How the Way Sustains – Tao Te Ching

How the Way Sustains – Tao Te Ching


Chapter 9 of Tao Te Ching talks about sustaining, and it emphasizes heavily on what the schools or sects of Taoism do to sustain and upkeep itself. This also applies to business sometimes, and so this passage is presenting a very general and very logical sense to everyone about what the school and sects can do for you.  The same also goes for nature and life, telling you about what nature can do for you- which is not a lot.

If you have not read the previous ones, please do so before you move onto this!

Chapter one

Chapter two

Chapter three

Chapter four

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

As said in “what is Taoism”, there are many sects and lineages of Taoism, and they all connect to a different higher power which they call their Tao.  This higher power teaches them and passes on its wisdom to them, and that is why things you see from all the sects are not the same.  Just like right now, this version of Tao Te Ching might be very different from the others, because we inherit the wisdom from our Tao, the Tao of Saam Law.  If you think it looks good to you, and it feels good to you, you might consider ordaining to become a Taoist of this path, and start learning for real!


Tao Te Ching - Chapter 9


Sustain at the blossoming point, its all about you guys who are attached. (the disciples are the roots of sects, and why the sects exist).  As you can see, this passage is recalling the theory from the previous passage again, saying that the schools or the sects are not selfish, because it is thinking in the shoes of the disciples, and that is why it can sustain and keep going.

Like a chef, he should be cooking for the customers, and not just cooking because he wants to cook it his way. Those chef who doesn’t cook for the customers are the ones who fail!


Bend and using forces to poke you and protect you?  It can’t save you forever.

Like your parents at home who will scold you, smack your face, and hit you when you do something wrong. Here, the Tao Te Ching is saying that even the school uses force on you like that, it can’t protect you and guarantee you are good forever. (Hence you should get the wisdom absorbed instead)


Give you all the wealth and money, can you really sustain and hold on to it?

This is saying, even we give you all the fruits, all the money, all the wealth, all the established business – can you really maintain them and keep going?  Many people think they realty just lack a “chance’ and if they win the lottery, they will be for sure successful like those big people in business today.  Well, is that true?  Many people won the lottery and end up having a disaster because they have too much money, they don’t even know how to spend it or manage it.

When we teach a kid, we don’t give him all the stuff, we teach him to earn the stuff. Instead of giving people fishes, we teach them how to catch the fish themselves.


When you are rich, you get snobbish, and you will bring troubles to yourself that makes you regret.

I guess this passage is clear enough? You see the kids with rich parents, a lot of them really gets super snobbish and they act like a brat!  Why?  Because they have money and they don’t have the wisdom and things behind that makes them know the hard work behind them. Eventually, it will attract troubles and even things like kidnapping and such.


Therefore, we just finished doing our job and we back off from the position, that’s the way how the Tao leads.

At the end, this passage is saying that the sects or lineages only gives its teachings, and do its best to finish its job, and that’s it. 

It’s true, just like Jee Sifu here with this lineage. He can only teach and present the wisdom to disciples, let them absorb what is there.  He can’t beat the disciples up or keep chasing after them forever.  At the same time, he can’t really just give people all the powers in one go.  Instead, he teaches you to develop your power and let you earn it yourself.   After Jee Sifu did his job, teaching and passing on the stuff, he is done and he will back off. Success or fail, is all depending on the action from the disciple.  That is who the sky (the Tao) leads, and is how the master leads the disciples too.

As we say in Chinese, the master brings you into the door, and it is up to yourself to cultivate and grow up.  Get ordained today to enter the door!