Top 50+ Lao Tzu Quotes

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Lao Tzu, a legendary Chinese philosopher and writer were born between the 4th Century and 6th Century BC, with many believing him to be a contemporary of Confucious, but this is hotly contested. No matter the correct version, what is agreed is that he is an iconic figure in the culture of China, with many channelling his thoughts and writing in their anti-authoritarian movement.

Lao Tzu is viewed by many as the author of Tao Te Ching, an influential and valuable treatise on Chinese cosmogony. It describes Dao/Tao as the source and ideal for all existence and Lao Tzu explores these thoughts through using analogies, paradox and a collection of sayings.

He is referred to as the founder of Taoism, which is linked with the Tao Te Ching writing. By certain branches of Taoism, Lao Tzu is seen as one of the highest deities, along with the Three Pure Ones, whereas others view the Jade Emperor as the head deity.

With such mystery and debate around this influential figure in Chinese history, his quotes have taken on increased significance for many and no matter your reason for searching and reading them, take the time to reflect on their meaning to you and how they help you.

1. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

2. “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”

3. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

4. “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”

5. “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.”

6. “Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.”

7. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

8. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”

9. “If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

10. “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

11. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

12. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

13. “He who is contented is rich.”

14. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.”

15. “Love is a decision. Not an emotion.”

16. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

17. “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

18. “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.”

19. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”

20. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

21. “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

22. “A man with outward courage dares to die: a man with inner courage dares to live.”

23. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

24. “For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.”

25. “Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time,” is like saying, “I don’t want to.”

26. “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

27. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”

28. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”

29. “If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.”

30. “Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.”

31. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

32. “Silence is a source of great strength.”

33. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

34. “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

35. “The words of truth are always paradoxical”

36. “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

37. “If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.”

38. “If you want to know me look inside your heart.”

39. “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.”

40. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready… The teacher will Disappear.”

41. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

42. “All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.”

43. “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.”

44. “It is better to do one’s own duty, however defective it may be, than to follow the duty of another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature reveals it, never sins.”

45. “The best fighter is never angry.”

46. “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”

47. “Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.”

48. “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”

49. “Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear.”

50. “To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”

51. “If I had just a little bit of wisdom I should walk the great path and fear only straying from it.”

52. “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher. What is a bad man but a good man’s job.”

53. “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it”

54. “It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full.”

55. “The master dwells in the substantial and not in the superficial. Rests in the fruit and not in the flower.”

56. “The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don’t need him.”

57. “If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold.”

58. “When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.”

59. “The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.”

60. “Simplicity has no name is free of desires. Being free of desires it is tranquil. And the world will be at peace of it’s own accord.”

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