Winamp Logo
The Sayings of Laozi Cover
The Sayings of Laozi Profile

The Sayings of Laozi

English, Social, 1 seasons, 82 episodes, 8 hours 5 minutes
Exploring the profound teachings of one of China’s most important philosophers.
Episode Artwork

EP81 The end of the road

Mankind strives, explores and conflicts. These all bring destruction, according to Laozi. Follow the ways of Dao, and all shall be well, he has consistently implored us.
04/01/20227 minutes 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP80 Welcome to paradise

In Laozi's dream life, we would all have a nice modest house, enough food, be peaceful, delight in simple pleasures, keep to ourselves, keep our minds free from unnecessary thoughts and concerns. Everyone is living in harmony and contentment.
02/01/20226 minutes 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP79 Game theory

True resolution of conflict allows both sides to win. There's no reason for there to be a winner and a loser, as this could create further conflict down the line.
31/12/20215 minutes 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP78 Water power

We know that Laozi has a love affair with water. In its manner it comes close to Dao in his thinking. The secret of water's strength is its very softness and malleability. It achieves great things through yielding, persistence and patience.
29/12/20215 minutes 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP77 Take from the rich and give to the poor

Laozi believes that it's important – it's the way of Dao – to adjust the inequalities in society. The rich should use some of their wealth to help the poor. In so doing they enrich the world.
27/12/20216 minutes 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP76 Bend in the wind

For hard and stiff, read impervious and intransigent. For soft and weak, read yielding and vulnerable. Life is full of movement and freshness. Trees can survive the gales if they sway in the wind.
25/12/20215 minutes 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP75 Watch your back

Laozi's message – If you are a king, watch your back. If you are a subject, hold the king to account.
23/12/20215 minutes 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP74 Here comes the chopper to chop off your head

Here, Laozi is saying, if you push people to the limits of their tolerance, then they no longer fear death. Your so called weapon of last resort, death, no longer works. Result: chaos.
21/12/20215 minutes 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP73 The net of heaven spreads far and wide

The net of Heaven spreads far and wide. In English we sometimes say ‘the long arm of the law,’ meaning punishment is inescapable.
19/12/20215 minutes 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP72 Beware the lord of misrule

Laozi implores rulers to follow the ways of the Dao. Don't get too comfortable in the hot seat, he chides ... nothing is forever. You ignore the lives and livelihoods of the people at your peril.
17/12/20215 minutes 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP71 Into the unknown

True wisdom is knowing that there is so much that you do not know, so much more to learn. Anyone who claims otherwise is self-defeating or misguided, or in Laozi's words, sick.
15/12/20215 minutes 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP70 The sage in coarse linen

Whilst he is revered now as a great sage, there may have been few people in his day and age who actually understood enough about him to carry on the message. Like Dao however, Laozi gave his message simply and without expectation.
13/12/20215 minutes 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP69 There are no winners in war

For Laozi, war and conflict is failure. To get to that point shows that both sides have moved very far away from the principal of Dao, and so there will likely be no winners.
11/12/20215 minutes 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP68 Fight the good fight

On the surface it may seem as though Laozi is giving advice to warriors, but his words are just as applicable to rulers, leaders, and those in charge generally. More importantly for a good leader, Laozi suggests, is knowing how to best use the people and resources that one has.
09/12/20215 minutes 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP67 Examine your motives

The key part of this verse is Laozi's focus on Compassion, Frugality and lack of Ambition – what he describes as his three treasures.
07/12/20216 minutes 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP66 Lead from behind

Laozi wants to make the analogy with a sage wishing to show leadership. Not from above or in front, but below and behind… like water weaving its way through difficult terrain, through a valley.
05/12/20215 minutes 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP65 The perils of knowledge

Laozi mentioned that if you overregulated the people then they would use their ingenuity to find ways to subvert your rule. So - in the spirit of Non-doing, wouldn't it be better to govern with openness, simplicity and honesty?
03/12/20216 minutes 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP64 A journey of a thousand miles…

This verse contains one of the best known sayings, if not THE best known saying of Laozi, which most people in the West know as ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’
01/12/20216 minutes 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP63 Fools rush in

