No Illusions, No Resistances

Lao Tzu
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10. Can you coax your mind from its wandering

and keep it to the original Oneness?

Can you let your body become

supple as a new born child’s?

Can you cleanse your inner vision

until you see nothing but the light?

Can you love people and lead them

without imposing your will?

Can you deal with the most vital matters

by letting events take their course?

Can you step back from your own mind

and thus understand all things?


Giving birth and nourishing,

having without possessing,

acting with no expectations,

leading and not trying to control,

This is the supreme virtue. 


63. Act without doing,

work without effort.

Think of the large as small,

and the few as many.

Confront the difficult

while it is still easy;

accomplish the great task

with a series of small acts.


The Master never reaches for the great:

thus she achieves greatness.

When she runs into a difficulty,

she stops and gives herself to it.

she doesn’t cling to her own comfort:

thus problems are no problem for her.


50. The Master gives himself up

to whatever the moment brings.

He knows that he is going to die,

and he has nothing left to hold on to;

No illusions in his mind,

no resistances in his body.

He doesn’t think about his actions;

they flow from the core of his being.

He holds nothing back from life;

therefore he is ready for death,

as a man is ready for sleep

after a good day’s work.


--Lao Tzu (Translated by Stephen Mitchell), From Tao Te Ching