Alert, Like a Spy in Enemy Territory

Alert, Like a Spy in Enemy Territory

The Taoist masters of old were wise
and lived in harmony.
Their minds were deep
and they kept their skills hidden.

Because their minds can’t be fathomed
and their skills were hidden,
How can we understand them?

They were careful,
Like one standing on slippery rocks.
They were alert, like a spy
Hiding in enemy territory.
They were polite,
Like a visitor in a foreign land.
They flowed like an ancient river.
They were as flexible as the potter’s clay.
They bent like the willow in the storm,
Their minds were as clear as
A mirror reflecting the summer night.

Can you yield, give, and bend
Until your mind is clear?
Can you exhibit the patience needed,
To allow inner virtue to arise by itself?
One who merges with the Tao
Doesn’t seek to enforce his will.

By letting things take their natural course,
We become like the old masters in modern time.

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