Category Archives: Sovereignty


From Section Two – A Book Of Tao Virtues


There are more fake guides, teachers in the world than stars. The real guide is the one who makes you see your inner beauty, not the one who wants to be admired and followed.

~ Shams Tabrizi1

The core of Sovereignty is truth. To be honest is to be truthful and to understand the underlying reality of your life. Truth is a key component for the person cultivating Sovereignty. Honesty is embracing truth and being free of deceit. For most of us, this is a work in progress, especially when it comes to self-honesty and how we deal with the problems in our life.

Self Honesty

Cultivating the Tao must include self-honesty. Realization that you are a spiritual being happens when you recognize that there is a part of you that avoids the truth of how things are. The ego-self can get you into trouble when it has complete control of your life. When mistakes are made, the ego is slow to admit fault because that is its nature. Yet, to develop wisdom, you must be able to admit the truth of what went wrong and make better choices. This cultivation begins with self-honesty. The virtue of honesty begins with being true to yourself. Self-honesty is a spiritual virtue that is the true-self is grounded in. The sovereign is one who has made this realization and controls the self-deception of the ego.

Integrity and Trust

Integrity, a complement of self-honesty, has two side that have relevance. Integrity plays an important role in healthy strong relationships. Without being true to yourself and others, integrity does not have a chance to grow. With integrity, trust can be built as part of the foundation for cooperation and good relationships. The sovereignty is careful to nurture relationships, friendship and teamwork by being honest and developing trust and integrity.

Honesty and Intentions

Your intentions become your actions. So it is important for you to be mindful of what your intentions are sourced from. An over simplified perspective would begin with discerning whether your intention is coming from the true-self or the ego-self. Is the rising intention sourced from virtue or desire? The answer to this requires self-honesty. When you are sovereign and in control over the ego, you will see quickly its trickery. This admission is self-honesty. Self-deception occurs when the ego is captivated by illusion. Rather than face the truth, it will deceive itself so it can justify its actions which almost always self-serving. The true-self, your spiritual core, recognizes the illusion and dispels it with being honest and then setting a virtuous intention. Others who are the recipients of your will recognize your honesty and will trust you as having integrity. This is the basis of true friendship and your word will have great merit.

Honesty, Karma and Mystic Virtue

There are several more considerations regarding the sovereign’s cultivation of honesty and truth. There is the principle of karma. Consider honesty and truth on a spectrum with deceit and cunningness. If you look at it as a vertical scale, honesty and truth would be at the top and dishonesty and deceit at the bottom. Moment by moment the average person will move up and down the scale depending on how they are reacting to life. Over the course of time, your level of honesty will result in the well-being you are experiencing right now. As discussed earlier in the chapter on karma, you learned that your views and actions are like seeds that get planted. These seeds or actions will mature and be realized in some future now. So if you are planting seeds of honesty, truth, and virtue, the result later down your path will one of harmony. If you are planting seeds of dishonesty, deceit, beguiling, and trickery to take advantage of others, the result will be the same. So in this sense, honesty and truth are just a more practical strategy of keeping life simple and filled with a sense of success and well-being.

This  principle is present several times in the Tao Te Ching. In this chapter see the concept of governing is a metaphor for you as the manager of your life which is referred to as the “state”. This is a key concept of sovereignty, being the sovereign ruler of your life.

Those of ancient times who were adept at the Tao

Used it not to make people brighter

But to keep them simple

The difficulty in governing people

Is due to their excessive cleverness

Therefore, using cleverness to govern the state

Is being a thief of the state

Not using cleverness to govern the state

Is being a blessing of the state

Know that these two are both standards

Always knowing these standards

Is called Mystic Virtue

Mystic Virtue is profound, so far-reaching

It goes opposite to material things

Then it reaches great congruence

Chapter 65 Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu tells us that knowing the “two [states: being a thief or being a blessing] Mystic Virtue “is profound, so far-reaching”. With regard to honesty and the simple truth as a means ruling your life and your personal interaction with others, Mystic Virtue is the karma result that will result down the path. The wisdom is to use honesty, truth, and simplicity in your actions. To benefit from Mystic Virtue in the best possible way is be mindful your mindset and choices with how you manage and govern your life.

