Chang Tao-Ling Chinese Philosopher Founder of Taoism
Chang Tao-Ling Chinese Philosopher Founder of Taoism

Tao Te Ching Quotes

Lao Tsu (or Lao Tse, the Dao De Ching)

Lao tse quotes & Introduction into the Dao

Dao De Jing or Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching is very inspiring. It's about leadership, living life and letting things be (that you can't control anyhow). This page has quotes from the Tao Te Ching and information about Taoism. Taoism is one of the oldest still living religions in the world. It combines a respect for life as it is with magical practices. The Tao Te Ching leans on the 'live life as it is' side - no magic involved.

Daoism or Taoism

The usual spelling of this text is 'Dao De Ching', but Dao De Jing is more accurate.

The I-ching is a classic in Taoism. This text is used to gain wisdom, but also as a divination device. It's enigmatic words evoke insights that can help gain perspective.

Often seen as a text about leadership and management

The Toa Te Ching is one of the most popular texts in the West, despite it's Chinese background. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it gives advice that helps us deal with the ever changing circumstances in modern life. Another basis for its' popularity is that the text has some good advice for leaders or would-be-leaders.

My recommendation: Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition by Lao Tzu - Just a great translation

The Dao is hard to translate, as the Dao De Djing was written in very enigmatic Chinese. This translation comes very close to a precise translation of the religious views of the author - as well as being an inspiring read.

Is there ever a definitive translation of a work like the Dao De Jing? I doubt it. However, of all the translations I've looked at, this comes closest to being a scholarly translation that lets the reader in on the kinds of decisions scholars face when translating.

It's also the closest to a translation that has the Chinese side by side with English - I don't think there is an actual translation like that on the market just yet. It would not help Chinese people understand the book, after all, and the amount of English people who know enough Chinese to make it worth while is also minimal.

Wu Wei and De: twin principles of Taoism

Trying not to Try: Wu Wei and De in Taoism and modern Neurology
How do we fall asleep? Trying to sleep only worsens insomnia. Trying to achieve something worsens the result in many areas of life. In Chinese philosophy this paradox is described through the twin principles of ‘wu wei‘ and ‘de‘. Wu ...

More about Daoism below

Tao Te Ching Quotations and Sayings

Lao Tse about Conflict and Disorder

Enigmatic phrases from the Tao Te Ching

See also:

Bodhidharma on the twofold entrance to the Tao
There are many ways to enter the Path, but briefly speaking they are of two sorts only. The one is "Entrance by Reason" and the other "Entrance by Conduct".

Taoism and Tao Te Ching Introduction


The Tao Te Ching is fundamental to the Philosophical Taoism and strongly influenced other Chinese schools, such as Legalism and Neo-Confucianism. The ancient book is also central in Chinese religion, not only for Religious Taoism but in Chinese Buddhism as well.

According to tradition, the Tao Te Ching (or Dao De Djing) was written around the 6th century BC by the sage Laozi (or Lao Tzu, Lao Tse, "Old Master"), a record-keeper at the Zhou Dynasty court. In fact, in China the text is known by his name. Whoever wrote the text and when it was composed are issues scholars still debate.

Buddhism was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was introduced into China in the first Millennium. The Tao has become a large influence on Chinese art as Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread outside East Asia, aided by hundreds of translations into Western languages. In fact, it's been hailed as a universal best seller.

The Wade-Giles romanization, Tao Te Ching, dates back to early English transliterations in the late 19th century, and many people continue using it, especially for words and phrases that have become well-established in English. The pinyin romanization Daodejing originated in the late 20th century, and this transliteration is becoming increasingly popular, having been adopted as the official system by the Chinese government.

[Adapted from wikipedia]

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