dao encouragement

Chinese for "encouragement"

design of brown and beige, lines of abstract

One thousand miles from home, I open the same

prayer book.
Some nights it was only obligation; tonight,
it is comfort.

It’s best to be patient and persevering. Devotion may sometimes seem to be pure drudgery. Away from home, its possible to gain a new outlook. Taken from its usual context, our commitment can stand out all the more brilliantly. Something that may have been like a bit and bridle may now be warm and comforting. That is why one should master one’s emotion, and use discipline to even out the ups and downs of impulse.

When traveling, we are away from our usual surroundings, including those elements that suppress and restrict us. Nearly all of us have fears, frustrations, and inhibitions that we have acquired in the past' time and distance help us to assess them more clearly. To overcome them takes courage and initiative. How can we do it if our very problem is fear and timidity? That is when we need a friend to help and encourage us. They can give us the guidance and support to face our fears. Although they can neither live our lives nor solve our problems outright, they can provide an invaluable presence just when we most need it.

Within ourselves, our daily devotions are the way to encourage ourselves to persevere. With others, encouragement is the way to be compassionate.


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

today's art is by Aripana Mithelshwari Karn, no bio is available
for Susan, and the love of her children: thank you

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao

S I X T Y - N I N E

Chinese characters for "daodejing verse sixty-nine"

There is a saying among soldiers:
I dare not make the first move but would rather play the guest;
I dare not advance and inch but would rather withdraw a foot.

This is called marching without appearing to move,
Rolling up your sleeves without showing your arm,
Capturing the enemy without attacking,
Being armed without weapons.

There is no greater catastrophe than
underestimating the enemy.
By underestimating the enemy, I almost lost what I value.

Therefore when the battle is joined,
The underdog will win.
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

The generals have a saying:
"Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard."

This is called
going forward without advancing,
pushing back without using weapons.

There is no greater misfortune
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means thinking that he is evil.
Thus you destroy your three treasures
and become an enemy yourself.

When two great forces oppose each other,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

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

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