Chapters 7 – 12

<< Dao De Jing / 道德經 >>

Chapter 7


The Universe is everlasting

And the reason for that is it doesn’t have self-centered striving

Therefore, the wise stays behind; thus, he/she is ahead

They see themselves as the least, thus they become the greatest

They are detached, and therefore they are at one with all

Through selfless existence, they attain fulfillment

Chapter 8


The most compassionate is like water

Water benefits all things, yet competes with nothing

It stays in the lowliest place, where all people disdain

But in this way it never wanders off the Way

In dwelling, be close to the earth

In meditation, go deep into the profound

In association, be gentle and kind

In speech, only speaks the truth

In leadership, be fair and just

In daily life, be capable

In activity, abide by the season and timing

Don’t fight, thus causing no dissonance

Chapter 9


Better to stop short than fill to the brim

Oversharpen a sword, and the edge will soon blunt

Amass a houseful of valuables, and you are inviting troubles

Claim wealth and titles, and you are asking for sorrows

Retire when the work is done

Such is the way of Dao

Chapter 10


Unifying the mind and body, embracing the one

Can you never for a moment separate from them?

Remaining mindful and supple

Can you transform yourself into a newborn?

Cleansing and purifying the vision

Can you attain spotless insight?

Loving the people and ruling the country

Can you do so without self-interest?

Going in and out of the narrow gate of Heaven

Can you perform with ease?

Being all seeing and all knowing

Can you refrain from the desire to act on it?

Creating and cultivating, yet never possessing

Working and contributing, yet never taking credit

Leading and supporting, yet never controlling

Such is the fundamental De – the essential Virtue

Chapter 11


A wheel consists of thirty spokes and a hub

It is the cavity in the center that makes it work

A vessel is shaped by clay

It is the space within that determines its utility

A room is complete once the door and windows are cut out

Yet the emptiness inside is where you will reside

Therefore, being may be necessary

But it is nonbeing that makes it work

Chapter 12


Colors dazzle the vision

Tones deafen the hearing

Flavors dull the taste

Thoughts unhinge the mind

Desires lead one astray

Therefore, the wise feed on non-indulgence

A great life is all about renunciation and moderation