There are two two important strategies to use to govern your life effectively.

  1. Be honest and keep things simple in your dealings
  2. Be aware of beguilement, trickery, cleverness and complexity from others.

This is not only managing your own ego and its tricks but to recognize the complexity and cleverness of others and their ego traits.

How have you been doing so far? To see the answer, you must be honest in your discerning of how your life is going. Here are some questions that can ask yourself to see where whether you are the “cunning thief” or a “blessing”.

Does it seem like the world if full of lies and deceit?

Are you constantly being ripped off?

Is your life overly complicated?

Do you feel like honest people always finish last?

Do you take advantage of people who seem less smart

Do you get a kick out of tricking children?

Are most people less clever than you are?

Do you pride yourself in being able to use your cleverness to take advantage of situations?

This is just a few to ask yourself. As the same time, you can consider how others you know may answer these.

Your Relationship With Need.

You can begin to see the complementary relationship between honesty and simplicity. You should reflect on times in your life when you feel a sense of need. There are basic needs that we all require to be met. But then there is a sense of need that rises up when life gets complicated. Complications in life create stress. Stress will generate a sense of needing relief and a means of coping. The more complex a situation is, the more complicated it becomes. The more complicated it is the more attention and energy it consumes. If you use the metaphor of juggling to view your life and all its complications, you can see how at some point, inevitably you will become tired and drop a ball or two.

Another good example is when we are not truthful (lying to yourself) with our self and others. The more complex the lie, the more complicated it is to maintain the illusion that we have created. The karma result can be very negative.

If you can cultivate mindfulness of need, this can be a barometer of whether you are keeping things in your life simple or too complicated. You will be able to realize how stressful and needy you are and implement virtue and wisdom by being honest, accepting and implementing a virtuous action.

Hopefully, you can see how important being self-honest and truthful with yourself and others is an important virtue in cultivating sovereignty. You will know that you are improving by how mystic virtue rewards you realize how loved you are. You will know that you are making progress when you realize how much better you feel when things are simple and you don’t need a lot to be happy and content. Remember what Lao Tzu said

Mystic Virtue is profound, so far-reaching,

It goes opposite to material things

Then it reaches great congruence[harmony]”

1 Source: unknown

In Times Like These…

morning-after-sunriseOpportunity within Catastrophe

This picture was taken a few days ago on Wednesday morning, the day the presidential election results were revealed. I use it to represent that as Tao cultivators we remain present and holding constancy. The beauty of life on our planet should not be lost in the distraction of social politics. This sunrise is the Tao in its ever-changing state and  its beauty is not effected by our emotional reactions to life as it is.

Like many of you, my candidate did not win. As a Tao cultivator, I turn to my training to maintain constancy (unity with the Tao ).

In the words of Zhuang Zhou (Chung Tzu) “the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing; it receives but does not keep.”

There are myriad of opportunities to practice the Tao teachings and personal growth in this situation. We can choose how we react and formulate a way forward. Here are just a few that come to mind.


…Not knowing constancy, one recklessly cause trouble

Knowing constancy is acceptance

Acceptance is impartiality

Impartiality is Sovereign

Sovereign is Heaven

Heaven is Tao

Tao is eternal

The Self is no more, without danger”

Excerpt from Chapter 16

You may not accept the candidate but you must accept that it happened. In the words of Eckhart Tolle, “it is what it is”. Not accepting the reality of the election is just going to generate unnecessary stress. You can avoid distraction and focus your efforts on a solution.

Be Like Water

the great Tao is like a flood

it can flow to the left or the right”

Excerpt from Chapter 34

This non-acceptance can become an obstacle in your path. If you resist and deny it, you become lodged against it, much like a log against a large rock in a river. By accepting that it happened, you can be like water and flow around it, moving towards a solution. Don’t let your ego get hung up with resentment or denial of what has happened.

