title: Tao Te Ching 16 - Returning to the Source is Serenity
Book - Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Stephen Mitchell Translation
Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.
Face and Accept Death
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Other translations I like
Attain complete emptiness, Hold fast to stillness.
The ten thousand things stir about; I only watch for their going back. Things grow and grow, But each goes back to its root.
Going back to the root is stillness. This means returning to what is. Returning to what is Means going back to the ordinary.
Understanding the ordinary: Enlightenment. Not understanding the ordinary: Blindness creates evil. Understanding the ordinary: Mind opens. Mind opening leads to compassion, Compassion to nobility, Nobility to heavenliness, Heavenliness to Tao.
Tao endures. Your body dies. There is no danger.
Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo
While the ten thousand things
arise in unison,
we recognize temporality.
Things flourish, each by each,
only to return to the source,
to what is and what is to be.
Knowing the cycle is understanding one’s own fate.
Becoming attuned to one’s own original nature
is eternal harmonious light.
leads to eternal disaster.
The all-embracing mind
through impartiality, nobility;
through nobility, heaven;
through heaven, realizes the Tao.
By Tao, the eternal.
The self perishes,
released from peril.