Devote Every Day to Virtue

cc image by toehk on Flickr

cc image by toehk on Flickr

Reflections on Chapter 23 of the Tao Te Ching:

It is natural to speak less.

Fierce winds do not outlast the morning.
Violent rains do not outlast the day.
What causes this?
Heaven and Earth.

Heaven and Earth cannot even make these things last.
Then, how much less so for man?

Therefore, one who devotes every day to Tao
Becomes one with Tao.
One who devotes every day to virtue
Becomes one with virtue.
One who devotes every day to loss


Things that are more aggressive tend to not last.

It feels like when we are caught up in high drama, it is going to last forever and it really isn’t. It doesn’t last very long. I think that is something important for people to remember, particularly when you are trying to have your life be more like the life of a sage.

How do you be a sage?

You don’t get caught up in the sort of windy emotional waves. You just don’t get caught in them because they are waves. They pass quickly. I think that is what this chapter is saying.

You are always committing to something. It’s good to pay attention to that. What is it that you are committing to? What are you fostering? If you go back through your day, month, your year and you notice what you are committed about. You may find that you are committed to watching television, or committed to eating chocolate. You might say, “Oh, I really want to do this,” but when it comes to the actions you take – you will find your commitments.

You have to look at it and ask yourself, “What am I committed to?”

What am I moving towards? What am I moving away from? This can change. If you notice that you are moving towards things that really don’t support you, you have that choice. Every day. You have that choice.  What he is really talking about here is the commitment to choosing. The commitment to always bringing yourself back. Choosing again.



So what are you committed to? Do you notice some things that you are committed to that you really don’t want to be committed to?   Please share your comments in the space below!

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  1. Another great post that’s got me thinking. I love the part about drama not lasting long and the part about always thinking about what I am committing to. Very important!
    Michele Bergh recently posted…My Bliss ListMy Profile

    • Yes, totally, Michele! That drama part has really made me think too. It is a sure sign that something is amiss. If we are living a strong life, we are always moving towards our greatest commitments!

  2. Pingback: 23 – Following the Tao

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