Work without doing.
Taste the tasteless.
Magnify the small; increase the few.
Reward bitterness with care.
See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in little things.
Take on difficulty while it is still easy;
do great things while they are still small.
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
and thereby achieves greatness.
If you make rash promises, you will be little trusted;
Because the sage always confronts difficulties right away,
he never encounters them.
As I Understand It:
Trillions of moments make up our lifetime. All we ever have to do is to live in the present moment to make life effortless. Instead of worrying about a future that has not even arrived do tiny things and achieve big tasks. Sage says confront difficulties the moment you face them–bitter moments with objectivity, lovable with love.
All difficult projects can be divided into small and manageable tasks. For instance, how does one write a book that is several hundred pages long and may take several years to complete? By writing-word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence. If a writer, at the moment of writing the first word of a book, thinks of hundreds of pages yet to be written the task would seem overwhelming. Soon she would give up. But if she writes a simple word, a clear sentence, a readable paragraph it would add up to be a page or more. By doing simple tasks daily a daunting project would become easy.
When you work within the present moment, nothing seems hard and greatness is achieved. Shift your thinking from, “my life is comprised of difficult tomorrows” to “the present moment is my life.” Erase the imaginary worrisome future. Immerse yourself in the simple task at hand. If you fully live your present moment your whole life will be fulfilled.
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.
Madhu, this most recent comment by you and Tao is what I was hinting at last time, copying doesnt get one to spiritual freedom, all effort or effortlessness is to be carried out by each individually , be a light unto oneself, teaching children is another area..in any casethe notion that we are not complete and whole is errorneous and that is what needs to be corrected, we are already fulfilled and complete as ‘who we are’, not as ‘who we think we are’..You know all that love
Madhu B. Wangu
I know what I know and I feel what I feel. I do not like spiritual abstractions.
Twenty years ago, when I read the scriptures of the world’s major religions something stirred within me. But I was too busy teaching undergraduates to pay attention.
Some eight years ago I quit teaching. I began to reread the sacred books that had impressed me so. In order to understand the meaning of what I read I copied and wrote commentaries on the verses and chapters.
In fact, Shankaracharya and Confucius recommend reciting and copying scriptures as the first steps towards emancipation. I know intellectual understanding does not bring spiritual freedom. It is experiential. I also know that the “wholeness” that lay deep within each individual is covered with soot. If individuals do not make an effort to remove the gunk, this spiritual energy that is for us to experience, remains dormant.
I believe that re-reading and copying the words of wisdom is a good first step. When that which is understood intellectually is practiced and internalized, it is eventually experienced.