Tao Te Ching: “… {Man}He was made to sit quietly and find the truth within …” ~ Lao Tzu

tao te ching sit quietly tzu sunrise matterhorn

Indeed, this excerpt from Verse 5 of Tao Te Ching is simply underscoring a universal truth found in all traditions: the key to the Mystery lies within

And, here’s an excerpt from Verse 14: “Know That which is beyond all beginnings and you will know everything here and now. Know everything in this moment and you will know the Eternal Tao.” …

One could safely claim that the gifts of “within” and “this moment” taken together “complete” the key …

So, today, we’ll take a very brief foray into this book of ancient Chinese wisdom written around 500 BC – and credited to the sage Laozi, also known as Lao Tzu or Lao-Tze … through Jonathan Star’s translation …

And, to appreciate Jonathan’s other work, here’s one of his past posts on Rumi and Sufism: Love Religion: Sufism, Rumi & Ibn Arabi

Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu Translated by Jonathan StarIn the Introduction of Jonathan’s translation of Tao Te Ching, August Gold says: “… One reason the Tao Te Ching has endured for thousands of years is because on the surface it appears to be a simple, almost conversational book, which immediately befriends you—but which upon continued reading reveals a timeless brilliancy of wise poetic truths …” and that it’s a “… text that feeds the mind, body, and soul, and .. one which can help us transform our lives today …”

In Gold’s opinion, Jonathan’s translation has married “… the scholarly concerns of accuracy with the poetry of someone who has lived the words. He brilliantly balances the two worlds—the academic and the experiential—in a way that I believe no other translator of the Tao Te Ching has done before him …”

Gold, a teacher of the Tao for several decades, adds that Jonathan’s book has “… fed our hunger, quenched our thirst, and ignited our desire to live our everyday lives in new ways—simply, deeply, richly, fully, meaningfully …” and it leads “… you into a personal, direct, and even mystical experience of the Tao, which will uplift and transform your life in countless ways. Expect it to engage you not only intellectually, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually …”

So, to appreciate this book’s wisdom, we offer a brief compilation of verses that can serve as an example of how to live “… simply, deeply, richly, fully, meaningfully …” beginning with a short excerpt from Verse 1

A mind free of thought,
merged within itself,
beholds the essence of Tao
A mind filled with thought,
identified with its own perceptions,
beholds the mere forms of this world

We can deepen the gift from a “mind free of thought” … by living  “… in accordance with the nature of things…” as suggested in this excerpt from Verse 8

Live in accordance with the nature of things:
Build your house on solid ground
Keep your mind still

mind still tzu dawn lake ladoga

When giving, be kind
When speaking, be truthful
When ruling, be just
When working, be one-pointed
When acting, remember—timing is everything

One who lives in accordance with nature
does not go against the way of things
He moves in harmony with the present moment
always knowing the truth of just what to do

And, here’s the full Verse 16 when added to this wise counsel … reveals “the great truth of Nature …”

The Tao Te Ching – Verse 16

Become totally empty
Quiet the restlessness of the mind

quiet restlessness tzu Lake Minnewanka

Only then will you witness everything
unfolding from emptiness

See all things flourish and dance
in endless variation
And once again merge back into perfect emptiness—
Their true repose
Their true nature
Emerging, flourishing, dissolving back again
This is the eternal process of return

To know this process brings enlightenment
To miss this process brings disaster

Be still
Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity

be still tzu sunset

Eternity embraces the all-possible
The all-possible leads to a vision of oneness
A vision of oneness brings about universal love
Universal love supports the great truth of Nature
The great truth of Nature is Tao

Whoever knows this truth lives forever
The body may perish, deeds may be forgotten
But he who has Tao has all eternity

~~ Lao Tzu

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Coronavirus continues to take a toll on humanity and tremendous, heroic efforts continue to be underway by many to ensure our health and safety (and now, thankfully, that includes vaccination across the globe) … so, helping those who are involved in such efforts remains the “order of the day” … and in this spirit, Go Fund Me needs to be commended for organizing various campaigns targeted towards COVID-19 relief efforts. All of these campaigns are worthy of our attention … but for now we wanted to highlight TWO critical ones that we have donated personally and also as Stillness Speaks:

Despite the financial challenges that are amongst us all, if your situation allows you to donate and help then …

… please visit  Frontline Responders Fund’s Go Fund Me page … and help deliver crucial supplies to these frontline responders …

… and/or visit  America’s Food Fund Go Fund Me page and help feed the neighbors in need.

And, we again, express our deepest gratitude to a) the COVID-19 Frontline Responders (all the healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, hospital/medical-services staff – firefighters, law enforcement, volunteers, and any/all the people involved in keeping the “system-at-large” functioning for ALL of us) … and b) Go Fund Me for organizing America’s Food Fund to feed the needy.



May you explore the Tao Te Ching … and incorporate it’s gifts … in every day of your life … and …

May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these troubling times.


All italicized text (including in the blockquotes) is from: Tao Te Ching: Lao Tzu, Translated by Jonathan Star.
Images: (edited and logo added): Featured and 1) Matterhorn peak during sunrise by biletskiy_e, 2) Tao Te Ching cover image from its Amazon page, 3) Early morning on lake Ladoga by Pashtett, 4) Lake Minnewanka Banff, Alberta Kanada by sugarek, 5) Sunset by EvrenKalinbacak. All purchased from depositphotos, for use only on our. All purchased from depositphotos, for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post).


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