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Tao Te Ching #33

I was busy today and am off to a dinner meeting momentarily. I took a deep breath and remembered to breathe. I attended Teacher’s Convention which is unique to Alberta, for the most part. The Alberta Teacher’s Association, our professional organization/union, organizes several each year depending on geographic locations. There is a large exhibit hall and many presentations. I find it challenging as it is busy, crowded, and noisy, but there was a great presentation and another good one. The first presenter spoke on a topic similar to what I am massaging for a dissertation topic and, when I approached her, she graciously agreed to share more of her thoughts and I will contact her. She was genuinely interested and I am pretty jacked.

I also found a nice little restaurant. It wasn’t lost, but I had never been there before and it was a nice place. I finished the book I am reading while I ate lunch. I could have focused on the challenges–noise, crowds, and busyness–instead I pulled three great things out of the day and feel energized. I found this beautiful little poem by Lao Tzu and it resonated. When we turn in and find the extraordinary of the ordinary that is true power.

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.

He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

25 responses »

  1. it needs great wisdom to write this poem…

    Good morning Ivon Sir…:) have a nice day…

  2. Lao Tzu is getting a lot of mentions on WordPress today, perhaps a hint to me to go study him 🙂

  3. This verse, #33 of 88 in the Tao Teh Ching, has always been one of my favorites… the entire book is worth reading on a daily basis, as it touches on everything we experience…. Sounds like a really good day…. 🙂

  4. I enjoyed reading it once again at your site. Glad you shared it.

  5. The Tao Te Ching is probably my favourite book. I love ancient Chinese Wisdom and feel deeply influenced by Taoism. Very enjoyable post.

  6. The simplicity and directness of Tao Te Ching is so effective – it stops you in your tracks… thank you for the reminder Ivon… back to my book shelves!

  7. TIme to return to his writing when we get home. Thank you Ivon.

  8. I didn’t realize you’re in Alberta, Ivon. Isn’t our prairie weather just lovely?

    I really enjoy reading your posts. They are like manna, in that they always make me think about where I am, what I want, what I’m doing, and where I want to go with my life. I read your posts first thing in the morning, after I pour my first cup of coffee and get settled into my chair. I do that because I’ve been finding that they’re always a message, of sorts, that guides and directs me throughout the course of my day. This posting is more than relevant to how I’m feeling this morning.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your insights and thoughts. I hope you have a great day and a great weekend ahead.

  9. Thanks for the recent visit. I thought this post a wonderful combination of beautiful writing and wisdom – the lesson seeps in without the sense of being preached too. Nicely done.

  10. I love the massaging words you delivered within a truly wonderful message…God bless my brother!

  11. It was serendipity that I discovered this specific post. Enlightenment. Strength. Will Power. Eternity. The Tao has been a part of my life since college. The message of #33 is significant. Your day was a perfect day. What you wrote rings a chord. I recently came upon a quote that was quite similar. I wish I could remember the exact quote. I used it on one of my own posts. It was to look on every day as special. As you stated to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. It is all special. And you were led on a path that led you to this woman who will be a future revelation for you and you discovered insight through continuing to be pulled in a direction that led you eventually to the Tao #33. On the periphery, I found this post through following my own path that led me here. It is serendipity for us both and all meant to be, yet was it random or we just followed the symbols that led us here, a full circle where we are all connected as one. “To die but not to perish…” This means something quite significant to me. It all feels quite profound to me. peace, jennifer

    • Jennifer, your beautiful comment reminded me of the John Muir quote: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it is hitched to everything in the universe.”

      • Yes, we are all connected. I love your quote. Reading your Lao Tzu “Tao…” #33 made me search out the best book we had on the Tao Te Ching in our collection. I discovered it was the Jane English translation. It las lead me to want to expand my Asia study of poetry to extend from the Japanese into the Chinese form of poetry. My partner told me she has some great Chinese Poetry books that she felt I would find absoutely beautiful. It will be interesting to see. I know that Lao Tzu is very compelling. You see, you are right in sharing the John Muir quotation with me. That connection has led me in another direction to add to my studies, Thank you, jennifer

      • You are welcome Jennifer

  12. What a wonderful poem!


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