inspirational writings, spiritual inspiration, thoughts for the day, poetry, prose, stories: higher self, personal growth, spiritual encounters, out of body experiences and white light experiences, from Brad Kalita, founder of gathering light ... a retreat located near crater lake national park in southern oregon.


... the grace of nature ... photographs and inspirational writings from the harbors of light collection: inspirational writings, spiritual inspiration, thoughts for the day, poetry, prose, stories: higher self, personal growth, spiritual encounters, out of body experiences and white light experiences, from Brad Kalita, founder of gathering light ... a retreat located near crater lake national park in southern oregon.


The Tao ( The Way )
Circa 500 BC - Lao Tsu

Excerpts from his writings

Sick of heart of manís ways the author set out into the desert to die. Although
he had taught the Tao that can be taught is not the Tao, he was convinced by a gate
keeper to write down his teachings for those to follow.

The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject.

In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action watch the timing.

Better stop short then fill to the brim.
Over sharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.
Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.
Retire when the work is done.
This is the way of heaven.
      - Lead but do not dominate.

Thirty Spokes share the wheelís hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and window for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.

Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called ďaccepting disgrace willingly.
Misfortune comes from having a body.

Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
Returning to their source is stillness, which is the say of nature.
The way of nature is unchanging.
Knowing constancy is insight.
Not know constancy leads to disaster.
Know constancy, the mind is open.
With an open mind, you will be open hearted.
Being open hearted, you will act royally.
Being royal, you will attain the divine.
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao is eternal.
nd though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.

The very highest is barely known by men.
Then comes that which they know and love.
Then that which is feared.
Then that which is despised.
He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.
When actions are performed
Without unnecessary speech,
People say, "We did it!".

When the great Tao is forgotten, Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born.
The great pretense begins.
When there is no peace within the family.
Filial piety and devotion arise.
When the country is confused and in chaos,
Loyal ministers appear.

Yield and overcome;
Bend and be straight;
Empty and be full;
Wear out and be new,
Have little and gain,
Have much and be confused.
He who stands on tiptoe is not steady.
He who strides cannot maintain the pace,
He who makes a show is not enlightened.
He who is self-righteous is not respected.
These are extra baggage and do not bring happiness.
He who is virtuous experiences virtue.

Man follows the earth.
Earth follows heavens.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao flows what is natural.

Therefore the sage takes care of all men,
And abandons no one.
He takes care of all things,
And abandons nothing.

Know the strength of man.
But keep the woman's care!
Be the stream of the universe.
Ever true and unswerving,
Become as a little child once more.

The universe is sacred.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.
Sometimes things are hard, and sometimes easy.
The sage avoids extreme.
Force is followed by loss of strength.
This is not the way of Tao,
That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end.

Weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.
Peace and quiet dear to the heart.

There are already too many names.
One must know when to stop.

If the Tao were understood, heaven and earth would come together,
And gentle rain would fall.
Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea.

Knowing others is wisdom:
Knowing self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering self needs strength.
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right.
The ten thousand things depend upon it; it holds nothing back.
It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim.
It nourishes the ten thousand thing,
And yet is not their lord.
The ten thousand things return to it,
Yet it is not their lord.
It is very great.
It does not show greatness,
And is therefore truly great.

All men will come to him who keeps to the one.
For there lie rest happiness and peace.

The Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without desire there is tranquility.
And in this way all things would be at peace.

Therefore when the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost is ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.

These things from ancient times arise from one:
The sky is whole and clear.
The earth is whole and firm.
The spirit is whole and strong.
The valley is whole and full.
Therefore the humble is the root of the noble.
The low is the foundation of the high.

Returning is the motion of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of not being.

The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it diligently.
The average student hears of the Tao and practices it intermitedly
Others do not fathom or laugh aloud.
Hence it is said the path seems dim,
Going forward seems like retreat;
The easy way seems hard;
The highest virtue seems empty.

The softest thing in the universe
Overcomes the hardest.
That without substance can enter where there is no room.
Teaching without words and work without doing
Are understood by very few.

