Tao Te Ching: Third Verse Thoughts

Putting a value on status will create contentiousness. If you

overvalue possessions, people begin to steal.  By not displaying what

is desirable, you will cause the people’s hearts to remain


The sage governs by emptying minds and hearts, by weakening

ambitions and strengthening bones.

Practice not doing…. When action is pure and selfless, everything

settles into its own perfect place.


When I was around 12 or 13, I just had to have this item at the store.  It was a gadget of some sort or food but the point is that I “needed” it.   Problem was that I didn’t have any money so I stole it.   When I was older, I had to have a different kind of gadget, meal or consumer item that was “the latest” and was probably super shiny.  It was going to make me happy and I would have so much fun with whatever item caught my eye at the store or online.   But!!!  I didn’t have the money.  I didn’t steal the item but I charged it, over and over again until I was laden with debt; a crushing debt that, at the time, felt I couldn’t out under from.   Not long after I tried shoplifting at age 12,  I got caught (thankfully) and I never did it again.  The irony of all of this is that I did these things to feel good, or so I thought, but it ended up creating more misery than pleasure in my life.   Lao Tzu was right, I overvalued these possessions and it led to poor decisions and not feeling very good about myself.

Wayne suggests the when you notice that you are wanting, planning or outright buying something, “choose the Tao and listen for guidance.”    So dig deep and the conclusion one might come to is to buy the item and feel gratitude or you might decide to opt out of buying, maybe donating the money to charity or just saving for another time.

As Abraham Hicks has said, “notice how you are feeling.”

Are you hoping that this purchase will make you happy or are you already happy?    Because if your happiness is dependent on the item, then happiness will be short lived.   So it might not be advantages to purchase this particular item at the moment if you have the expectation that it will solve your problems, make you feel “complete”, etc…

Value of status:

The opening line of the 2nd verse has stuck with me throughout the pondering of verse 2.  Maybe it’s because I feel this is the hardest one to get a grasp on; to practice.  Isn’t putting a value of “status” really just another way of putting a value on other peoples opinions?   

“Will they like my hair?”

“Will they like my outfit?”

“will they like my new car?”

“Will they like me?”


As humans, we put too much stock in the opinions of others.  We adjust ourselves to conform to what we think others want to see and in the long run, no one is happy.  But, as Wayne has said many times, “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”  Let’s keep that in mind when we try something creative, agree with someone (on an issue we may not fully agree on) or conform to the norms of a group.

Practice the Tao

The next time you are involved in a creative endeavor, focus on how you feel about your creation.  Don’t worry about what others might think or what might want to see, touch, hear, etc..  Just remember that their experience is solely theirs and we have not control over it.  Just make sure the process and the end product makes YOU happy.

Tao Te Ching: 4th Verse

Tao Te Ching: 2nd Verse Thoughts

Under Heaven all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is

ugliness.  All can know good as good only because there is evil

Being and nonbeing produce each other.  The difficult is born in the

easy.  Long is defined by short, the high by the low.  Before and after

go along with each other

So the sage lives openly with apparent duality and paradoxical

unity.  The sage can act without effort and teach without words.

Nurturing things without possessing them, he works, but not for

rewards; he competes, but not for results.

When the work is done, it is forgotten.  That is why it lasts forever

There are two parts to this verse:  It declares that there are dualities in life, a yin and yang type thing and then to accept and appreciate and let it be or “just be.”   There are so many ways to interpret this verse and after reading it a few times, I see that we need these contrasts in order to know what we want and what we don’t want, which sounds very similar to what Abraham Hicks says.  Without these contrasts, how could we enjoy or appreciate something that we consider beautiful without the “ugly” to contrast it?  How can we fully appreciate pleasure without the pain in contrast?  Without one, we cannot have the other.

Maybe we tend to label things and experiences too much.  Are we too focussed on the negative and dwell on it?  Do we become blind to things that are wrong because we don’t want to acknowledge that something is not “good”?   Doe’s someone have to be right and does someone have to be wrong?

One of Wayne’s suggestions in living the second verse of the Tao Te Ching is to go about your day and try “.. noticing an opportunity to defend or explain yourself and choosing not to.”  This was quite a challenge for me who used to love to debate or be the devil’s advocate.  It also created someone arguments and tension among friends and family.   So instead of argue a point I acted without effort and hopefully taught without words.  Just like in Verse one, positive things have happened in practicing this “let it be” type of attitude.   Do I do this all the time?  No, but I’m getting better at it and I have found that my needing to be right has become less important.

Tao Te Ching: Third Verse

Tao Te Ching – First Verse Thoughts

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao the name that can

be named

is not the eternal name.

The Tao is both named and nameless. As nameless it is the origin of

all things;

as named is the mother of 10,000 things.

Ever desire less, on can see the mystery;

ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations

And the mystery itself is the doorway

to all understanding

Wayne always said that there are no such thing as coincidences and it was no coincidence that I decided to to study/live the first verse of the Tao-Te Ching when I did.   In his essay, he recommended to “Let the world unfold without always attempting to figure it all out” and to “simply allow” as a way to live this verse.  Keeping this in mind I was able to transcend some adversity that normally I would have attempted (and usually failed) to control.  Instead, I let it go and observed as everything unfolded as it should.  I believe the results were more positive than if I would have intervened and less stressful.

I learned that tensions and issues took longer to resolve when I “let it be” but in return, I have witnessed changes in the dynamics of my relationships that I are stronger and will last longer.  Me forcing the issue and trying to resolve ASAP only created more tension and the issue usually bubbled up to he surface again and again.  The process became circular and exhausting and was the norm in my relationships; both work and personal.  It wasn’t working and created a lot of negative energy in my life.

Letting go and trusting the process is working for me

Does this mean that I just let something happen that should be stopped or should I just “put up” with? No, not at all but the reality is that the the people in my life don’t need me to “guide” them into doing something that I feel that should do or how to do it; especially when they haven’t asked for that help.

Just like anything, this takes practice, practice and more practice.  I had to be mindful of myself everyday until it became habit.  I feel the shift in my energy from practicing this one verse over the course of about three weeks.  Very thankful to Lao Tzu for writing this and Wayne Dyer for bringing it into the 21st century.

Tao Te Ching:  2nd Verse