The Tao is always at ease.
It overcomes without competing,
answers without speaking a word,
arrives without being summoned,
accomplishes without a plan.
Its net covers the whole universe.
And though its meshes are wide,
it doesn’t let a thing slip through.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 73, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Lao Tzu has been quite insistent that his teachings are easy to understand and easy to put into practice. Easy, that is, if we don’t let our own knowledge or our own efforts get in the way. Today, Lao Tzu explains why this is so.
He tells us it is because the Tao, itself, is always at ease. And, because the Tao is always at ease, it puts all beings at ease. Was that a leap? While you “get” that the Tao is always at ease, do you have trouble accepting that you, too, can be at ease in your own life?
How does the Tao being always at ease, put us at ease, too? It is because that is the way things are. It overcomes by not-competing. It answers without a word having to be spoken. It is always present, never needing to be summoned, or looked for. It accomplishes everything while doing nothing. This is the way of the Tao. This is the way things are.
Do you still doubt? Why is it that the way things are is the way things are? Because the Tao is like a net, covering the whole Universe. You doubt because you see that its meshes are wide. But look again. Nothing slips through.