Fame or self: Which matters more?
Self or wealth: Which is more precious?
Gain or loss: Which is more painful?

He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
A contented man is never disappointed.

Great accomplishments seems imperfect.
Yet it does not outlive its usefulness.
Great fullness seems empty,
Yet it cannot be exhausted.

When the Tao is present in the universe, The horses haul manure.
He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.

The pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

I am good to people who are good.
I am also good to people who are not good.
Because virtue is goodness.
I have faith in people who are faithful.
I also have faith in people who are not faithful.
Because virtue is faithfulness.
The sage is shy and humble -to the world he seems confusing.
Men look to him and listen.
He behaves like a little child.

Between birth and death,
Three in ten are followers of life,
Three in ten are followers of death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
He who know how to live can walk without fear,
Because there is no place for death to enter.

All things arise from Tao.
They are nourished by virtue.
They are formed from matter.
They are shaped by environment.
Thus the ten thousand things all respect Tao and honor virtue.
Respect of Tao and honor of virtue are not demanded,
But they are in the nature of things.
Therefore all things arise from Tao.
By virtue they are nourished,
Developed, cared for,
Sheltered, comforted,
Grown, and protected.
Creating without claiming,
Doing without taking credit,
Guiding without interfering,
This is Primal Virtue.

The beginning of the universe
Is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother,
Brings freedom from the fear of death.

Seeing the small is insight;
Yielding to force is strength.

When the court is arrayed in splendor,
The fields are full of weeds,
And the granaries are bare.
Some wear gorgeous clothes,
Carry sharp swords,
And indulge themselves with food and drink;
They have more possessions than they can use.
They are robber barons.
This is certainly not the way of Tao.

The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have to much,
And give to those without enough.

Cultivate virtue in your self,
And virtue, will be real.
He who is filled with virtue is like a newborn child.
Wasps and serpents will not sting him.

It is not wise to rush about.
Controlling the breath causes strain.
If too much energy is used, exhaustion follows.
This is not the way of Tao.
Whatever is contrary to Tao will not last long.

He who has achieved a state of primal union
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.
     - Mastering without striving.

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper menís weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.
Therefore the sage says:
I take no action and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.

A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengeful.
A good employer is humble.
Dare not to make the first move but play the guest;
And withdraw as fit.
This is called marching without moving.
Capture the enemy without attacking.
Being armed without weapons.
Bearing in mind there is catastrophe in underestimating the enemy.

When the country is ruled with a light hand
The people are simple.
When the country is ruled with severity
The people are cunning.

The sage is sharp but not cutting.
Pointed but not piercing,
Straightforward but not unrestrained, Brilliant but not blinding.

In caring for others and serving heaven,
There is nothing like using restraint.
Restraint begins with giving up oneís own ideas.
This depends on virtue gathered in the past.
If there is a good store of virtue, then nothing is impossible.
     - Long life and eternal vision.

The Tao is the treasure of the good man, and the refuge of the bad.
And why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isnít it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest of treasures.

See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in little things.
Great things are made of small deeds.
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieves greatness
- Because the sage confronts difficulties,
He never experiences them.

Peace is easily maintained;
Trouble easily overcome before it starts.
The brittle easily shattered:
Deal with it before it happens.
Set things in order;
The journey of a thousand miles starts under oneís feet.
People usually fail when they are about to succeed.

In the beginning those who knew the Tao did not try to enlighten others
     - People can be so clever.

The primal virtue leads back to the great oneness.

When the sage leads he follows.
Because he does not compete, others do not compete with him.

There are three treasures which I hold and keep.
Mercy, economy, and daring not to be ahead of others.
From mercy comes courage; From economy generosity
And from humility leadership.

For the Tao of heaven does not strive, and yet over comes.

It does not need to speak, and yet is answered.
It does not ask, yet is supplied with all its needs.

My words are ancient and easy to understand and easy to perform.
Yet those who know me are few.

From the Harbors of Light Collection: Inspirational writings, photographs, literature,
poetry and prose from Brad Kalita, founder of Gathering Light ... a retreat.


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