What is Tao and How Does One Live It? 10 Pointers to ‘The Way’

What is Tao? This short, precise article is not a scholarly run-down of the ancient metaphysical practice, but rather a direct engagement with it.

“The way is to benefit others and not to injure. The way is to act but not to compete. The way does not show greatness and is therefore truly great.”

What is Tao? Tao is the way, the path. It is often represented by water, because water, though forever following the path of least resistance, remains strong enough to demolish stone. Everything below flows from this.

Make your goal effortless action
Avoid unnecessary action or action that is not spontaneous.

Treasure simplicity
Eliminate whatever is unnecessary and artificial and appreciate the simple and the apparently ordinary.

Cultivate stillness
Only stillness will clear muddy waters and enable you to see the truth.

Be patient
Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises?

Be gentle
Love peace and restraint and avoid all unnecessary violence. “Do not regard weapons as lovely things, for to think them lovely means to delight in them, and to delight in them means to delight in the slaughter of men.”

See beauty
In the mundane and the normal. Appreciate the beauty around you and in yourself.

Be true
Dedicate your life only to that which you find beautiful or fascinating, and thus be true to yourself.

Live in the moment
Feel the hand of time sweeping past second by second.

Be happy
To conduct one’s life according to the Tao, is to conduct one’s life without regrets.

Be compassionate and honor life
Only those who are compassionate and treasure life in all its forms can show true bravery and acquire true wisdom.

Source: “The Simple Tao (Simple Taoism),” from the now defunct blueboard.com

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