Be Flexible and Yielding

Yield and remain whole

Bend and remain straight”

Excerpt from Chapter 22

Resistance to the reality is to become rigid in your perspective. This attitude can influence how you are viewing life, and most importantly the quality of your life in this moment. By yielding to the truth, you will weather the storm. By being able to bend, like a willow in the wind, you will return to being straight. By accepting and allowing what is, you will endure. This sunrise picture is a reminder to not any external issue take away the beauty in your life. Don’t let any politician take away your power.

On the other side of the coin, your candidate may have won. A Tao cultivator will remember the three treasure and act accordingly. Humility, Conservation, and Compassion are victorious guides to employ when you realize someone on your path is suffering because your side won. Remember Karma, “the great executioner” does not play favorites.

These are just a few of the many opportunities to be found in this political season for spiritual growth. These are opportunities to learn and develop strength and wisdom. Like water, flow around the obstacle and don’t get hung up in a self-induced misery. This too will pass.

Life, A Sacred Journey


…”I’ve heard of those who are good at cultivating life
Traveling on the road, they do not encounter rhinos or tigers
Entering into an army, they are not harmed by weapons
Rhinos have nowhere to thrust their horns
Tigers have nowhere to clasp their claws
Soldiers have nowhere to lodge their blades
Why? Because they have no place for death”

Excerpt from Chapter 50, Tao Te Ching

Life is Sacred.

Life is a sacred journey.

It is a journey of experience.

It is a spiritual journey.

Life is experiencing.

We humans believe ourselves to be the highest order of intelligent life on this planet. Yet we are arguably the most distracted species when it comes to being alive and experiencing life. Here in the United States, I have observed our society become seduced into mental addictions that set a deep conditioning for long-term distraction. To sit mesmerized for hours on end with the mind absorbed into non-reality diverts and captivates your attention. Your attention becomes so immersed in illusion, that you can lose touch with reality. In this exclusionary state, you become disconnected from the real world. This is a disconnection with life and experiencing. Distraction is a reduction in the life experience. Experiencing life is a continuous journey, step by step, day by day. Through experience and learning, we can transcend the distracted life and live our true life.

A Moment of Truth

Take a moment. Can you remember how precious life is? When someone we love is taken from us, we remember in a primal way just how precious life is. In those moments we reach for a spiritual connection to help us keep on living. In these moments of truth, we wake up and realize where we are and what is happening. Sometimes it is painful, other times it can be a moment of bliss. Awareness is the conscious connection to life and experiencing. Life is a precious journey.

Not only is life precious, it is not as ordinary as the ego would have you believe. Any time you sense yourself judging something as ordinary, realize that this is the ego’s influence on your state of mind.

Here is an example.

Stop what you are doing and close your eyes. In your mind, look for a memory where you had a moment of truth. It may have been some big news, a discovery of profound meaning. Possibly it is bad news about a health condition or the loss of a loved one or friend. If you have witnessed the birth of a child time seems to stop. Any big moment where time slowed way down and your life came to a halt. When you are in a moment and fully experiencing the flow of reality around you, Life is anything but ordinary. It is the ego and its insatiable desire that finds life mundane. You must rise above this distracted state.

It is time for a self-awareness check. How distracted from life are you?

  • How many hours a day do you spend on social media?
  • How many hours a day do you spend watching TV
  • When was the last time you sat still and did nothing but observe a sunrise or sunset?
  • When was the last time you sat across from someone you love and looked into their eyes?
  • When was the last time you were consciously aware of each bite, each taste, of a meal?
  • When was the last time you gazed up at the clouds and sky and noticed what a beautiful day it is?

And the really big question: “When was the last time you stopped and realized how good it is to be alive?”

Life is a sacred experience. It is why we are all here. So wake up and pay attention to just how extra-ordinary it is.




Chapter 59 Tao Te Ching

In governing people and serving Heaven
There is nothing like conservation
Only with conservation is it called submitting early
Submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues
Accumulating virtue means there is nothing one cannot overcome
When there is nothing that one cannot overcome
One’s limits are unknown
The limitations being unknown, one can possess sovereignty
With this mother principle of power, one can be everlasting
This is called deep roots and firm foundation
The Tao of longevity and lasting vision

Volume Two of The Dixie Taoist Handbook is underway. The topic is Sovereignty.

At the heart of Tao cultivation is the high virtue of Sovereignty. It is described above as the mother principle of power. And with it you can be everlasting. Sovereignty is the foundation for well-being and a long life.

It is with Sovereignty that you are able to find and follow your true path. Volume Two will define Sovereignty and give you step by step instructions on how to develop the deep roots and firm foundation.

The Tao or “The Way” is the a path of discovering insights about who you are and cultivating virtues. Discovering the way, your true path, is cultivated through self-awareness and mindfulness. This awakened consciousness is the true self.

Following the path is a step by step or moment by moment choice. Awake and self-aware, you are careful in with the direction your steps take you. Awake and present you are able to manage the ego and its distractions and illusions. In those moments you are no longer controlled by the ego, you are ruler of your kingdom (your life). This ruler or sovereign is the true self. The true self uses experience, wisdom, and virtue to choose the next step along the true path.

This awakening process is the subject of Volume One of the The Dixie Taoist Handbook. It is a what it is and how to do it handbook. Volume Two gives instructions on how to folllow the path once you are self-realized and mindful of choices. Choices plant the seeds for the future.

Life and reality are always changing. You cannot control everything that happens to you however you can control how you respond to life as it happens. When you are sovereign, you, the awakened and wise you, becomes the ruler over your destiny.

As I did before, I will be sharing some of the raw manuscript through the blog. I hope you will find the information useful.

Sam Beasley
The Dixie Taoist

Chapter Twelve – Emptiness As The Source (an excerpt)

My editor liked this chapter and put a smiley face by the following paragraph. I hope you find it useful.


… You can begin to understand and appreciate emptiness when you realize that it is a necessary component for benefiting from the physical aspect of nature. Whereas you use material objects in your world of form, its functionality can only be created in the space for which it operates. In this way you can realize that importance of the space (emptiness) provided in the wheel hub so that the axle can slide into and turn. Thus the vehicle becomes functional with the turning and connection of the wheel with the axle. When you enjoy your next cup of tea or coffee, consider how the container you drink from can only hold the liquid in the space created by the sides of the container. It is the emptiness in the cup that makes room for the tea or coffee. Functionality is one thing, realizing emptiness as a source is at a deeper level. You may as well start with the cosmos which began with the big bang or so it is theorized. Just before the big bang, there was nothing but emptiness, then “BANG” the universe is unfolding. From emptiness came everything that we know… To attain the Tao, you must become empty from the control of the ego and its incessant thinking and pursuit of sensation seeking and distraction. In this way, the emptiness gives function as spirit. In spirit one aligns with source.

From Section Two, Chapter Twelve, Emptiness As The Source.

Guided Meditation – Regulating The Mind

This might be a useful meditation for beginners who are suffering from stress. This meditation is a mindfulness of thinking meditation to help quiet the mind and relax the body. With continued practice, the Tao cultivator can regulate the emotional mind, the moods, emotional states,and reaction. In the beginning, we must learn to transcend the thinking mind and the ego and find the true self within stillness. I sinerely hope that this guided meditation can help in some way for you to find mental peace. It is a bundle that is both an downloadable mp3 audio and a pdf outline that was followed during the meditation. You may have to download a mp3 player for some smart phones and tablets.

Regulating The Mind – mindfulness of thinking, guided meditation  we are in a beta trial so you can listen for no charge by adding    beta     in the coupon code box. Otherwise the fee is $1.50. If you wish to donate $1.50  to the program, just leave the coupon blank and fill out the credit card info.