In this verse, Laozi is warning against complacency. He would have made a pretty good project manager or life coach in the 21st century.
29/11/20215 minutes 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP62 Dao – the sanctuary for all things

Let's remind ourselves that Dao is the ultimate. It is all forgiving and values everything equally – the good and the not so good. It is a sanctuary for all.
27/11/20215 minutes 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP61 Win-win scenarios

In this verse, Laozi is dipping into foreign affairs. He is playing with the concept of No-Win, Zero Sum and Win-Win scenarios. This is Game Theory – millenia before it was invented.
25/11/20215 minutes 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP60 Cook your fish carefully

Just as you can't be heavy handed in cooking a small fish, so too a light touch is the best way to govern a large state. Laozi invokes Dao to make the point that its natural state is non-doing, non-action.
23/11/20214 minutes 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP59 Everything in moderation

This verse is about knowing how to act and when to act, also how much to act. Lead in this way, and the people will follow.
21/11/20215 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP58 You can lead a horse to water, but cannot make him drink

Our philosopher has advice for anyone who would become a sage. Be sharp, but don't cut. Be pointed but don't pierce. Be outspoken, but don't offend. Lead by example, but then let your audience decide for themselves.
19/11/20217 minutes 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP57 The curse of desire

In this verse our philosopher has what seems to be advice to rulers. Keep things nicely down the middle – ‘the proper norm.’
17/11/20216 minutes 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP56 Nothing to shout about

Here Laozi is saying, live a simple life, and turn your back on personal gain, personal relations and social status. Be content with your progress on the journey. No need to shout about it. Nothing to see here.
15/11/20215 minutes 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP55 Guard your precious Qi

Laozi warns against squandering Qi. It's almost as though he is saying that there is a limited amount in our bodies. Use it up, and you will grow old too soon and die young.
13/11/20216 minutes 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP54 Search for the answer within

Laozi is saying that you don't need to look far to understand the actions of others, family, villages, states and even the way of the universe. Start by understanding yourself. Understanding starts by observing yourself.
11/11/20216 minutes 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP53 Ditch the bling

Who needs all these fancy things, when you have the most wonderous thing of all – Dao.
09/11/20215 minutes 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP52 There is nothing new under the Sun

There is nothing to be gained from the outside world. Do the opposite and you will be troubled by strife for all your days. Back to the essential message. Find the answer in the small… the fragile … the near at hand.
07/11/20216 minutes 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP51 The tree of life

For Laozi, everything is simply in some form of process, still part of the lifecycle. See it as a vast family tree that leads all the way back from the Ten Thousand things, right back to the One.
05/11/20215 minutes 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP50 Don't worry, be happy

Laozi's advice is not dissimilar to contemporary views that sometimes you make you yourself so busy that you don’t have time to enjoy yourself, to truly enjoy existence.
03/11/20215 minutes 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP49 Teach by example

It's the exact same process of setting aside your own needs and desires in favour of others. And if they do wrong then you forgive them. You turn the other cheek. You are teaching by example.
01/11/20215 minutes 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP48 Close the book, open the mind

For Laozi there is danger in too much knowledge. It can fill up the mind, and trap you into certain beliefs and actions.
30/10/20215 minutes 1 second
Episode Artwork

EP47 Travel narrows the mind

Don't confuse your mind with things that don't matter. Seek the tranquility of inner peace and knowledge. Hence – the farther you travel, the less you know.
28/10/20214 minutes 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP46 Enough is enough

Laozi is returning to the concept of the triumph of need over want. It's vitally important to know when enough is enough.
26/10/20214 minutes 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP45 Appearances aren't everything

Laozi says that we often have a flawed view of what we see, maybe because we choose to see things that way.
24/10/20214 minutes 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP44 More is less

If you have more than you truly need, then you have more to lose. Humility and restraint are the key.
22/10/20214 minutes 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP43 Teaching without words

Here Laozi is suggesting that sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing.
20/10/20215 minutes 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP42 One for all, and all for one

All things stem from Dao. And everything created is connected and interdependent.
18/10/20214 minutes 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP41 Pulling the rug from under our feet

Don't try to put your finger on Dao – it's not possible. Just remember that it is bountiful and leads us to everything.
16/10/20217 minutes 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP40 Something from nothing

