Facing blank paper
is an artist's terror.

When an artist creates, he or she is like a shaman. Inspiration comes as a gift. Those who follow Tao are the same. Their awareness is not something they have cleverly formulated, nor is it something that they possess. Tao comes to them like a gift. That is why the arts and Tao are so closely allied. The act of receiving and expressing is the same.

Just as an artist dreads not being able to make art, so too does one who follows Tao dread not feeling Tao.

There are many times when we are called upon to be creative; an athlete on the field, a lecturer before an audience, a musician on stage, a cook at the stove, a parent with a child. How do we keep the channel open? Some people try by maintaining tidy and regular lives, others by being constantly active. We are all different, and there is no right or wrong. The only thing that counts is feeling Tao in your own life and
maintaining that feeling as much of the time as possible. If you find those special things that are latent in you and learn to express them, then you will know Tao.

365 Tao
Daily Meditations

Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Tao Te Ching Translated by current scholars


It's easy to rule while it's peaceful
it's east to plan before it arrive
it's easy to break while it's fragile
it's easy to disperse while it's small

Act before it exists
govern before it rebels

As giant tree grows from the tiniest shoot
a great tower rises from a basket of dirt
a thousand mile journey begins at your feet

But to act is to fail
to control is to lose
therefore the sage doesn't act
he thus doesn't fail
he doesn't control he thus doesn't lose

When people pursue a task
they always fail near the end
care at the end as well as the start
means an end to failure

The sage thus seeks what no one seeks
he doesn't prize hard to-get-goods
he studies what no one studies
he turns to what others pass by
to help all things
be natural
he thus dares not act



What has equilibrium is easy to maintain.
What hasn't begun is easy to plan.
What is fragile is easy to shatter.
What is small is easy to scatter.

Deal with things before they arise.
Cultivate order before confusion sets in.

The tallest tree springs from a tiny shoot.
The tallest tower is built from a pile of dirt.
A journey of a thousand miles begins at your feet.

Interfere with things,
and you'll be defeated by them.
Hold on to things, and you'll lose them.
The sage doesn't interfere, so he doesn't fail;
doesn't hold on, so he doesn't lose.

Because projects often come to ruin
just before completion,
he takes as much care at the end
as he did at the beginning,
and thereby succeeds.

His only desire is to be free of desire.
Fancying nothing, learning not to know,
electing not to interfere,
he helps all beings become themselves.



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.


Sign up for the FREE Daily Tao Thought

For Email Marketing you can trust

No comments: