150 LAO TZU QUOTES: To see things in the seed, that is genius.

The way to do is to be.


When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


To see things in the seed, that is genius.


All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.


Great acts are made up of small deeds.


Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.


People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.


Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.


Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.


The further one goes, the less one knows.


A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.


Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.


If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.


Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.


To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.


Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.


To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.


Countless words

count less

than the silent balance

between yin and yang


The words of truth are always paradoxical.


Be the chief but never the lord.


A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.


The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.


When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.


Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.


Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.


Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.


He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.


Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere.


If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.


Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’


The best fighter is never angry.


The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.


Act without expectation.


If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.


He is not proud of his work, and therefore it endures.


How did the great rivers and seas get their kingship over the hundred lesser streams?

Through the merit of being lover than they; that was how they got their kingship.

Therefore the Sage In order to be above the people

Must speak as though he were lower than the people.

In order to guide them He must put himself behind them.

Only this can the Sage be on top and the people not be crushed by his weight.

Only thus can he guide, and the people not be led into harm.

Indeed in this way everything under heaven will be glad to be pushed by him and will not find his guidance irksome. This he does by not striving; and because he does not strive, none can contend with him.


Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.


I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.


To know that you do not know is the best.

To think you know when you do not is a disease.

Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.


Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.


Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.


Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.


Silence is a source of great strength.


A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.


He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.


In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.


Mastering yourself is true power.


Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.


Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.


All things in the world come from being. And being comes from non-being.


Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.


To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.


The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.


An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.


The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.


The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’


He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.


If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.


Loss is not as bad as wanting more.


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.


The more knowledge people have, the harder they are to rule.

Those who seek to rule by giving knowledge Are like bandits preying on the land.

Those who rule without giving knowledge Bring a stock of good fortune to the land.


What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.


Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.


The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.


Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.


If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.


Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.


If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.


One who is too insistent on his own views finds few to agree with him.


Accomplish but do not boast, accomplish without show, accomplish without arrogance, accomplish without grabbing, accomplish without forcing.


To understand the limitation of things, desire them.


As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.


By letting go it all gets done.


Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.


There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.


Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.


If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.


Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.


Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.


To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.


Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.


I have just three things to teach:

simplicity, patience, compassion.

These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,

you accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,

you reconcile all beings in the world.


For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.


Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.


Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?


Stop thinking, and end your problems.


Manifest plainness,

Embrace simplicity,

Reduce selfishness,

Have few desires.


If you understand others you are smart.

If you understand yourself you are illuminated.

If you overcome others you are powerful.

If you overcome yourself you have strength.

If you know how to be satisfied you are rich.

If you can act with vigor, you have a will.

If you don’t lose your objectives you can be long-lasting.

If you die without loss, you are eternal.


Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish – too much handling will spoil it.


To lead people walk behind them.


At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.


From caring comes courage.


He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.


Man’s enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.


Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.


From wonder into wonder existence opens.


Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.


Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.


He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.


When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.


Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.


If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.


Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.


Because of a great love, one is courageous.


Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.


One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.


He who is contented is rich.


When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder.


Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.


He who talks more is sooner exhausted.


The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.


The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.


He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.


The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.


By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.


In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.


Heaven is long-enduring, and earth continues long. The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves.


The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honours.


Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.


The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.


The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; the Named is the mother of all things.


Nature is not human hearted.


There was something undifferentiated and yet complete, which existed before Heaven and Earth. Soundless and formless, it depends on nothing and does not change. It operates everywhere and is free from danger. It may be considered the mother of the universe. I do not know its name; I call it Tao.


If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.


The career of a sage is of two kinds: He is either honored by all in the world, Like a flower waving its head, Or else he disappears into the silent forest.


How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?


Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.


The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.


A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.


Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.


Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window One can see the way of heaven. The further one goes The less one knows.


Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.


I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.


Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is.


It is better to do one’s own duty, however defective it may be, than to follow the duty of another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature reveals it, never sins.