Here Laozi comes back to the concept of Non-being. Everything we see around us has a pedigree. But there was a time when something came from nothing. The cycle had to begin.
14/10/20214 minutes 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP39 No man is an island

No man is an Island, entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent… send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
12/10/20218 minutes 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP38 The future is now

Laozi is offering us a warning about the future. Or rather, he is saying – live in the now. Dao isn't about the future – it's about the here and now.
10/10/20219 minutes 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP37 Curb your desires

Greed, hunger for power, for fame and fortune are all desires, but not needs. For Laozi, nothing is to be gained by giving in to your desires.
08/10/20216 minutes 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP36 Weakness is strength

Here Laozi is trying to get across the truism that when something reaches an extreme, it is self-defeating. He sees it as an inevitable law of opposites.
06/10/20216 minutes 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP35 Believe what you can't see

In this verse Laozi is asking us to trust him, as a sage, who is showing us the way, even though we may not sense it in any way. Stop trying to ascribe attributes to Dao. That’s very human. Just be aware of its bounty.
04/10/20214 minutes 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP34 Be like Dao – seek the answers within

The answers Laozi so often suggests are to be found within, through the cultivation of our thoughts rather than practical deeds.
02/10/20215 minutes 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP33 Handy guide to a happy life

In this verse, we have a very handy little guide to living a fulfilled life. But it's important to tread carefully to understand the nuances of his message.
30/09/20215 minutes 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP32 The cycle of life

It is about the nature of Dao. A little like the endless circularity of the water cycle – the sea creates clouds which drift over mountains, which cause the water within to be released, which becomes streams and rivers that ultimately flow back into the sea, and so it all starts again.
28/09/20215 minutes 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP31 Keep left

Laozi's favour rests with the left – live in peace, reject violence. Sometimes violence may be necessary. He qualifies his words by saying ‘in times of peace,’ this is the way to see things. If violence is necessary, be expedient. Don’t glory in it.
26/09/20217 minutes
Episode Artwork

EP30 War and peace

For this verse, Laozi is continuing a theme he started in the last one. Action, here force, will get you nowhere. Taking is a path to failure.
24/09/20215 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP29 Busy doing nothing

In this verse, Laozi is suggesting that rulers should let things be and refrain from leaning in on the side of any extreme. Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing. Don't strive to be anything other than what you are.
22/09/20215 minutes 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP28 The power of innocence

Innocence is a place we have been before as a baby or a child. But just as Dao ebbs and flows, and has no end, so we too can return to that innocent state.
20/09/20215 minutes 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP27 There's always more to learn, and more to teach

Those who are good – or good at something, should teach those who are less good. Those less good, serve as object lessons to those teaching them. Each is learning from the other. Knowledge is a scale, and teaching is a process, a chain. And that process goes both ways.
18/09/20216 minutes 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP26 On a long journey, even a straw weighs heavy

Here Laozi is warning against being bogged down by possessions or being too ambitious or perhaps even fighting on too many fronts. A modest existence mentally and physically is easier to control. Be satisfied with your lot. Seek nothing else, simply for the sake of seeking.
16/09/20215 minutes 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP25 The fab four

Dao is prime. It is female in the sense of producing, giving birth, creating, ever fertile. It is constantly moving, affecting everything in the universe, flowing and returning like waves in the ocean. Then come Heaven and Earth in that order, and both following the ways of Dao. Finally, mankind. Great, and yet definitely at the whim of Dao, Heaven and Earth.
14/09/20217 minutes 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP24 Be a lean machine

Laozi's lesson is – grandstanding, seeking fame and fortune, being an influencer comes to nothing in the end.
12/09/20215 minutes 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP23 Save your breath

Learn to accept the way things are – save your breath. And be content with your own personal choices. They may be right, they may be wrong. But once made, they are the only choice.
10/09/20216 minutes 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP22 Flexibility is key

What is being said here is ‘bend yourself backwards and follow the crowd, do not resist, and you will remain intact’. Essentially… if you remain rigid and unyielding in life, then you will most likely face conflict and even be broken.
08/09/20215 minutes 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP21 The Great De

