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Step 12: Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled.

Principle: Service

The 7th verse of the Tao explains that the secret of the Tao is in serving. The reason that both heaven and earth last forever is because they do not live for themselves, but for others. It is a simple message and formula for happiness. This verse affirms the law of circulation - by giving without expectation, everything we need will come to us. "Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled." The Tao describes the perpetual and eternal free-flowing power from the Source which sustains and endures. Our work is to understand that we are one with this power which flows through and as us when we are willing and available.

Text or Verse

Heaven is eternal - the earth endures.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They do not live for themselves only.
This is the secret of their durability.

For this reason the sage puts himself last
and so ends up ahead.
He stays a witness to life, so he endures.

Serve the needs of others,
and all your own needs will be fulfilled.
Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.
7th Verse
Tao Te Ching


Gratitude is a powerful practice which easily connects us to the Source as we define the good in our daily lives.

Today make a list of all the good that you have received which has come without any effort or expectation on your part. Be aware of the simple things we take for granted; sunshine on your face, clean water, family members, good health, freedom etc.


Dyer, Dr. Wayne. Change your Thoughts, Change your Life. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2007.

Lao Tzu. trans. by Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version.


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