The Story

When East meets West… when Lao Tzu wrote down the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching 2,500 years ago in ancient China, he may not have realised the impact its philosophy would have millenniums later in the West and the newly-emerging profession of life-coaching.

When Julia from Taiwan met Nick from England on a coaching course, they didn’t realise at first that they had a common interest in the work of Lao Tzu. This joint interest soon became a course project. As we explored a few verses of the Tao, we began to see how Lao Tzu’s teachings could be related to personal development and coaching principles.

On this blog we intend to continue this work by exploring one verse of the Tao Te Ching each week. We invite you to join us on our journey and add your own thoughts to deepen our learning. How do you interpret Lao Tzu’s message? And how does it speak to you as a coach?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Verse 25

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
Man is also great.
These are the four great powers.

Man follows Earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.

[For Personal Development]
  • Tao flows through all things. Notice, see and trust the greatness in everything.
  • We are animated by the eternal Tao. The resource is always accessible when we are fully present with ourselves.
  • Leadership is about aligning people and strategy to make your vision a reality.
[For Coaching]
  • The first element of all changes is awareness, an internal shift.
  • Our clients are naturally creative, resourceful and whole; sometimes just need help to look outside the usual places for insights.
  • Integrity is displayed in the small daily decisions that demonstrate whether our words and actions align with our core values and beliefs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Verse 34

The great Tao flows everywhere.
All things are born from it,
yet it doesn't create them.

It pours itself into its work,
yet it makes no claim.
It nourishes infinite worlds,
yet it doesn't hold on to them.

Since it is merged with all things
and hidden in their hearts,
it can be called humble.

Since all things vanish into it
and it alone endures,
it can be called great.
It isn't aware of its greatness;
thus it is truly great.

[For Personal Development]
  • We experience our inner greatness when we are humble. Humility allows us to let go of control and to strengthen ourselves from within under all circumstances.
  • The true leader serves followers, not controls the followers.
  • Greatness lies in being humble.
[For Coaching]
  • Trust the coaching process; the clients will find their own answers.
  • Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.
  • Coaching from the heart, creates compassion.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Verse 23

To talk little is natural.
Fierce winds do not blow all morning;
a downpour of rain does not last the day.
Who does this? Heaven and earth.
If heaven and earth cannot sustain a forced action,
how much less is man able to do?

If you open yourself to the Tao,
you are at one with the Tao
and you can embody it completely.
If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight
and you can use it completely.
If you open yourself to loss,
you are at one with loss
and you can accept it completely.

Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place.

[For Personal Development]
  • Live, embrace and be fully present with every moment of your life, whether it is desired or not.
  • Suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens.
  • The results you get are always the result of your focus.
  • Trust your ability to respond naturally to the circumstances in your life.
[For Coaching]
  • Changes coming from "should's" and "have to's cannot be sustained.
  • Focus on the weaknesses that you think have the greatest chance of really holding you back while also remembering to focus on the strengths that you can really use to move forward.
  • With a strong personal foundation ourselves, we coaches can then accept and celebrate wherever the clients at unconditionally.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Verse 55

He who is in harmony with the Tao is like a newborn child.
Deadly insects will not sting him.
Wild beasts will not attack him.
Birds of prey will not strike him.
Bones are weak, muscles are soft,
yet his grasp is firm.

He has not experienced the union of man and woman,
but is whole.
His manhood is strong.
He screams all day without becoming hoarse.
This is perfect harmony.

To know harmony is to know the changeless;
to know the changeless is to have insight.
Things in harmony with the Tao remain;
things that are forced grow for a while,
but then wither away.
This is not the Tao.
And whatever is against the Tao soon ceases to be.

[For Personal Development]
  • Unconditional love matches the vibration of your inner being. You more fully sense your inner being as you stay connected and tap into the frequency that feels good.
  • Animals can smell fear. They attack only when they feel threatened. So do human beings.
  • Pain is born of attachment wanting to feel a certain way and being averse to other feelings.
[For Coaching]
  • Our clients are fully capable of producing designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives.
  • We allow the who of our client without judgment, and thus the safe space is formed
  • We create our reality all the time through our thoughts and pictures in our mind. Ask and it is given.
  • Coach the essence and focus on significant emotions, values and ways of being of the clients, which do not change with symptoms or surface problems.