intense is its vital power.
It can scream its head off all day,
yet it never becomes hoarse,
so complete is its harmony.

The Master's power is like this.
He lets all things come and go
effortlessly, without desire.
He never expects results;
thus he is never disappointed.
He is never disappointed;
thus his spirit never grows old.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Benjamin Hoff
“The honey doesn't taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn't mean so much once it is reached; the reward is no so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won't have very much. But if we add up the spaces *between* the rewards, we'll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards *and* the spaces, then we'll have everything - every minute of the time that we spent.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Ming-Dao Deng
“If you have a good idea, use it so that you will not only accomplish something, but so that you can make room for new ones to flow into you.”
Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

“When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the slightest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.”
Hsin Hsin Ming

Ming-Dao Deng
“We may be floating on Tao, but there is nothing wrong with steering. If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know where the rocks are.”
Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Benjamin Hoff
“...you'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are. We will let a selection from the writings of Chuang-tse illustrate: Hui-tse said to Chuang-tse, "I have a large tree which no carpenter can cut into lumber. Its branches and trunk are crooked and tough, covered with bumps and depressions. No builder would turn his head to look at it. Your teachings are the same - useless, without value. Therefore, no one pays attention to them."

...

"You complain that your tree is not valuable as lumber. But you could make use of the shade it provides, rest under its sheltering branches, and stroll beneath it, admiring its character and appearance. Since it would not be endangered by an axe, what could threaten its existence? It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something else and do not use it in its proper way.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Alan W. Watts
“Great power is worry, and total power is boredom, such that even God renounces it and pretends, instead, that he is people and fish and insects and plants: the myth of the king who goes wandering among his subjects in disguise.”
Alan W. Watts, Tao: The Watercourse Way

Zhuangzi
“Let your mind wander in simplicity, blend your spirit with the vastness, follow along with things the way they are, and make no room for personal views - then the world will be governed.”
Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

Ming-Dao Deng
“It is too facile to say that the way to follow Tao is to simply go along with the flow of life. Sometimes, like the carp, we must know when to go it alone.”
Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Zhuangzi
“A beam or pillar can be used to batter down a city wall, but it is no good for stopping up a little hole - this refers to a difference in function. Thoroughbreds like Qiji and Hualiu could gallop a thousand li in one day, but when it came to catching rats they were no match for the wildcat or the weasel - this refers to a difference in skill. The horned owl catches fleas at night and can spot the tip of a hair, but when daylight comes, no matter how wide it opens its eyes, it cannot see a mound or a hill - this refers to a difference in nature. Now do you say, that you are going to make Right your master and do away with Wrong, or make Order your master and do away with Disorder? If you do, then you have not understood the principle of heaven and earth or the nature of the ten thousand things. This is like saying that you are going to make Heaven your master and do away with Earth, or make Yin your master and do away with Yang. Obviously it is impossible.”
Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

Zhuangzi
“Don't go in and hide; don't come out and shine; stand stock-still in the middle.”
Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

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