Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the constant changes happening around you? Does it sometimes feel challenging to find your footing? Well, you know what they say: Change is the one thing we can always count on, whether we’re prepared for it or not. Fortunately, we have the wisdom from Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching to guide us along the way!
Let’s dive deeper and explore its profound teachings:
What is the message of the Tao Te Ching Chapter 16?
I want to start by sharing Dr. Wayne Dyer’s interpretation of the verse here:
“Become totally empty.
Let your heart be at peace.
Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings,
observe how endings become beginnings.
Things flourish, each by each,
only to return to the Source . . .
to what is and what is to be.
To return to the root is to find peace.
To find peace is to fulfill one’s destiny.
To fulfill one’s destiny is to be constant.
To know the constant is called insight.
Not knowing this cycle
leads to eternal disaster.
Knowing the constant gives perspective.
This perspective is impartial.
Impartiality is the highest nobility;
the highest nobility is Divine.
Being Divine, you will be at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao is eternal.”
There are so many messages incorporated into this verse. I want to break it down carefully in order to absorb the teaching to the greatest extent possible.
Reasons you need to know about Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching:
Embracing the lessons of this verse can help in so many ways. The messages are timeless and can serve as a foundation for everyday life.
There is so much to gain from this wisdom! Some include:
- Feeling a deep sense of contentment as you move through your day.
- Having a newfound perspective on endings versus beginnings. See the continuum.
- Grasping an understanding of the indwelling peace that rests within.
- Get off the hamster wheel. Recognize the ultimate goal is discovering inner peace.
- Find comfort in knowing that ‘this too shall pass.’
The steps below will provide more practical steps to aid in embracing the wisdom of Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching.
Step-by-step instructions to embrace the teaching of Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching:
My process involves adding small reminders to your days. These are easy to implement and can yield great results.
I summarize the key takeaways from this verse and offer practical suggestions for bringing them into your day.
The strategies include:
- Cultivating a healthy sense of detachment.
- See beginnings and endings through a new perspective.
- Glimpse the peace within the source of all.
- Recognize the attainment of peace as your ultimate destiny.
- Find comfort in knowing that this, too, shall pass.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these exquisite nuggets of wisdom.
Focus on cultivating a healthy sense of detachment.
Detachment is a polarizing term. It may be perceived as harsh or uncaring. But it actually can be a profound act of love – for yourself and for those around you.
Detachment means allowing people, situations, etc., to be exactly as they are, all while gracefully removing ourselves from the situation.
One powerful tool to practice detachment is through meditation. By meditating, we can stop reacting to our thoughts and feelings, while achieving a greater state of peace within.
Imagine how many stressful and painful situations could have been avoided if we could detach in a healthy way!
And click here if you want to explore my favorite meditations to help you along the way.
Witness how the endings become beginnings: Gain a new perspective.
Don’t we all struggle with endings? We’re programmed to cling to the familiar and resist change. It’s hard to let go, whether it’s a divorce, sending a child off to college, or even just dreading the end of summer.
But instead of letting sadness consume us, let’s tap into the power of chapter 16. Look beyond the surface and find a new beginning within the story.
Let’s take sending a child off to college as an example. It may be an emotional rollercoaster, but you’ll soon feel a fresh connection forming. And who knows? It might just be happier, and more fulfilling than what you’ve had before.
Discover the beauty of embracing change and moving forward.
Recognize the peace that resides deeply within this unknown source of all.
Life is a never-ending series of changes. As time goes on, we realize there is no escaping the impermanence of things. Jobs come and go; friends drift in and out of our lives.
Another way to find peace amid change is to develop a spiritual practice.
How else can we experience this peace Lao Tzu describes?
I’m guessing this answer varies tremendously with every person. My friend Emily feels this sense of peace while hiking in the woods, surrounded by trees and nature.
Another friend chases wildly daring activities like skydiving because she finds a few seconds of peace while being completely lost in the experience.
Finding inner peace is our ultimate destiny.
We’re constantly bombarded with expectations and goals in today’s fast-paced world. We’re told that success lies in accomplishing specific tasks and ticking off boxes. But what if there’s more to our destiny than tangible achievements?
According to the wise words of Lao Tzu, the key to fulfillment lies in a different, more profound place. It’s all about finding peace within ourselves.
Imagine a life where our decisions are driven by our authentic selves, in tune with our deepest desires. By tapping into this inner tranquility, we can unleash our true potential and make choices that align with our unique nature.
“Write these words and post them in a conspicuous place in your living environment: This too shall pass.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
We get locked into situations, agonizing sometimes. But we can choose to see everything as temporary. What a relief!
No matter what is happening in your world, know it will pass.
Key considerations for successfully embracing the wisdom of Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching:
The concepts in the Tao Te Ching Chapter 16 are challenging to grasp.
The key to implementing this eternal wisdom is to take baby steps by adding little bits and pieces to your day.
So, looking at all the steps above, which moved you the most? Practice working with that step for a week or a month and see how you feel.
Wrapping up and my experience with incorporating Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching:
In earlier chapter summaries, I mentioned that the Tao Te Ching has been an unexpectedly powerful source of comfort for me. I also found that I sometimes achieved amazing results when practicing the lessons.
When I think of the law of attraction and vision board/ manifesting/etc., the Tao offers that mystical step of letting go and allowing.
I’ve only had the courage to ‘allow’ because I was learning about the Tao and the magic of this ever-present, ever-powerful source.
In practical ways, I directly experienced the teaching of chapter 16 when I went through a challenging time with my then-teenaged daughter. During this time, I found myself grasping and struggling to resist what was happening before my eyes.
Only after the entire experience shifted and everything fell into place could I see the wisdom playing out. Everything was happening exactly as it needed to, and perceived endings were new beginnings in disguise.
So, what do you think? Are you going to practice incorporating the teachings of the Tao Te Ching? Join me on this magical journey today!