The practice of learning consists of daily accumulation.
The practice of Tao consists of daily diminishing.
By continuous diminishing one reaches a point of no action.
When nothing is done, nothing remains undone.
Mastery is gained by letting things go their own way.
Nothing is gained by interfering.
As I Understand It
Increasing knowledge refines intellect. Wise do not accumulate knowledge, especially meaningless facts and purposeless details. Spirituality is cultivated by diminishing it.
Accumulation gives us a different perspective-we collect, we gather, we hoard. Our ceaseless desire to possess things is never quenched. But when we decrease stuff-by giving, gifting, granting, we feel refreshed. A feeling of freedom takes over. Our link with inner self strengthens; that strength cannot be stolen, it does not die.
Let’s become aware of things that surround us. Let’s take pleasure in our families, enjoy the natural beauty, listen to music, breathe in fragrances, savor flavors and touch the people we love. Let’s live in the world without wanting to possess it.
When we practice giving, donating, bestowing eventually we become as free as a newborn.
Dyer, W. Wayne. Change Your Thought–Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.
The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching), Translated, with introductory essays, comments, and notes by Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.