Quotes from the Tao Te Ching are extremely powerful. The work is without doubt one of the most influential texts ever written. The text by Lao Tzu is fundamental to the Taoist religion, but also has had a strong influence on other religious teachings such as Buddhism and Confucianism. It is more than just a text, it is a way of life. Below are some of our favorite quotes from the text. May they inspire you on whatever journey you may find yourself on at this moment in time.
Tao Te Ching Quotes on Letting Go
“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.”
“In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creatures flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
when man interferes with the Tao
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.”
“The strong wind cannot last the whole morning, the torrential rain cannot last all day. It is nature that causes these things, but even nature cannot cause them to go on forever. If nature cannot do this, then certainly man cannot do so.”
“Do that which consists in taking no action;
Pursue that which is not meddlesome;
Savor that which has no flavor.
“If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.”
“When I let go of what I am
I become what I might be.”
“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
Tao Te Ching Quotes on Judgment
“When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being create each other.”
Tao Te Ching Quotes on Desire
“Always without desire we must be found,”
Tao Te Ching Quotes on Waiting
“Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.”
Tao Te Ching Quotes on Relationships with Others
“A man can achieve his own happiness only by pursuing the happiness of others because it is only by forgetting about his own happiness that he can become happy.”
“Live in a good place. Keep your mind deep. Treat others well. Stand by your word. Make fair rules. Do the right thing. Work when it’s time.”
“People who are good
I treat well.
People who are not good
I also treat well.
“A good traveler leaves no tracks.”
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
Two Te Ching Quotes on Knowing Yourself
“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”
Tao Te Ching Quotes on Mindfulness and Wisdom
“A person who prematurely believes that they comprehend the Tao sees only its external luster, and this is the beginning of delusion.”
“Make the small big and the few many;
Do good to him who has done you an injury.
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Lay plans for the accomplishment of the difficult before it becomes difficult;
Make something big by starting with it when small.
Difficult things in the word must needs have their beginnings in the easy;
Big things must needs have their beginnings in the small.
Therefore, it is because the sage never attempts to be great that he succeeds in becoming great.
One who makes promises rashly rarely keeps good faith;
One who is in the habit of considering things easy meets with frequent difficulties.
Therefore, even the sage treats some things as difficult.
That is why in the end, no difficulties can get the better of him.”
If you enjoyed these quotes from the Tao Te Ching we have plenty more where that came from! You might also like to check out more of our articles with inspiring quotes from Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, Anita Moorjani or Gabrielle Bernstein!