Lao Tzu’s 4 Cardinal Rules For A Happy Life
“To realize the constancy and steadiness in your life is to realize the deep nature of the universe. This realization is not dependent on any transitory internal or external condition, rather it is an expression of one’s own immutable spiritual nature. The only way to attain the Universal Way is to maintain the integral virtues of the constancy, steadiness, and simplicity in one’s daily life.” – Lao Tzu
Many centuries ago, Lao Tzu, a wise and advanced spiritual teacher, spoke of the four cardinal virtues — teaching that when we practice them as a way of life, we come to know the truth of the universe. The ancient Chinese master said that living and practicing these teachings can open you to higher wisdom and greater happiness and that they bring a closer connection to our innate spirituality.
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1) Reverence for Life
When we live with reverence for all life, we surrender our need to dominate. We come into heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all of life…even the smallest creatures on the planet.
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu
2) Honest Sincerity
When we are sincere and act with integrity, we move towards peace and inner tranquility. This virtue is honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness. It is about being true to yourself and walking your talk. According to Dyer, if you find this challenging, try affirming, “I no longer need to be insincere or dishonest. This is who I am, and this is how I feel.”
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will be blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Dor your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” Lao Tzu
3) Gentle Attitude
Often interpreted as weakness, gentleness is one of the most important traits to develop. In life, it is far more important to be kind than to be right and to be kind rather than important. Gentleness is an ‘umbrella’ for forgiveness, acceptance, and love, and inspires others to do the same.
“When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.” Lao Tzu
When we are supportive of ourselves, with kind words, loving actions and self-care, we are naturally supportive of others. This virtue is a basic tenet of humanity. When we give to others, share and support others, we become happy. Our lives become meaningful and our hearts full. Supportiveness is about service.
“Giving to others selflessly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darkness, you virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings.” Lao Tzu
These four virtues, if fully embraced, will bring much happiness to your life. Each one of them brings a powerful way of being that illumines a path to happiness.
“The four cardinal virtues are a road map to the simple truth of the universe. To revere all of life, to live with natural sincerity, to practice gentleness, and to be in service to others is to replicate the energy field from which you originated.” Dr Wayne Dyer
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