Tao Te Ching – Verse 63 – Act without doing; work without effort

63
Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn’t cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
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Act without action
Manage without meddling
Taste without tasting
Great, small, many, few
Respond to hatred with virtue

Plan difficult tasks through the simplest tasks
Achieve large tasks through the smallest tasks
The difficult tasks of the world
Must be handled through the simple tasks
The large tasks of the world
Must be handled through the small tasks
Therefore, sages never attempt great deeds all through life
Thus they can achieve greatness

One who makes promises lightly must deserve little trust
One who sees many easy tasks must encounter much difficulty
Therefore, sages regard things as difficult
So they never encounter difficulties all through life

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)
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The Unspoken is easy.
Be like That.
The Small is humble.
Be like that.
Wherever one visits becomes home,
Because the true home is everywhere.
The Sage is the Sage
Only because this has been found.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)
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from I Ching Online

 

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