Tao For Today; Verse 3
The Tao Te Ching is a philosophical text written by Lao-tzu, a philosopher and historian, during the time of Confucius. This text, written in two parts, with eighty-one short sections, serves as a philosophical guidepost. The term "Tao" means way or path. In many philosophical works, this term refers to a calling. In the Tao Te Ching, the term Tao refers to a much larger metaphysical principal, a universal oneness, from which all things come, and to which all things return. While "Tao", is a path, and a way, the meaning is much broader, encompassing and mysterious. The term "Te" refers to the moral power and virtue associated with one who follows a correct path. In the Tao Te Ching, Te refers more to the virtue one gains by following Tao, the way. The perennial wisdom presented within the Tao Te Ching seems mysterious and complex with first reading. Upon further inspection, meaning recedes further, until the text seems convoluted and impossible to understand. Such is the mystery of Tao. Rather than wrestle with meaning, absorb the words and let the Tao speak to you.
Don't glorify heroes,
And people will not contend.
Don't treasure objects,
And no one will steal.
Don't display what people desire,
And their hearts will not be disturbed.
The Sage rules
By emptying hearts and filling bellies,
By weakening ambitions and strengthening bones;
Away from knowing and wanting:
Deters those who know too much
From going too far:
And the natural order is not disrupted.
Distractions prevent contentment. The ego fears scarcity and always seeks more. More glory, more honor, more money, more accolades. But in the heart, there is no peace.
The Sage releases desire and praises patience. Listening to the eternal peace of Tao, the Sage is not caught up in possessions or status. Quiet your mind. Stop the ego chatter and realize that within the flow of Tao, there is always enough.
The Sage shares this peace, that others may learn to release distraction. Letting go of striving, learning gratitude for what Tao is.
Today realize that acquiring more will not bring happiness into your life. Continually pushing and pursuing brings exhaustion and disharmony.
Find peace today by letting go. Stay in harmony with Tao, relax and let your life flow. The total of your life is so much greater than the petty details you think you control. External conditions will not make you happy, and do not make you unhappy.
Today, choose joy and peace.