Those well established cannot be uprooted,
those things strongly held cannot be taken,
the commemoration will be continued by the descendants forever.

Cultivate in yourself, the De (i.e., virtue) shall be true;
cultivate in the family, the virtue shall be in surplus;
cultivate in the home village, the virtue shall be lasting;
cultivate in the nation, the virtue shall be prosperous;
cultivate in the world, the virtue shall be universal (i.e., harmonious).

Thus, observe other people with yourself,
observe other families with your family,
observe other villages with your home village,
observe other nations with your nation,<
observe the world with your world.

From what do I know the world?
From this.

General Interpretation

Those who are good at cultivating their spirit and accumulating their good deeds by following the Dao will not uproot themselves and cannot be easily uprooted by others. They will not walk in the wrong path and no outside temptation will be able to allure their mind. He Shang Gong (河上公) said: "Establish means to build up. Those who are good at using the Dao to establish their lives or countries cannot be allured and uprooted (i.e., destroyed). Those who are good at using the Dao to embrace their spirit of vitality cannot be affected and separated (from the Dao)." Fan, Ying-Yun (范應元) said: "Those who are good at establishing the De (i.e., deeds) will be so deep they cannot be uprooted. Those who are good at embracing the Dao will be so firm they cannot be allured."

When those sages pass their philosophy of life to their offspring, their offspring will also follow the same path of the Dao and keep the family in the line. The next generations will then respect and worship their ancestors ceaselessly and thus last long. Han Fei Zi (韓非子) said: "As offspring, if he can comprehend the Dao, protect the imperial ancestral temple, and worship ancestors ceaselessly, this means endless worship."

Those sages pass their way of life not only to their family but also to their villages. From there it will propagate to the country and then into the world. This is the way of the Dao. In Li Ji (《禮記‧大學》), it is said:

"The great learning of the Dao is to pursue comprehension of the bright De (i.e., the manifestation of the Dao) and to influence other people until the ultimate goodness can be reached. Once you know, then your mind is steady without doubts. When the mind is steady, then you are able to acquire calmness. When you are calm, then you find peace. When you are at peace, then you are able to ponder. When you are able to ponder, then you gain. All objects have their initiation and ending and all matters have a beginning and expiration. If one knows the beginning and the end, then one is closer to the Dao."

The cultivation of the Dao is through learning. From cultivating good deeds, you can influence others until they are also good. Once you know this theory, your mind will be stable and this stable mind enables you to be calm. When you are calm, the mind is peaceful. When the mind is peaceful without disturbance or interference, you will be able to meditate and ponder deeply until you finally comprehend the meaning of the Dao. Song, Chang-Xing (宋常星) said: "Observe all people's bodies in the world as your own body, and observe your own body as all people's bodies in the world" That means treat yourself and others the same without difference.

Often, if you put your mind into others' minds and your feeling into others' feelings, you will be able to see people's intentions and motivations. By observing others and analyzing the situation, you will be able to foresee the consequences. This can help you avoid future problems.

Qigong Interpretation

Cultivating your spirit is not an easy task. To be successful, you must have a strong will, perseverance, confidence, and patience. Only if you have firmly established these foundationswill you not be influenced by others or allured by outside temptations. If you are influenced and allured by excitement and enjoyment, your spiritual cultivation will be held pulled back or evenuprooted. The Chinese have a saying: "Learning is just like rowing a boat up stream: if not forward, it will be backward."

Next, you should know that the best way of learning is through teaching others. There are two most common ways to teach others: through speaking or by example. Between these two, showing good examples is the most effective both for your own cultivation and for teaching. In order to show a good example to others, you must first cultivate yourself until you are in the stage of regulating of no regulating. Additionally, if people learn from observing your deeds and follow your manners, they will learn deeply in their hearts by themselves. This is more powerful and effective than teaching by speaking. The more you share, the more you learn. The Chinese have another saying, "Teaching and learning help each other to gain."


To be successful in your qigong spiritual cultivation, you must have a firm mind that cannot be moved. Next, the best way of learning is being concerned for others and influencing them. Setting a good example is the best way of teaching. The Chinese have yet another saying: "To put yourself into other people's position." That means to empathize with others. In this case, you will have a benevolent heart. This is a crucial key to reaching the Dao.

The above is an excerpt from The Dao De Jing: A Qigong Interpretation, Lao Tzu, Translation and Commentary by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Pub Date September 2018 by YMAA Publication Center, ISBN 13: 978-1-59439-619-9.