Thank You





From the upcoming book: “Sovereignty – Mother Principle of Power
Chapter 1

In governing people and serving Heaven

There is nothing like conservation

Only with conservation is it called submitting early

Submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues

Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot overcome

When there is nothing that one cannot overcome

One’s limits are unknown

The limitations being unknown, one can possess sovereignty

With this mother principle of power, one can be everlasting

This is called deep roots and firm foundation

The Tao of longevity and lasting vision

Chapter 59, Tao Te Ching

What Is Sovereignty?

The word Sovereign can be defined as one who is the supreme authority or ruler over some kind of domain. You can think of it as being the ruler of a country like a President, a Prime Minister, a King or a Queen. Sometimes these supreme rulers are great leaders, and sometimes they are hated as a wicked despot. Sometimes they are a great success and are loved by the people. History remembers them as a benevolent and wise leader. Popular quotations of their words are memorialized as common sayings. And then you can look back through history and see where the supreme rulers have created catastrophe and suffering. These types of rulers have left devastation and remembered as examples of humanity’s dark side.

Now for a moment think of yourself as a supreme ruler and the domain you rule over is your life and the people you interact with and the challenges everyone experiences. As the ruler over your life, how is it going? As the president of your life, your choices and decisions play a big role in both the present moment and your future. The seeds of the future, your destiny, are planted in the present moment. The present moment you are experiencing now began in your past. As the top decision maker what kind of life have you created?

This book is about how to be a successful and effective ruler through the conscious cultivation of sovereignty.

Sovereignty is more than just a term, it is a state of being. It is a being self-aware and mindful of how you perceive reality along with wise choices and right actions1. It is a management system implemented in a state of self-awareness. This self-awareness is an awakened state as a spiritual being managing and experiencing life. Sovereignty is a perpetual state of self-discipline through self-awareness.

Sovereignty is discipline over the ego sense of self or the ego identity. Sovereignty is actualized through the choices while being in the highest state of consciousness which is “self-awareness”. Self-awareness is the realization that you are a spiritual being and you experiencing life in a physical plain.

This state of being transcends identity and is much more than just your thoughts and the mind. You are the consciousness that has the moment by moment experience as a physical being. This detached state of being is sometimes referred to as the silent witness or the observer. I have observed Taoist refer to this transcended self as “true self.”

Why Sovereignty?

Continuing with Chapter 59…

With this mother principle of power [sovereignty], one can be everlasting

This called deep roots and firm foundation

The Tao of longevity and lasting vision.

Some key words to note here are everlasting, longevity and lasting vision. Sovereignty is the mother principle of power which gives you endurance to experience not only a long physical life so that you can evolve spiritually (enlightenment.) Sovereignty is the constancy of spirit. Sovereignty is being. Sovereignty is the Tao (the way) of longevity and lasting vision. And this is why you should cultivate

Sovereignty as if your life depended on it. Because guess what, it does. Sovereignty is being the ruler over emotional, desire seeking ego so that you can attain the Tao.

Section one are Tao principles that are just some of the insights into the great mystery of how the universe seems to work. “The universe” is a good description for what Lao Tzu refers to as “the myriad of things.” Everything that was created since the big bang.

Section Two is a short list of Tao virtues. Virtues are high moral and ethical standards that keep the Tao cultivator in unity with the Tao.

Section Three contains a list of strategies to help you cultivate sovereignty using the principles and virtues of the Tao (the way). These are spiritual strategies that are both practical and powerful if worked on through real life experience.

Consider these words again:

Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot overcome

When there is nothing that one cannot overcome

One’s limits are unknown

This is an ancient wisdom on how to be an unlimited being. Only through the willpower and self-discipline as the sovereign can you transform your life. Cultivating Sovereignty is a life-long commitment of mindfully attending to your path. This book is a collection of just some of the Tao Strategies for cultivating Sovereignty that I have experienced and gained some effective insights. I sincerely believe that they will benefit you as much as they have helped me.

