That man who has made death his goal – to him alone is success guaranteed.
The wise man is free, though his body be broken and chained in the darkest of dungeons.
The foolish man is a prisoner, though he stand unfettered in an open field.
Your fear is a ring in your nose, by which you may be led around at will.
When one is fighting a tiger, victory is gained only when one has killed the tiger. But when one is fighting quicksand, victory is gained only when one has escaped from the quicksand and walked away. Pity the man who cannot distinguish between the two situations.
Sometimes the catastrophe must be allowed to happen.
Sometimes you can escape the prison by denying its existence.
Sometimes you cannot escape the prison until you admit its existence.
Recognize chaos as an opportunity for practice.
Live as long as you like: it will not make your death any shorter.
When the wolves demand that the chickens be freed from their bondage, the welfare of the chickens is not their main concern.
Change in human affairs, like the changing of the seasons, is indeed inevitable – but like the changing of the seasons, it can neither be hastened nor impeded. It will happen only when it absolutely must happen, and not one moment before.
You cannot be at peace with war – but neither can you be at war with it.
The best way to defuse a rebellion is to make the rebels believe they have won.
The problem with rich people is that they have more money. The problem with powerful people is that they have more power.
Even a dead tree has a destiny to fulfill.
A student once asked Hu Sei Dat, “Once I have achieved the state of ‘waiting without expectation,’ how shall I know when the time has come to act?”
Hu replied, “You will know that the time has come to do something when you find yourself doing it.”
If someone accuses you of absent-mindedness, bow and say, “Thank you. That is exactly the state for which I have been striving.”
This “unity” that you seek is not something that can be imposed. It is already there. It can only be discovered, recognized, and accepted.
Do not ask who has won the drinking contest until the next morning.
The separation is temporary. The reunion will be permanent.
One may pursue wisdom without sacrificing strength.