dao accuracy

Chinese for "accuracy"

four lovelely birds with eggs

Make every move count.
Pick your target and hit it.
Perfect concentration means
Effortless flowing.

A life that is spiritual requires focused action. It needs quick reflexes, accurate timing, and abundant skill. That is why followers of Tao are always compounding their self-cultivation: They want the ability to do whatever they want.

Each day your life grows a day shorter. Make every move count. All that matters is accomplishing what you envision with the greatest dispatch. Once you do, that aspect of your interest is discharged, and you can then go on to some new interest. If you do not engage in this ongoing process of action, you will never satisfy all the various aspects of the soul, and realization will never fully mature for you.

Some assert that there is no end to desire, so we should undercut our ambition. But this doesn’t address the need for satisfaction. We need to have satisfaction in what we do in order to have a good sense of well-being. If we undercut our ambition, then we will never make any achievements nor satisfy our yearnings. This only leaves us with frustration, uncertainty, and timidity. Therefore, to follow Tao, we must identify our inner longings and dispatch them with a hunter’s accuracy.

365 Tao
Daily Meditations
Deng Ming-Dao
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Gangawati Das The Artist:
Gangawati Das

My mother didn't love my father because he didn't give her enough to eat. Since she was unhappy, people told her to leave and then my father would call her back. But no one came for her, and so it was my father's sister who raised me.

I was married when I was about sixteen, and have had six children. Now I am thirty-five and we live with my husband's family, twenty-two people in all. I used to cut grass and harvest rice, but now my husband does this work while I support the family by making paintings at the Center. It was from my father's sister that I learned to make paintings of parrots, horses, minahs and camels.

I like to paint elephants, camels and horses-what you used to see when there was a wedding. Lots of people from the groom's side would ride on top of these animals on their way to the bride's house. I also paint airplanes. Each day an airplane flies low over our Center. I've never been inside a plane but seeing one each day made me imagine what it is like to sit inside and fly.
[this artist also painted "Four Camels"]

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao

S I X T Y - F O U R

Chinese characters for "daodejing verse sixty-four"

Peace is easily maintained;
Trouble is easily overcome before it starts.
The brittle is easily shattered;
The small is easily scattered.

Deal with it before it happens.
Set things in order before there is confusion.

A tree as great as a man's embrace springs up
from a small shoot;
A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles starts under one's feet.

He who acts defeats his own purpose;
He who grasps loses.
The sage does not act, and so is not defeated.
He does not grasp and therefore does not lose.

People usually fail when they are on the verge of success.
So give as much care to the end as to the beginning;
Then there will be no failure.

Therefore the sage seeks freedom from desire.
He does not collect precious things.
He learns not to hold on to ideas.
He brings men back to what they have lost.
He help the ten thousand things find their own nature,
But refrains from action.
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

What is rooted is easy to nourish.
What is recent is easy to correct.
What is brittle is easy to break.
What is small is easy to scatter.

Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.
The giant pine tree
grows from a tiny sprout.
The journey of a thousand miles
starts from beneath your feet.

Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
you ruin what was almost ripe.

Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course.
He remains as calm
at the end as at the beginning.
He has nothing,
thus has nothing to lose.
What he desires is non-desire;
what he learns is to unlearn.
He simply reminds people
of who they have always been.
He cares about nothing but the Tao.
Thus he can care for all things.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

a reading list of books and interpretations of the Daodejing is available at

for a meditation sent to your email address each day, please write
’subscribe tao’ in the subject line and send to lisbeth at duckdaotsu

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