Avoid exalting the talented too much,
And people will not contend for attention.
Avoid collecting precious objects,
And people will not become thieves.
Avoid reflect upon things that incite desire,
And your heart shall not become confused.
Those who follow the Dao govern themselves by:
Developing an open mind,
Filling their center,
Forging inner character
Therefore the sage guides others by:
Purging them of useless knowledge and desires,
So that cunning deceivers cannot influence them.
Incorporating the principle of non-attachment,
All people can learn to live in peace.
– Lao Zi / Dao De Jing Chapter III
For me, this chapter is about developing the Daoist concept of Wuwei or non-action. Be aware that Wuwei does not mean being passive or doing nothing at all. It refers to learning to be in harmony with the present moment and to develop the skill to go along with whatever is happening. In this way we can use the currents prevailing at the moment to achieve harmony instead of fighting against the current.To achieve this state of Wuwei It is necessary to begin with working on ourselves, becoming warriors of the heart and conquering our desires.The primary goal is to become free of desire for things that are unnecessary in our life. Such freedom allows us to develop a clear inner sight devoid of fanciful illusions with which we so often distort reality to suit our needs. Desires, attachments, and useless goals become the chains that bind our inner spirit to a narrow spectrum of existence.
When your spirit is bound to worldly things so also the mind and body becomes shackled by the fetters of illusion. To be truly in harmony with the natural law of Dao it is necessary to find inner peace through freedom from attachments. Governing self by filling the center and forging inner character means to cultivate honesty and virtue within our heart and deeds.
The practice of psycho-physical forms of exercise in which the mind and body are blended into an integrated system of mind and body control can be used for this. Such practices as meditation, yoga, taijiquan, baguazhang and xingyiquan can all be used for this purpose if we have a good guide to show us the way. Then the arts become a spiritual practice.
*Xinfu Dao translates as acceptance of the way. It is the Li family philosophical method based on Daoism, Buddhism and Bon traditions.