Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching; move like water

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching: Flow Freely, and Without Resistance

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching offers a guide to being one with the universal power of the Tao. Interestingly, it’s about aligning with the natural properties found in water.

Check it out!

First, here’s an excerpt from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer of Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life:

“The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It flows to low places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it is like the Tao.

Live in accordance with the nature of things.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
Stand by your word.
Govern with equity.
Be timely in choosing the right moment.

One who lives in accordance with nature
does not go against the way of things.
He moves in harmony with the present moment,
always knowing the truth of just what to do.”

water is naturally abundant

So, Lao Tzu compares the ‘supreme good’ to water, a universal force that nourishes and provides naturally.

“There is no ending to the inflow of abundance, it is like water ever flowing into your life.” – Abraham Hicks.

I love this analogy. And to top it off, we remember we, as humans, are comprised mainly of water. We’re born with this endless potential inside of us.

We know that there is an essence within us that is abundant in all ways. In the text above, Dr. Dyer reminds us of the almost magical properties of water as it changes form. It goes from ocean water to clouds, rain, and back to the ocean again. It is eternal, manifesting over and over again.

We also are powerful manifesters! And we forget our innate ability to attract and create meaningfully in our lives.

woman sitting next to water; move with the flow

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching encourages us to live in the flow.

You know when you’re moving in an effortless state, and everything seems to flow freely? When nothing seems to bother you, and you’re days move swiftly along with joy and ease?

Still, other days (most days if you’re like me!), you feel yourself resisting and frustrated by things you can’t control.

So often, we want to change people, situations, and circumstances when we have no control over them.

Instead, wouldn’t it be wonderful to flow like water?

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching encourages us to do just that.

When you try to go against the flow, you know what happens… Usually not a good outcome! Still, going with the flow feels unnatural. Maybe that’s because we’re wired to want things the way we want them!

And we base our state of being on external conditions.

Yet, living in the flow requires accepting things exactly as they are.

It means not changing your internal bandwidth in response to continually evolving external circumstances.

And this lesson reminds us that when we flow like water, we align with the peaceful, bountiful, and eternal abundance within.

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching: water is nonselective

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching reminds us that water is nonselective.

“Let your thoughts and behaviors move smoothly in accordance with the nature of all things. It is natural for you to be gentle, to allow others to be free to go where they’re inclined to go, and to be as they need to be without interference from you.”

It’s straightforward to see how water is nonselective.

Water rains on everyone and everything equally. It fills every cup on the ground without preference. And it flows to the lowest levels and rises uniformly.

This is another profound lesson from Verse Eight.

We’re encouraged to treat everything and everyone as water does. To see all people as equal and to exude kindness equally to all.

To live in alignment with this almighty force, we need to embrace this powerfully indiscriminate quality.

In Summary:

Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching offers another tangible, relatable tool to align us with Tao.

Water can be our muse. When we can experience the inherent abundance and non-selectivity and choose to move with the flow, we tap into a powerful state of being.

So, which of these three facets is most challenging for you?

Which comes more easily to you?

I find it hardest to go with the flow. But when I do, I recognize the benefits of doing so immediately. I hope to become more aligned with the flow in 2023 and plan to practice daily this month.

Ideas to help you practice Verse Eight of the Tao Te Ching:

At the end of the day:

Ask yourself if you accessed feelings of inner abundance throughout the day.

Next, consider when you consciously decided to go with the flow instead of resisting things as they are.

And when were you nonselective in performing tasks and treating people with kindness and respect?

Let’s try working on this together!

I’ll be back with Verse Nine next month.

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