Inspiration – the Source

I came across this translation of the Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell, and am really enjoying the fresh language and approach to the wisdom of Lao Tzu. A part of me also wonders, could it be that I have changed over time, and it is more than fresh words that open up new insight….

Let me know which version resonates with you today.

Tao Source

 

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

~ Lao Tzu*

* Mitchell, Stephen. Tao Te Ching (Perennial Classics) (Kindle Locations 373-383). Harper Perennial.

Here is a translation of the same verse 16 by John Braun Jr..

“Seek the reality of emptiness and stillness,
The great constants of existence.
Though life abounds, its creations rise and fall.

Eventually all return, in their own way, to Tao.
To return to Tao is to embrace stillness,
The relentless way of nature.
The flow of nature does not change.
To see its constancy is to know the intricacies of the ordinary,
Revealing patterns of the grand.

To ignore this constant is to mistake the eternal for the mundane, Bringing unharmonious selfish action and discord,
Pathologies to humanity.
Accepting the constant means opening the mind.
This leads to compassion and impartiality,
A respect for all that Tao provides and takes away,
And an understanding that all return to the ultimate reality of Tao.
Life is fleeting, Tao is constant:
An eternal emptiness, full to bursting.”

~ Lao Tzu*

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 269-284). . Kindle Edition.

31 Comments on “Inspiration – the Source

  1. I think the first version resonates most with me, primarily because of these lines: “Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
    you can deal with whatever life brings you,
    and when death comes, you are ready.”

    Liked by 6 people

  2. The first speaks to me . . . the second seems to stumble over the words instead of flowing with them.

    When you realize where you come from,
    you naturally become tolerant,
    disinterested, amused,
    kindhearted as a grandmother,
    dignified as a king.

    Existing in a state of disinterested amusement allows us to become one with the laughing Buddha. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Nancy❣️ the second is more word focused and somewhat poetic. I sometimes wonder if it’s disinterested amusement or bemusing disinterest πŸ˜‰

      Like

  3. The first one is so ALIVE in the present time.
    The way the energy of the words flow…elevates the soul of the message.
    Thank you Val…Namaste and Blessings always of the Light of Joy

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This: If you don’t realize the source,
    you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
    When you realize where you come from,
    you naturally become tolerant,
    disinterested, amused,
    kindhearted …
    We are unique conduits of this neverending flow, along with other creatures, trees and stars. No more nor less, but we can dance with it however we choose. What a gift it is! Aloha, Val. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is interesting what happens in translation … literally with a different language, and also our interpretation of the message being delivered by someone who speaks the same language. Thank you for sharing Marlene πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Both are so beautiful that I can’t state a preference. I like them in tandem! When I feel that something is really helpful and insightful, I want more of it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Val,
    I liked both, for different reasons. Somehow the second one moved me on a deeper level, though it’s more abstract. Words – how powerful they can be! Thanks for sharing these two translations. πŸ€—β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Stephen Mitchell version resonates with me in this moment. I’m sitting at the cove. Waves crash ashore. The morning air smells divine. Thank you for your blog post.

    Like

I'd love to hear from you ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: