There are two approaches, or two views, you can even say two books, that sum up what I innately know; Tao Te Ching and I Am That, or you can say the views of Lao Tzu and Nisargadatta Maharaj. When I teach mediation, I reference them, or when I want to be reminded of what I know to be true, they both bring me to clarity and balance. They instantly answer any problem, any confusion, and any disharmony I could ever have. Even though one is from the 6th century BC, written by a sage — and the other is from the 1970s, written by a beedis (leaf-rolled cigarettes) shop keeper — they both speak similarly to the same unspeakable truth. They both communicated something beyond words in a way that is supreme.
Below I will list quotes by both Nisargadatta and Lao Tzu (also spelled Laozi and LaoTze). As you read the quotes, feel the finely balanced infinitesimal thread they dance upon. It’s the thread of complete surrender and unconditional love. To most of us, it’s the invisible thread that is rarely seen. The one we seem to trip over, in a clumsy manor on our worst days. Usually suffering, pain and death bring us the eyes to see what is always there. But anguish is not needed to be reminded of true wisdom. One only needs to see, and be reminded of what they already know, but have forgotten.
“To understand the limitation of things, desire them.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
“In order to let go of something, you must first know what it is.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
“All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well …desire by itself is not wrong. It is life itself, the urge to grow in knowledge and experience. It is choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing; food, sex, power, fame — will make you happy is to deceive oneself. Only something as vast and deep as your real Self can make you truly and lastingly happy.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
“It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
“You will receive everything you need when you stop asking for what you do not need.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
“You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj