Lao-Zi’s Teaching on Spiritual Tranquility
The Great Path is invisible,
but it gives birth to heaven and earth.
The Great Path is impassive, but it moves moon and stars.
The Great Path is anonymous, but it nurtures all.
I don't know its name, so inadequately I named it the “Path”.
The Path is sometimes pure and sometimes turbid,
sometimes active and sometimes calm; heaven is pure and earth is turbid,
heaven is active and earth is calm; male is pure and female is turbid,
male is active and female is calm.
Birth to death cycles, give birth to all.
Purity is the source of turbidity,
activeness is the base of calmness.
If people can always be in the state of
purity and calmness, heaven and earth will become one with them.
One’s soul wants to be pure, but one’s mind disturbs it;
one’s mind wants to be calm, but one’s desires tether it.
Eliminating one’s desires, one’s mind will be calm;
clearing one’s mind, one’s soul will become pure;
naturally the desires from the six senses (
sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and feel) will stop emerging,
and the three spiritual poisons (greed, anger, and infatuation) will
The reason one is unable to reach this state,
is merely because the mind is not cleared, and desires not eliminated.
For those able to eliminate their desires,
when they look into their minds, there is nothing;
when they look at their form from the outside, they see nothing;
when they look at other things from afar, there is nothing to see;
as these three exist no more, there is only emptiness.
Emptying out even the thought of emptiness,
until there is nothing more to empty out;
as emptiness is eliminated, the effort to eliminate emptiness is also eliminated;
as such effort exist no more, there is pure tranquility and perpetual stillness;
nothing stiller than such stillness,
how can desire emerge? As desire cannot emerge,
that is real calmness. Using one’s true being to face life’s encounters,
one realizes the truth, always remain calm in every encounter,
one achieves the state of purity and calmness with such purity and calmness,
one gradually enters into the true Path.
As one has entered into the true Path,
it’s called “Path acquired”. Although it’s called “Path acquired”,
in reality nothing has been acquired.
It’s called “Path acquired” just so that it is
easier for common people to understand.
Those who are enlightened, may pass on the
knowledge of the Sacred Path.
Highly virtuous people do not vie,
not so virtuous people like to vie.
Highly virtuous people do not see their virtuous actions as being virtuous,
not so virtuous people advertise their virtuous actions.
Those who insist in their own ways,
do not understand ThePath and its application.
The reason common, people cannot find the true Path,
is because their minds are full of fantasies.
As the mind is full of fantasies, the soul is disturbed;
as the soul is disturbed, worldly temptations clung on;
as worldly temptations clung on, greed emerges;
as greed emerges, there comes the worries.
Worries and fantasies, agonizing the body and mind,
tarnishing the soul, leading one to wander within cycles of life and death,
and sink into an ocean of misery, losing sight of the true Path forever.
The true Path can only be realized by the enlightened ones,
those who have achieved enlightenment,
will always be in the state of purity and calmness.