Over the past decade of studying different ancient medicine traditions, I’ve been amazed at how many similarities exist between them. Whether we’re talking about Amazonian Shamanism, Ayurvedic medicine, or the ancient healing traditions of China, the principles that these schools of knowledge are built on share many commonalities – which is probably why many are beginning to incorporate a combination of these sacred wellness systems into their lives.
As part of a future production, my team and I are currently cataloging a number of these ancient teachings from around the world and would love to share some of our favorites with you. Particularly the passages that seem to span numerous spiritual disciplines.
There are so many brilliant works to choose from, but this week we’re going to look at a few excerpts from the Tao Te Ching. This ancient book, written by Lao Tzu (which translates literally to “Old Master” in Chinese) is among the most revered sacred texts that still exist today. The only work that has been translated more times than the Tao Te Ching is the Bible. Its pages have shaped entire religions like Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, and Confucianism and have inspired some of the greatest artists and poets of our time.
The Tao Te Ching translates to “The Way”.
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Verse 44
“Fame or self?
Which matters more?
Self or wealth?
Which is more precious?
Gain or loss?
Which is more painful?
He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
He who knows when to stop,
does not find himself in trouble.
He will stay forever safe.”
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Verse 8
“The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It flows to low places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it is like the Tao.
Live in accordance with the nature of things.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling be just.
In action, watch the timing
No fight: No blame
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.”
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Verse 11
“We mold clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that makes the vessel useful.”
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Verse 1
“The Tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.”
I hope you enjoy these bits of wisdom as much as we do!