Even beautiful weapons

And elegant soldiers

Are tools of misfortune

Beings are likely to loathe them

Therefore, The Taoist

Does not dwell with them

The Sage ruler

Honours the left at home

Favours the right in war

Weapons and soldiers

Are tools of misfortune

When you cannot avoid using them

Detached tranquillity makes for the best policy

Though you may outdo your opponent

Do not delight in it

For those who delight in this

Delight in slaying others

And those who delight in slaying others

Will never be able to obtain

Their wishes in the world

Occurrences of fortune

Honour the left

Occurrences of sorrow

Favour the right

The second in command

Occupies the left

The supreme commander

Occupies the right

As in a funeral ceremony

Kill many men

And you will grieve, weep,

And suffer accordingly

Thus, a military victory

Is to be treated

As a funeral ceremony




Those with The Way

Help people to master themselves

They do not use force or weapons

Against the world

For such actions

Always turn against us

Where armies camp

Thorns and brambles arise

After a great war

There is always a harvest of calamities

An adept achieves their purpose

Then ceases

Does not presume to depend upon force

But brings things to resolution

Without arrogance

Without hauteur

Without pride

Without attachment

Without aggression

Such things flourish

And then decay

This is called Not Tao

Not Tao soon ends.

Ancestor Lu’s Hundred Character Tablet


Nurturing energy, forget words and guard it
Conquer your mind – do non-doing
In activity and stillness
Know the Source Progenitor
There is no thing
Whom else do you seek?
In constancy
It is essential to respond to people
In responding to people
It is essential not to be confused
If you do not become confused
Your nature will naturally stabilize
When your nature is naturally stabilized
Energy naturally returns
When energy naturally returns
The elixir crystallizes spontaneously
Fire and water
Pairing in the pot
Yin and Yang arise
Alternating over and over again
Everywhere producing
The sound of thunder
White clouds assemble on the summit
Sweet dew bathes the polar mountain
Having drunk the wine of longevity
You wander freely
Who can know you?
Sit and listen to the stringless tune
Clearly understanding the mechanism of creation
These twenty verses
Are a ladder straight to Heaven