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Tao Quotes on
Moderation and Modesty

Tao Te Ching

Authentic Quotes from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu



Here are quotes from the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist classic by Lao Tzu, about moderation and modesty. To see the whole quoted chapter, click the chapter link within brackets.



Moderation

Filling all the way to the brim is not as good as halting in time.


Pounding an edge to sharpness will not make it last.


(The five) colors blind the eye. (The five) tones deafen the ear. (The five) flavors dull the mouth.


Racing through the field and hunting make the mind wild.


He who holds on to the Way seeks no excess. Since he lacks excess, he can grow old in no need to be renewed.


Those who stand on their toes are not steady.


Those who take long steps cannot keep the pace.


The sage avoids extremity, excess, and extravagance.


Those who know when it is enough will not perish.


Those who are content suffer no disgrace.


To have enough of enough is always enough.


Seal the openings, shut the doors, dull the sharpness, untie the knots, dim the light, become one with the dust. This is called the profound union.


When leading people and serving Heaven, nothing exceeds moderation.


The sage never strives for greatness, and can therefore accomplish greatness.


By moderation one can be generous.


Let the country be small, and the inhabitants few.


Modesty

Because he (the Sage) demands no honor, he will never be dishonored.


Not praising the deserving prevents envy.


He (the Sage) does not show off, therefore he shines.


He (the Sage) does not justify himself, therefore he is revered.


He (the Sage) does not boast, therefore he is honored.


He (the Sage) does not praise himself, therefore he remains.


Those who show off do not shine.


Those who are self-righteous are not prominent.


Those who boast are not respected.


Those who praise themselves do not prevail.


The sage does not strive to be great. Thereby he can accomplish the great.


Do not strive for the shine of jade, but clatter like stone.


The sage wears coarse clothes, concealing jade.


The sage knows himself, but does not parade. He cherishes himself, but does not praise himself.


The sage acts without taking credit. He accomplishes without dwelling on it. He does not want to display his worth.


Stay Where You Are

Those who stay where they are will endure.


Without stepping out the door, you can know the world.


Without looking through the window, you can see Heavenís Way.


The longer you travel, the less you know.


They can see their neighbors. Roosters and dogs can be heard from there. Still, they will age and die without visiting one another.



Tao Quote Categories

Here are the 388 Tao quotes extracted from the Tao Te ching by Lao Tzu, sorted into 19 topics. Each Tao quote has a link to its chapter in the book.

  1. Tao, the Way Quotes


  2. Nature and the world Quotes


  3. Knowledge and wisdom Quotes


  4. Opposites and paradoxes Quotes


  5. Non-action and action Quotes


  6. Prevention and patience Quotes


  7. Moderation and modesty Quotes


  8. Humility and compassion Quotes


  9. Desire, wealth and greed Quotes


  10. Good and bad Quotes


  11. Role Models Quotes


  12. Simplicity, stillness and silence Quotes


  13. Fear and imperfection Quotes


  14. The female, child and family Quotes


  15. Yielding Quotes


  16. Rulers and government Quotes


  17. Longevity and death Quotes


  18. Seeing clearly Quotes


  19. War and violence Quotes






My Taoism Books:


Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.


Tao Quotes - the Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes

The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. 389 quotes from the foremost Taoist classic, divided into 51 prominent topics. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.



My Other Websites:


I Ching Online

The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.


Qi Energy Exercises

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.


Life Energy

The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained.


Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.


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Other Books by Stefan Stenudd:


Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Qi - Increase Your Life Energy

The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with exercises on how to awaken, increase and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker

Fiction. A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd


About me

I'm a Swedish author and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Taoism and other East Asian traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.

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