Lao Tzu, one of the greatest Chinese teachers who lived many centuries ago, created the Four Cardinal Virtues , or spiritual rules of life. When practiced, they can provide a life of true peace and purpose. Lao Tzu believed that centering life around these virtues would allow the true wisdom of the universe to be accessed and aligned with Source energy.

Lao Tzu literally means “Old Master”, and many believed that he. he had reached a higher state of consciousness available to man, which would make him a God-realized being. You can find the Four Cardinal Virtues in the Tao Te Ching , a religious text full of Taoist teachings and principles. The Tao (also known as the Way or the Dao) contains the ancient “universal wisdom” presented in a very cryptic yet profound format, inviting seekers of wisdom to enter and find spirituality through their own interpretations of the book. .

But beyond the metaphysical and mystical aspect this may seem, if you find yourself looking for answers to life’s questions and you want to impart a spiritual journey because you feel that it will bring peace to your life, you may want to look into the ancient teachings of Lao. Tzu, to help you feel, through the chaos of the world, a place of true peace.

Lao Tzu’s Four Spiritual Rules for Living

“To realize the constancy and stability in your life is to realize the deep nature of the universe. This realization does not depend on any internal or external transitory condition, but is an expression of one’s own immutable spiritual nature. The only way to achieve the Universal Way is to maintain the integral virtues of constancy, stability and simplicity in everyday life. “- Lao Tzu

1. Reverence for life

The first cardinal rule states that we must respect all life forms in creation , and not try to dominate or control them. We must first love and honor ourselves, and then this love will flow outwardly to all beings. In this world, we must depend on other life forms to survive, and this means that we must treat them with respect, kindness, and gratitude. Lao Tzu, believed that we can all live in peace and harmony if we first remember this spiritual rule of living.

2. Natural sincerity

This virtue manifests itself as honesty, simplicity and authenticity. Basically the states of staying true to who you really are, and not allowing outside forces to influence you. Own your true nature, and don’t let anyone tell you who you are. Once we can come to a place of authenticity and sincerity, we can begin to understand what it takes to remain happy and peaceful, and we can extend this to include others who may fight along your way as well. One of the most important spiritual rules is: live in your truth, and everything else will fall into place.. In addition, along the way you will inspire others, to also show their true self and live authentically. Allow your thoughts and actions to align, and you will come to know the meaning of sincerity.

3. Kindness

In the world we live in today, we very much need this virtue to be practiced more frequently. Meekness simply means being kind to all of life, and not coming from a place of selfish desires. When we practice sweetness, we give up the need to be right , because being nice is more important than being correct. When we are sensitive to the needs of other people and reject the desire to control or dominate them, we can live in harmony with each other. Many people confuse being kind and caring with being weak, but this is only because we live in a world full of inflated egos . Practice sweetness, and you will awaken yourself and the world to what truly matters.

4. Support

This virtue implies that we need to support all forms of life, including ourselves. When we first attend to supporting ourselves, we can more easily help others along our life’s journey. This last cardinal virtue says that we love and serve everyone, regardless of what we can get from them. We can go from a place of reception to a place of giving without wondering what we can get in return. This virtue comes naturally to us, but this world we were born into tells us to focus on ourselves and become happier.

The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what is in it for you. When you make the change to support others in your life, expecting nothing in return, you will think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving.

Let these four spiritual rules or virtues perfume your life , and see the grace and relief that will come your way. For each of these virtues take a way of being that is light, graceful and fluid, and will help you shed destructive, self-protective patterns that sabotage your inner peace and your happiness.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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