The Great De is totally in tune with Dao. It's everywhere yet nowhere, is everything and nothing, has form and is formless and most crucially, carries the truth.
06/09/20216 minutes 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP20 Watching the world go by

Roaming free and aloof, unmoved by people around him enjoying themselves and feasting, Laozi sees richness in wanting nothing. He is nourished by the Dao.
04/09/20217 minutes 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP19 Back to basics

Seek simplicity. People will find their own way. Don't be high and mighty. If you have nothing to steal, then you cannot be robbed.
02/09/20217 minutes 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP18 Life without Dao

Laozi argues that if you turn your back on the Dao, then all these human constructs will come flooding back in.
31/08/20215 minutes 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP17 Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread

Spare your words – act only when truly necessary. Like water, let the course of events find its own way.
29/08/20215 minutes 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP16 Set yourself free

Relax – ignore the outside world, the human world of trouble and strife. Bring your attention down to the very basic – Dao. Do that, and you will be free from problems.
27/08/20216 minutes 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP15 The Conquest of Expectations

Exploring the profound teachings of one of China’s most important philosophers.
25/08/20216 minutes 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP14 Grasping the Intangible

Look beyond the now – grasp the concept of Dao. See that it has always been and always will be. In fact Dao does not recognise time. Past, present, future is all one.
23/08/20216 minutes 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP13 To thine own self be true

In this verse, Laozi is suggesting that anything you do – do it for yourself, for your own reasons... don't second guess what other people want. That way leads to disaster.
21/08/20216 minutes 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP12 Don't bite off more than you can chew!

In this verse Laozi is warning us not to be distracted by the physical... it's so easy to wallow in earthly pleasures, but at the end of the day, it won't make you happy. True happiness comes from within.
19/08/20215 minutes 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP11 Less is more!

Repeating in this verse is the concept of Nothing – Wu – not just as a concept of 'No Thing' but also that which surrounds and facilitates things.
17/08/20215 minutes 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP10 Keeping it Simple

In short – keep life – internal and external – as simple as possible.
15/08/20216 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP9 Quit while the going is good

In this ninth saying, Laozi is sounding a warning bell about human nature. Beware of insatiable desires, especially when fortune smiles upon you. The pursuit of wealth and power will inevitably lead to doom and disaster, he warns.
13/08/20215 minutes 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP8 Go with the flow

This verse discusses what is good by making that comparison with water. Behave like water, and you will spread goodness.
11/08/20215 minutes 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP7 The first shall be the last, and the last the first.

Here in this verse, Laozi is urging us to take a lesson from the natural world. He notes that Heaven and Earth expend no energy or thought in keeping up their existence. They just are. They don't need to try.
09/08/20214 minutes 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP6 Introducing Mother Nature

Laozi invokes the Spirit of the Valley, Mother Nature, bountiful, infinite. He relates it to the profound female. He recognizes its appreciation as a gateway to Dao and notes the humility of its service to mankind.
07/08/20215 minutes 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP5 Straw Dogs

Keep to the path – the way – the Dao. Don't use up valuable brain power with things that neither matter nor concern you. Be at peace with Non-Doing.
05/08/20215 minutes 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP4 Dao is endless

Dao is everywhere, in all things, has no beginning and no end, and potentially is the gift that keeps on giving.
03/08/20215 minutes 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP3 The Secret of Success

Empty the mind of concerns … meaning free it from desire and want. Fill the belly – Top up the mind with positive thought. Weaken the will – don't give in to pointless desires. Strengthen the bones – build a mind and body that is healthy.
01/08/20215 minutes 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP2 Laozi’s Theory of Relativity

The Dao doesn't create good and bad, ugly and beautiful, happy and sad. Laozi is trying to help us see the interdependence of these self - imposed opposites.
30/07/20217 minutes 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

EP1 Taking the first step on our amazing journey

In our opening verse, Laozi is getting us ready. He's setting out the ground rules, and preparing to raise the curtain on something truly profound, inclusive, original, intangible, and ineffable. Roll up, roll up - Welcome to the ‘Gateway to all mysteries.’
28/07/202113 minutes 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Sayings of Laozi

Exploring the profound teachings of one of China’s most important philosophers.
22/07/202142 seconds