1“right action” is an important term in both Buddhism and Taoist teachings. In Taoism it is a central part of several Tao principles such as Karma, Wu Wei and Mystic Virtue.



Chapter 65

Those of ancient times who were adept at the Tao
Used it not make people brighter
But to keep them simple
The difficulty in governing people
Is due to their deceptiveness

Therefore using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a thief of the state
Not using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a blessing of the state?

Know that these two are both standards
Always knowing these standards
Is called Mystic Virtue
Mystic Virtue is so profound, so far reaching
It goes opposite of material things
Then it teaches great congruence

There is an old saying that goes something like “the devil is in the details”.
When the ego mind is at work it strives. In striving, ego always sets up as many incoming vectors of self serving as possible. In a given situation, it believes that the more complex something is the more elegant. It strives to create confusion so that those it would manipulate are not aware of its true intention. Ego loves tricky, clever misdirection so that it can act in deceitful ways to manipulate and take advantage of the those around them.

An example can be found in this when engaged with sales people who go to great lengths to create confusion and employ cleverness to get the sale. They can be found in every industry where hard work and honesty are dropped in favor of clever wording and psychological parlor trick manipulate people into giving up their money.

We even do this to ourselves. When ego is allowed to run freely as the creator of our path, it can be so very clever in justifying the self gratifying poor choices that get us into so much trouble. Sometimes our striving can become so complex that we believe our own tricks and deceive ourselves. While living within ego our cleverness can get us into serious trouble.

Ego living for the pursuit of desire fulfillment creates problems from poor choices. Ego thinking that it can buy happiness through the purchase of material items, will soon run out of money because there is just not enough stuff to ever find that feeling of fulfillment. When the money runs out, it seeks more, often in the form of credit cards. Soon the ego is feeling clever at how well it can ‘rob Peter to pay Paul”. It will set up what it thinks are clever schemes to shuffle money around, even feeling proud of how tricky and complex their system is. Yet, it cannot last and one day the house of cards collapses. The mess they create they can create can be so complex that it is impossible to sort out and come up with a viable solution. Thus ego creates situations that are too complex and impossible to solve.

The Tao cultivator learns to keep things simple and to follow those who seek simplicity and straightforward demeanor over cleverness. Importantly they also recognise the tricks of cleverness in others and learn to not fall into the traps that clever egos set up. In this balanced way the the Tao cultivator can experience the grace of mystic virtue. Staying away from trouble keeps them on the path. When trouble is at hand, they use simple straightforward steps to go beyond the problems areas of life because they are not overburdened with complexity and detail.

The self aware person is mindful and present. They pay attention to the choices at hand and carefully choose the way of simplicity. By managing their own ego, they are able to discern the cleverness of other egos and steer away from trouble. In this way they do not take upon themselves the distractions that lead to suffering and misery.



chapter 73

The bold in daring will be killed

The bold in not daring will survive


Of these two, one may benefit, the other may harm

The one hated by heaven? – who knows the reason?

Even the sages still find this difficult


The Tao of Heaven

Does not contend and yet excels in winning

Does not speak and yet excels in responding

Is not summoned and yet comes on its own

Is unhurried and yet excels in planning

The heavenly net is vast

Loose, and yet does not let anything slip through


In the chapter on Wu Wei, we learned the meaning of action without striving. It becomes relevant to understand the nature of striving and how the Tao of success follows a different approach. One meaning of to strive is to work vigorously towards some goal. Or it can mean to struggle or contend in an effort to gain or achieve some result. For many people this is just the only way known to realize accomplishment or achievement.

