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wàn wù zuò yān ér bù shǐ, shēng ér bù yǒu, wéi ér bù shì, gōng chéng ér bù jū.

“All things arise from the Tao, yet the Tao itself is formless and claims to begin everything. It is the source of life and existence, yet it does not possess or try to own anything. It is the origin of all actions and achievements, yet it does not seek to claim credits or dwell in them.”

This excerpt from the second chapter of the Tao Te Ching highlights the concept of the Tao as the origin and foundation of everything while emphasizing its not claim to be the creator of nature. The passage suggests that the Tao is the driving force behind all things, yet it remains detached and unaffected by the outcomes of its manifestations.

It sheds light on the four mental statues that can ensnare us: 始有恃居. 始 signifies initiation, 有 denotes ownership, 恃 implies conceit, and 居 represents dwelling.

Many of our human concerns stem from the strong desire to possess our creations or leave our mark on the things we advance. When others make comments on these things, we feel it is personal, and it could lead to defensive reactions.

When we raise a child, we often expect them to adopt our beliefs and listen to us while still hoping to raise a child with an independent personality.  Likewise, when we initiate a project and successfully complete it, we want to be acknowledged, and if our contribution goes unnoticed, we feel a sense of injustice and unsettling. These desires, however, can become overwhelming and burdensome, leading to mental stress.

By learning to let go of these four obsessions, learning from the Tao, being the grand designer of everything, yet it doesn’ attach to the contribution. It resonates the teaching from the Diamond Sutra, one of the most revered script in Mahayana Buddhism,  one shall not cling to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena stemming from the obsession with self.

we can truly appreciate the process rather than focus on the end result, which will relieve us from stress. By detaching ourselves from the outcomes and not being driven by the expectation of being successful, we can enjoy the process of getting there more. Very often, when we let go of the desire for success, success naturally follows.

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