How to Become One with Tao

About 600 years before Jesus’ birth, a man called Lao Tzu lived in ancient China. He was a man around whom many mysteries and myths surround. But as far as I can tell from cross referencing history, this man worked for the imperial government as a record keeper or librarian of sorts.

According to biographies and legend, he got tired of the city life and the continuous wars and traveled to the west to live as a hermit in at the age of 160! At the gate of the kingdom he was recognized by a guard and the guard requested the old master to write something that would preserve his wisdom. This is the legendary origin of the Tao Te Ching (loosely translated as: the book of the great way).

Tao Te Ching, in its 81 beautiful short verses, captures the essence of spirituality like no other text I have personally encountered. Some scholars say that it is one of the wisest books ever written and I very much agree. The goal of the Taoist philosophy is, to become one with Tao, the great way, by aligning your self with the universal laws and return to origins. But to achieve this, the student has to achieve emptiness and simplicity, practice non-doing, and dedicate his life to the understanding of the great way.

Here is the very first verse of Tao Te Ching for those of you who would like to appreciate the beauty of this master work:

The Tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The name is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Send your desires away and you will see the mystery.
Be filled with desire and you will see only the manifestation.
As these two come forth they differ in name.
Yet at their source they are the same.
This source is the mystery.
The mystery itself is the gateway to all understanding.