Tao Te Ching: Fourth Verse Thoughts

The Tao is empty but inexhaustible, bottomless, the ancestor of it all.

Within it, the sharp edges become smooth; the twisted knots loosen;

the sun is softened by a cloud; the dust settles into place.

It is hidden but always present.  I do not know who gave birth to it.

It seems to be the common ancestor of all, the father of things

Wayne suggests that in order to practice the 2nd verse, we should take the opportunity to stay quiet instead of verbally responding to something.  “Be silent and listen to your thoughts.”  This one is a hard one for me because I’m always ready to give my two cents.  So my intention is to find an opportunity to rest in my quiet mind and listen to my intuition, my inner self for guidance.

To be honest, this was easier to practice when I first read this over 7 years ago.  I’m finding myself wanting to give my two cents; maybe more than I should.   it is solid advice but I’m finding that my interpretation of this verse might be a little different from Wayne’s.   

Here is how I see it:

This verse is about perception.   If you are not in a “good place” or not aligned or present with yourself, the Tao or Source can seem empty and not there for you but when you are in the good place and aligned with Source, the Tao is bottomless and in exhaustible.   When aligned, everything is easier and those sharp edges are smooth and everything settles into place.   Some would say this is being “in the zone.”   

The 4th verse of the Tao Te Ching is a message of faith and trust in something that may not feel present at the time, but know it always there to have our back.  Maybe this is what Wayne wanted to convey was that there isn’t a need to give our opinion all the time and be at peace with the Tao; knowing it’s always there working for us.

Tao Te Ching: 5th Verse Thoughts

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