Verse Seven of Tao Te Ching

Verse Seven of the Tao Te Ching: Alignment with Giving, Gratefulness

Verse Seven of the Tao Te Ching reminds us of the nature of the Tao and encourages alignment with it. We can feel grace, freedom, and fulfillment when in this place.

Let’s take a look at Wayne Dyer’s interpretation:

“Heaven is eternal—the earth endures.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They do not live for themselves only.
This is the secret of their durability.

For this reason, the sage puts himself last
and so ends up ahead.
He stays a witness to life,
so he endures.

Serve the needs of others,
and all your own needs will be fulfilled.
Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.”

Let’s take a closer look at the lessons and messages in this text:

1. The nature of the Tao is endless, magnificent giving.

Dr. Dyer suggests:

“By extension, the original nature of life is everlasting and enduring. There is a quality that supports this durability, however, and that quality responds when we live from our Tao center, rather than from our worldly ego center.”

Everything we need is given to us, yet we often feel like we don’t have enough. Simple things come to mind. For instance, our earth generates endless harvests that nourish us. And we have air, water, forests, and oceans.

We’re blessed with others to experience life with.

Just shifting our perception from lack to seeing the natural abundance around us moves our energy in the right direction.

And when you think about it, it’s true! We’re supported by a magnificent energetic source that cares for us endlessly.

alignment with Tao Te Ching

2. Verse Seven of the Tao Te Ching reminds us that finding alignment with the Tao allows access to its inexhaustible power.

Dr. Dyer says:

“Generously thinking of and serving others will lead to matching your behaviors with the perpetual rhythm of the Tao—then its power will flow freely, leading to a fulfilling life.”

We’re more connected to the mysteriously abundant Tao when we’re in a state of serving others.

And serving others comes in many forms. Some include: thinking of others and wishing them well, giving a sincere compliment, forgiving others, seeking the best in them, offering help, small acts of kindness, and much more.

You can give of yourself in many ways to find alignment.

This may seem overwhelming. So many of us are just trying to stay above water ourselves.  But Lao Tsu suggests it’s counterintuitive. The more we give, the more power and energy flow through us.

3. Take this opportunity to step back and witness the endless demands of your ego.

I find this to be highly relatable, right? How often do you think about what you don’t have?

Let’s see… Not enough time, money, energy, space, and so on.

Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests that even just taking a step back to witness your never-ending thoughts moves you closer into alignment with the Tao.

It allows you to see that right here and right now, at this moment, you have everything you need.

And the only way to find fulfillment is to step backward and deeper into the witness. Because somewhere beyond our ceaseless minds, we know we’re part of something much bigger.

This knowing is key to fulfillment.

woman pausing in gratitude

4. Remain mindful of all the good in your life.

Dr. Dyer states:

“Stay appreciative of all you receive, knowing it flows from an all-providing Source.”

Although Dr. Dyer speaks more about actively serving others in his interpretation of this verse, a deeper awareness of gratitude also has the power to move us into this state.

Serving others and feelings of gratitude are two sides of the same coin. It’s challenging to serve if you feel your well is dry.

Last month, I watched the film Gratitude Revealed and summarized some of my favorite messages in a piece on the blog (you can find it here).

Gratefulness means recognizing the “great fullness” of life. This great fullness is ours because we connect to and are part of the inconceivably grand giving nature of the Tao.

Sometimes we lose our way and forget to notice the abundance everywhere! But when we can tap into this awareness, we’re aligned. And this alignment is our secret to well-being.

To practice the messages of Verse Seven of the Tao Te Ching, try this:

In the morning:

Jot down five small things you can do today for others. And write down three things you’re grateful for.

At the end of the day:

Name a time today when you resisted the temptation to react to your endlessly demanding ego. After the feeling passed, how did you feel? And what about your day are you grateful for right now?

Let me know what you think!

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