"Attaining perfect emptiness
Remain patient and sincere
The myriad beings arise as one
Through this we observe the return
Of beings in numberless multitudes
Each coming home to its root
Return to the root means serenity
It may be called a return to a higher order
Return to higher order speaks of the enduring
To comprehend the enduring speaks of clarity
To not comprehend the enduring
Is to recklessly create suffering
To comprehend the enduring (is) tolerance
Tolerance becomes justice
Justice becomes sovereignty
Sovereignty becomes celestial
The celestial becomes the path
The path is then continuous
The death of self is nothing to fear"
- Translated by Bradford Hatcher, 2005, Chapter 16
"Bring about emptiness to the extreme.
Guard true stillness.
The ten-thousand things rise together.
I therefore observe their return:
Those ten-thousand plants—each plant—returns
Going back to its root.
Going back to the root is said to be stillness.
This is called returning to life.
Returning to life is called the Constant.
Understanding the Constant is called clarity.
Not understanding the Constant:
Understanding the Constant, forgive.
Forgive, then be unbiased.
Be unbiased, then be whole.
Be whole, then be Heaven.
Be Heaven, then be Tao.
Be Tao, then be eternal.
Not having a body, there is no danger."
- Translated by Aalar Fex, 2006, Chapter 16
"Empty the self completely; Embrace perfect peace.
Realize that all beings alike go through their processes of activity and life,
and then they return to the original source.
Returning to the source brings peacefulness and stillness.
This stillness is the flow of nature, and signifies that the beings have lived their allotted span of life.
Accepting this brings enlightenment and tranquility,
ignoring this brings confusion and sorrow
If one can accept this flow of nature; one can cherish all things.
Being all-cherishing you become impartial;
Being impartial you become magnanimous;
Being magnanimous you become natural;
Being natural you become one with The Way;
Being one with The Way you become immortal:
Though the body will decay, the Way will not."
- Translated by John Discus, 2002, Chapter 16
- Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16
zhi xu ji. shou jing du. wan wu bing zuo. wu yi guan fu. fu wu yun yun, ge fu gui qi gen. gui gen yue jing. shi yue fu ming. fu ming yue chang. zhi chang yue ming. bu zhi chang, wang zuo xiong zhi chang rong. rong nai gong. gong nai quan. quan nai tian. tian nai dao. dao nai jiu. mo shen bu dai. - Pinyin translation, Daodejing, Chapter 16
"Effect emptiness to the extreme. Keep stillness whole. Myriad things act in concert. I therefore watch their return. All things flourish and each returns to its root. Returning to the root is called quietude. Quietude is called returning to life. Return to life is called constant. Knowing this constant is called illumination. Acting arbitrarily without knowing the constant is harmful. Knowing the constant is receptivity, which is impartial. Impartiality is kingship. Kingship is Heaven. Heaven is Tao Tao is eternal. Though you lose the body, you do not die." - Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 16
"Vacía tu Ego completamente;Abraza la paz perfecta.
El Mundo se mueve y gira;
Observale regresar a la quietud.
Todas las cosas que florecen
Regresarán a su origen.
Este regreso es pacífico;
Es el camino de la Naturaleza,
Eternamente decayendo y renovandose.
Comprender ésto trae la iluminación,
Ignorar esto lleva a la miseria.
Aquel que comprende el camino de la Naturaleza llega a apreciarlo todo;
Apreciandolo todo, se convierte en imparcial;
Siendo imparcial, se convierte en magnánimo;
Siendo magnánimo, se convierte en parte de la Naturaleza;
Siendo parte de la Naturaleza, se hace uno con el Tao;
Siendo uno con el Tao, se alcanza la inmortalidad:
Piensa que el cuerpo perecerá, el Tao no."
- Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 16
"To arrive at ultimate quietness
Steadfastly maintain repose.
All creatures together have form;
I see them return again to their root.
The Master creatures come to perfect form,
Continuously they return to their root.
Continuous return to the root is called repose,
Repose is called the law of return,
The law of return is called eternity.
To know eternity is called illumination.
To ignore eternity is to draw misfortune on oneself,
To know eternity is to be great of Soul,
To be great of soul is to be a ruler,
To be a ruler is to be greater than all,
To be greater than all is to be conscious of Life,
To be conscious of Life is to endure.
The body shall disappear but not decay."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 16
Audio Recordings in English by Mike Garofalo
Here is an audio recording of selected translations from Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching. This reading includes translations by Isabella Mears 1916, Charles Muller 1891, John Discus 2002, Bradford Hatcher 2005, Stephen Addis 1993. Reading and recording by Michael P. Garofalo from the Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove, in Red Bluff, California. Recorded on December 3, 2016. MP3 format. 9 MB.
A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter. Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization. Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.
Chapter 16, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index
Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
Taoism: A Selected Reading List