RELIGION
01/05/2015 09:42 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Daily Meditation: The Way

We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these Daily Meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be part of bringing spirituality alive in your life.

Today's meditation features the opening passage from The Tao Te Ching, a sacred Chinese text dating to roughly the 4th century BC. This passage lays the foundation for what the tao, or path, is and how to approach its mystery.

tao

I

The Way - cannot be told.
The Name - cannot be named.
The nameless is the Way of Heaven and Earth.
The named is Matrix of the Myriad Creatures.
Eliminate desire to find the Way.
Embrace desire to know the Creature.
The two are identical,
But differ in name as they arise.
Identical they are called mysterious,
Mystery on mystery,
The gate of many secrets.

II

The world knows beauty as beauty,
So there is then ugliness.
The world knows good as good,
So there is then the bad.
As is and is-not create each other,
The hard and easy define each other,
The long and short delimit each other,
The high and low depend on each other,
Voice and music harmonize with each other,
Last and next follow each other.
So the wise adhere to action through non-action,
And communicate the teaching without words.
From the Way come the myriad creatures
Yet it imposes no authority.
It gives them life without possession.
It benefits them but asks no thanks.
It does its work but claims no merit.
Because it claims no merit
Merit is never lacking in it.

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