Why is staying simple not simple?

tao of simplicity

Are you making things unnecessarily complex?

tao of simplicityThe new disciple is excited when he’s seeing the Master for the first time.  He jumps at the opportunity and curiously asks, “How do you practice Tao, Sir?”

“When you are hungry, eat,” thoughtfully the master says, “When you are tired, sleep.”

The answer is astonishingly simple to the disciple, as he is expecting something sagacious. “Isn’t that what everyone does anyway, Sir?”

“No,” says the Master matter-of-factly, “Most people feed themselves with thousands of desires when they eat; and dream of thousands of designs when they sleep.”

Pondering deep.  The disciple nods his head and is happy with the new insight.


“Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity.
Put others first.
Desire little.”

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching 19

Note: ‘Simplicity’ here is the translation of the character Pu (朴or樸), which is also translated as ‘uncarved wood” or ‘inherent quality’.  It is a metaphor for the natural state of humanity or the Tao.

We will like to thank Toby Oxborrow for the lovely picture.

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