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Quotes from the Tao Te Ching

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Tao Te Ching. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.

If you know of any good quotes from the Tao Te Ching that we are missing, please let us know.

Wikipedia Summary for Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching (UK: , US: ; simplified Chinese: 道德经; traditional Chinese: 道德經; pinyin: Dàodé Jīng [tâu tɤ̌ tɕíŋ]) is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi, also known as Lao Tzu or Lao-Tze. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC, but modern scholarship dates other parts of the text as having been written—or at least compiled—later than the earliest portions of the Zhuangzi.

The Tao Te Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Legalism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China. Many artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has spread widely outside East Asia and it is among the most translated works in world literature.

Quote: When spring comes the grass grows by itself. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

When spring comes the grass grows by itself.


Quote: Your conversations help create your world. Speak of delight, not dissatisfaction. Speak of hope, not despair. Let your words bind up wounds, not cause them. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

Your conversations help create your world. Speak of delight, not dissatisfaction. Speak of hope, not despair. Let your words bind up wounds, not cause them.


Quote: When the student is ready, the teacher appears. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.


Quote: The insignificant man makes demands of others, the significant man makes demands of himself. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

The insignificant man makes demands of others, the significant man makes demands of himself.


Quote: If you want to become straight, first let yourself become twisted. If you want to become full, first let yourself become empty. If you want to become new, first let yourself become old. Those who desires are few get them, those whose desires are great go astray. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

If you want to become straight, first let yourself become twisted. If you want to become full, first let yourself become empty. If you want to become new, first let yourself become old. Those who desires are few get them, those whose desires are great go astray.


Quote: Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.


Quote: When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. by author Tao Te Ching overlaid on photo of photo of author Tao Te Ching with quote

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


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