Daily Tao, S. Mitchell Translation, Ch. 8 Excerpt Thursday, Jul 31 2008 

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

Absolutely fantastic passage. Lao Tzu makes some direction here on ways to make life simpler. In particular, I find that being fair and generous in conflict is one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done, as well as being completely present in family life. Even if a few of these ultimatums seem to be unreachable for you, at least make the effort to begin; it’s a never-ending path. When you are satisfied with your self, you’ll never have to look for happiness in anything else.


Daily Tao, S. Mitchell Translation, Ch. 72 Excerpt Monday, Jul 28 2008 

If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you aren’t afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can’t achieve.

Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
chances are that you’ll cut your hand.

This seems to remind me of candles. On the molecular level, the flame is changing so fast it burns our fingers to touch the flame for more than a split-second. The best way to put out a candle, to me, is to eliminate the oxygen that reacts with it. Fire is unlike other “elements,” because it is simply the effect of matter chemically changing in form. Fire is both amazingly beneficial and amazingly destructive.



Daily Tao, S. Mitchell Translation, Ch. 63 Excerpt Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

Great Taoist wisdom. When we accomplish tasks as they arise, and do not ignore them, they always remain their smallest. Therefore, the most effective work is done as effortlessly as possible. This sort of work does not require work, and, in fact, is hurt by it. Realize your path and walk it.