dao constancy

Chinese for "constancy"

fish with design of brown and beige, lines of abstract

Clear sunlight on falling snow; fire and ice.
Bare-boned trees stark to the horizon,
Cold marshes, havens to ducks and geese.
A groundhog sits motionless on a post.

Wherever we are, the constant flow of Tao is ever present. We see the cycle of opposites, such as the juxtaposition of sunlight and snow. We notice the ongoing rhythms of life; waterfowl carrying on their lives even as spring is slow to warm and leafless trees stand in anticipation of warmer weather. All things change, all things move constantly. The world is like the ongoing turning of a magnificent wheel. All things come in their own time.

Just as a groundhog sits motionless in the moving of the seasons, so too should we look within and slowly absorb the time. Within all the movement, the groundhog takes time to be still. Within all the changing of spring, we must take time to notice the constancy of inner devotion.

No matter how much is going on outside of oneself, one still reaffirms what is in one’s heart, taking comfort in the regular pulse. What works in the shelter of home or temple works everywhere. Only when we know such constancy will we know that our quest is succeeding.


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

today's art is by Aripana Mithelshwari Karn, no bio is available
"Fish" for all my Pisces friends, memory of George Harrison

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao

S I X T Y - E I G H T

Chinese characters for "daodejing verse sixty-eight"

A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengeful
A good employer is humble.
This is known as the Virtue of not striving.
This is known as ability to deal with people.
This since ancient times has been known
as the ultimate unity with heaven.
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.
The best general
enters the mind of his enemy.
The best businessman
serves the communal good.
The best leader
follows the will of the people.

All of the embody
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don't love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.
In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

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

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