North Creek Rd is a hub for all things related to Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese philosophy that teaches us to live in harmony with the natural world. When you download our App you will have access to a wide range of resources, including music, meditations, artwork, and an audio book all bases on the teachings of the Tao Te Ching. Our community is centered around the power of gratitude and the practice of mindfulness and finding joy in our everyday life. Download our Thanks App today and join our community to Thanks today.
Below gives you access to the first 8 verses of the Thanks Book for your reading pleasure. Enjoy ...and be always Thankful.
Thanks Book (based on the verses of the Tao Te Ching)
Introduction to Thanks
How people prioritize happiness is an individual preference, but I'm willing to say that its up there with oxygen for most people. Let’s face it, there are difficulties in life that can make us sad, frustrated, or even outright horrified. Life has its ups and downs, but what if we could build a foundation of happiness and a game plan for getting back there as quickly as possible when we are facing difficult times? How we feel as we go about our days is very important to our overall performance and ability to cope, especially when things may not be going exactly as we had planned. What if we could build into our lives a strategy to maintain happiness and live in a state of upper equilibrium – Is this possible? I believe it is, but we may need to change in how we see the world. Many of us struggle through our days trying to find our purpose in life – 'What is the meaning of it all?’ is a question we hear others say or ask ourselves many times over. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What is my goal? I believe that everyone strives for a level of happiness in life – finding an inner peace and joy that can be maintained. Here’s another question - 'Does happiness create gratitude, or does being grateful make us happy?’ We've heard it before… being grateful for where we are and what we have is the best way – gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation – sounds simple, right? But in your heart of hearts when standing at the bottom looking up from the lower intervals of life, it can be hard to see the joy in this process. We try to create a space in our mind to move away from the lows and artificially boosting ourselves up, not really feeling it – 'fake it till you make it' – some may find this raw unguided thankfulness works, but not for all, and its usually a uphill climb to get back to a better place. How do we get back to a state of happiness and inner contentment as soon as possible? Do we wallow in our bereaved state and stay there until it all becomes too hard and we give up, or resort to unhealthy measures to dull our pain and hurt? The continuous push and pull from advertisements, news programs, reality shows and social media filters our view of the world. We are bombarded every waking moment with messages about how life should be, our brains continuously rewired through news items and misinformation. This misrepresentation of the facts is aimed to startle and create a greater audience and better ratings. How much of it tells the real story? Perhaps we need to start viewing programmed information with a new set of eyes and mindset, and by choosing what we view and engage with. We want to move away from this way of thinking to a place of happiness and gratitude. How do we approach the concept of thankfulness? It’s a very open-ended subject. Yes, we can be thankful for what is good in our lives and by comparing ourselves to those less fortunate.... but hang on a minute … why do some cultures who live closer to the poverty line experience greater happiness and less stress? We have well-constructed houses, entertainment, dollars in the bank – keeping up with the Jones’s while trying to make more time for family and friends doesn’t always make us happy. And if we manage to have or achieve more than the next person, are we helping those around us to share in this joy? I'm not here to promote selling everything, and starting life again, or moving to a commune. What I’d like to share is a better way to see our world and the way we see others. We all know one single truth about everyone on this planet … everyone wants a level of happiness and joy regardless of their living conditions, and to be able to cope with a level of commitment to a lifestyle that doesn't steal our happiness and inner joy. We need a way to move through life purposefully rather than floating on a fast and sometimes turbulent stream with or without a paddle. We need instruction and wisdom on the best use of the paddle we have to get through the rapids of life. It may not always be on flat and easy waters, but we need a strategy on the best way to ride the waves. I few years back I was introduced to the wise writings of Lao Tzu a book called the Tao Te Ching – second only to the Bible as the world’s most translated book. This startling fact caught my attention and the more I read, the more I could see how these words written so many years ago could equally be applied today. Curiously, the more I studied I began to see a better way forward. I could see how this wisdom could change our world in a positive way, and in a way that would encompass everyone, not just people at the top. If being happy is everyone’s goal, then we need to get there together through a system of equality and balance. I want to explore this concept of 'Thanks' through the wise verses of the Tao Te Ching. How we can build into our lives a process of Thanks and Gratitude that can sustain us while considering the lives of others. This simple process relay’s two principals – 1: Don’t be a Dick! 2: Lets all get along and share in a promoting a philosophy of happiness and inner joy! This journey won’t it happen overnight, but it will change your life… and the change will be forever !! (C) Copyright 2022 Written by Mark Wattis. All Rights Reserved. No duplication without permission.
What is the Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching was written by a Chinese philosopher called Lao Tzu who is thought to have lived at around 2500 years ago around the time of Confucius. It is believed that Confucius went to see Lao Tzu on several occasions, an on his return from these meetings he didn’t speak to his students for many days. They grew concerned and asked their teacher what had happened. Confucius said: “I know how a bird can fly. I know how a fish can swim. But I do not know how Lao Tzu could rise and fly like a sublime dragon riding on clouds in the sky.” “Birds can fly but will fall at the hunter’s arrow. Fish can swim but will be caught by the fisherman. Beasts can run but will drop into people’s nets and traps. There is only one thing that is out of man’s reach. That is the legendary dragon. A dragon can fly into the sky, ride on clouds, dive into the ocean. A dragon is so powerful, yet so intangible to us.” “Lao Tzu is a dragon, and I will never understand him.” Also known as Laozi 老 he is believed to have had access to the Royal Library of Zhou so was able to study and read the great literatures of his time. Understood to be a great teacher, he went on to create a new philosophy which was written in the form of 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching. Transcribed from old Chinese to our current day language, they give us a new a way of looking at this journey we are all traveling. The TTC speaks about two main areas: 1: How things are and how they should be seen. 2: How people relate to one another, and especially how leaders should deal with responsibility – essentially how leader treat people and other leaders. It speaks a simple truth about our existence and how we should treat one another… On our way through life it's all about how we treat ourselves and each other, how we treat the environment and everything we share on this good earth. Do we lift up or put down? Is it all about me, or is it about community and relationships with others? Do we forgive or condemn? In the end... only you can decide how to move forward. