The Gift of Tao

Reflections on Chapter 62 of the Tao Te Ching:

Huang Shan Mountain in China

Huang Shan Mountain in China


Tao is the secret treasure of the Ten Thousand Things.

To those who are awake, it is a treasure. To those who are asleep, it is protection.

Beautiful words inspire honor, Beautiful deeds inspire respect.

Why abandon a woman for straying from her path?

When crowning a queen with her three advisors, rather than offer her priceless jade followed by a team of four horses, is it not better to calmly offer her the Tao?

The Tao has been honored by the ancients for centuries.

Has it not been said that those who have made mistakes shall be forgiven?

For this reason, the Tao is our greatest treasure.

Tao is a treasure. For those who don’t read Tao, it is protection. For those who understand it, it is a secret treasure. Even though people don’t always understand these words, they work.

In all of the great religious texts, there is truth inside it.

People have to really learn to discern what is true for them.  Every person is different. Each life is different. I have had conversations with people who are very Christian. Everyone has their belief of what is right for them.  You just can’t know what someone else’s path is.  You just can’t know!

The words of Tao can be so helpful for people, but the beauty of the Tao is that it allows all pathways. Any person is allowed whatever pathway they need to be on and there’s no judgement. If you have a path and you feel that is what is needed for you, then it is the right path. If there is a path out there that doesn’t fit for you, but there is someone out there that is following that path, you have to just let them be.

There are things that have led up to their path which is
way outside the scope of your understanding.

There is a path for them that will continue on, which is also outside of your understanding. You are not meant to understand their path. Each of us has our own path that we are meant to walk.

The reason why I am choosing the study of Tao as my path and this work is because of this principle.  Respecting that everyone has their own way has been a truth that has really stood out to me as a necessity – respecting that everyone has their own way of getting to the truth.

Their path may seem odd to me.

Their path may not fit for me. That is fine. The beautiful thing about being an American is that we are all about honoring that. We honor the right for people to choose what their path is. I stand for that.

I stand for people choosing that path, whatever it is.

As long as you are not infringing on someone else’s rights (that is where it gets a little sticky), as long as you are just claiming for yourself what you need to be doing, then I don’t see any problem with whatever path you are choosing.

I had a situation this week where I was talking with someone
who had a totally different belief system than my own.

I think it was interesting how my judgments immediately came up when I felt like I was being judged. I was surprised that I so automatically went to a place of judging others when I felt judged. It’s a loop! It’s a loop you can’t escape. You can. You can just stop giving it energy. Just stop.

Do something completely different.

It was funny because I was noticing this and feeling this judgement and seeing how I was caught in the loop. I love Byron Katie. She says, “Who would you be without that thought?” That is essentially what you need to do in a lot of cases. If you are feeling right about something and the world is wrong, you need to change tact. What happens is, as soon as you judge the world, they are judging you.

It’s the loop. 

Don’t worry if you’ve done this because we all do it. We do it every day if we pay attention to it. The key is not so much to go into a criticism rant with ourselves as to just notice our tendencies and then laugh and move on. We’re human.


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  1. Amy, you make a great point about people needing to find the path that’s right for them. Funny, one of the phrases that tends to irk me the most is ‘you have to.’ Really? Says you? Some people use this phrase unconsciously (like ‘um’ or ‘you know what I mean,’), I realize, but as you note with people getting their hackles up when being judged, I think the same holds true when they feel someone’s dictating ‘right’ behavior. And yes, I’m guilty of judging others too – but hope it’s something I’m more aware of these days.
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Watch waiters to glean clever marketing strategiesMy Profile

    • Excellent point, Nanette. Determining right behavior for someone else is the same as judging. I am sure that I am guilty of this occasionally too!

  2. When I first started discovering my path, my journey, my awakening… I wanted to convert everyone about this great thing I had found. I couldn’t understand why those I spoke to about it just weren’t jumping up with joy and saying YES right away. lol Now I know better. But I still sometimes falter and sway away from what I know better than doing. It is a process of learning to let go and let God… everyone finds exactly what they need.

    Byron Katie I think she’s wonderful. But I just can’t get into her work. As much as someone tried persuading me that this was MY next thing. It never did become my next thing… at least not yet.
    Suzanne McRae recently posted…December Reflections: 2012 My Year of TransformationMy Profile

    • It seems pretty common that when people get excited about an idea, they want others to get excited too. But it is good to be aware that this is just another way of being right. The key is that we all are guilty and it is a very human thing to do, so just becoming aware of it is key.

  3. Somehow Amy I am being led back to this blog post and it’s probably for a good reason. I started reading and knew I came to see a message for me… then I saw that I had commented several days ago without remembering.

    As soon as I read the 2nd line I knew why I was here. “To those who are awake, it is a treasure. To those who are asleep, it is protection.” I know that I am somewhat awakened at times, yet I put myself back to sleep all the time. I love what you are blogging about, yet I seem to not be able to read each of your posts. I unconsciously choose to remain asleep and I can’t do that if I’m reading what you are writing about. I feel so afraid at times, yesterday was one such day filled with anxiety and fears unknown what it meant. Yet I know it’s time for me to get ‘serious’ about awakening and quit playing these little games with myself. That wisdom and knowledge is there for the taking if I’m serious about fully waking up.

    Thank you for bringing the Gift of Tao into my life even if I only take little bits at a time. xo
    Suzanne McRae recently posted…Welcome to my sacred spaceMy Profile

    • Don’t worry about it, Suzanne. Life is a series of on and off switches. We are conscious-unconscious-conscious-unconscious. It is a normal part of existence. You are doing a ton of great work on yourself and on your life. I admire that. Just remember to keep getting back on every time you fall off the horse.

  4. John Kajiwara-Arnold

    John Kajiwara-Arnold says:
    August 27, 2014 at 9:19 am
    Wow Amy, your words & thoughts are so precious to me today!

    My dear wife recently suffered her first seizure that shut off her heart. Was in hospital 5 days, discharged and it happened again a week later. Discharged again. Traumatic sleigh rides are not my specialty!

    In the midst of the 2nd bout, a well meaning family member made some comments that (I felt) were very judgemental and highly insensitive about my wife’s lack of “faith”. I held my tongue until that comment and snapped. What the #*@**’s wrong with these people! I tried to make diverting comments but the family member had zeroed in on my “apostasy” and was trying to pin all this on me.

    I was fuming at the insensitivity and just lack of common sense and tact. I was trying to let it go but not before making some huge negative judgements about their religion.

    So, realizing they are on their own path, I separate them from their toxic behavior. I forgive them and cast away their wicked behavior. I send them love & light. I chose to be Tao centered in my thoughts & behaviors.


    • I am very sorry about your wife, John. I hope that she is OK. I just read Louis’s comment and it reminds me about a friend of mine who had cancer. With him, it was the opposite. He chose to use allopathic measures and I had judged him for choosing that route rather than natural methods. I totally agree with Louis that serious illnesses bring up all kinds of things with people. If you are fortunate enough to see through people’s pain and discomfort around this, it is easier to forgive and I commend you for having that foresight when you are faced with such a challenge for a dear one.

    • I also wanted to send you a link to a post that I wrote ages ago. I know that your wife’s situation is different than this person’s, but perhaps these words may help…

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