Working against the natural order of change creates friction. Moving against the flow of underlying reality is contentious. The ego is contending that the external conditions along the path should not change and refuses to change with the situation. Going against the current of life creates friction and strive. The ego is belligerent and clings to its agenda in a bullish sense of pushing through obstacles. Even when common sense or instinct would guide one to use caution and consider alternative, the ego swells with pride and daring and tosses away wisdom as if it were a hindrance. In Chapter 13 we can read


“Favor and disgrace make one fearful

The greatest misfortune is the self (ego)

What does “favor and disgrace make one fearful” mean?

Favor is high and disgrace is low

Having it makes one fearful

Losing it makes one fearful

This is “favor and disgrace make one fearful”


This seeking favor and becoming fearful of disgrace will cause the person realize misfortune. This sets up the ego for striving. Because ego is fearful it contends with life and strives to avoid at all costs the loss of face, to look bad. Following this course of striving leads to resistance to the flow of life. The striving creates stress and tension.


Another root of striving is found in stubborness. This ego trait should not be confused with resoluteness. Stubbornness is ego refusing to consider any alternative because it must be seen as being “right”. Ego will not change course, change its mind, or consider alternatives because it fears being seen as “wrong”. This is a classic setup for striving. Not being will to change even when it makes sense, is being stubborn. Stubbornness leads to striving.


Tao cultivators achieve successful results without striving because like water they flow around obstacles. They find alternative when life changes around them. Tao cultivators pay attention to ego and let go of feelings of needing to refuse help or ideas from others. Tao cultivators do not fall victim to the need to “hurry up” when things change, they merge with the rhythm of the underlying reality, and the flow of life.


It is very easy to get caught up in the ignorant whims of ego. It requires the practice of mindfulness or paying attention to what we are thinking, feeling and “doing”. Being in a state of distraction, one is captivated by the desires and feelings typical of ego behavior. We must practice self awareness so that we do not get mired down and become lost from our path. This is not necessarily easy to do yet with practice we can learn to realize when we are striving and to return to the Tao.


From an energy standpoint, stiving is a very inefficient use of resources. The resistance created in striving, in going against the flow, creates stress. In chapter 6 we are informed that the Tao  “flows continuously and is barely perceptible”.


In distraction we are ignorant of the flow and cannot perceive it.  So at the end of a day of striving we feel exhausted. We have used all of our energy up in pushing through life and its perceived obstacles rather than moving around them. In chapter 76 we are informed that it is more efficient to be yielding and flexible. In chapter 8 we can begin to see that “goodness resembles water, water benefits myriad of things without contention, it stays in the places that people dislike”. This place that people dislike is humility, and that aspect of people that cannot abide humility is ego. In humility we can let go of ego traits that cause resistance.


In chapter 22 the Tao Te Ching further tells us that in yielding there is strength. Yielding is the opposite of striving.  “Yield and remain whole, bend and remain straight”. When we refuse to yield to life as it happens, we wear ourselves down and become depleted. Constant striving against the flow will bend us over with an unsustainable pressure. When we quit the stubborn and clinging behavior behavior we begin to unify with the source again. Humble we become “low and become filled”, letting go of ego “we might be “worn out and become renewed. Striving is the refusal of becoming humble, yielding, and become like water, flowing and seeking the low places.


Balance and harmony Striving is the action that leads us away from balance and harmony. Chapter 46 states: “the satisfaction of content is the lasting satisfaction”. Striving is the pursuit of ego agenda. Wu Wei is the action without striving which brings about balance and harmony. Opposite of striving is allowing, bending, being flexible and open to other perspectives.


When we encounter the inevitable changes along the path, the ego will define these changes as “problems”. Sometimes the problems may seem insurmountable. If we allow emotion and ego to dominate we will be able to hear the subtle nuding of the Tao in the form of hope. In hope we can find courage. With courage we can let go of ego and seek guidance of the eternal source. When we are unified with the underlying reality we are once again moving with the flow of life and most importantly we are not striving. Move with the Tao, resistance begins to fade away, It is in these moments that hope turns into inspiration. That is we move from ego into spirit,and follow our spiritual true guidance. This is the path of the true self.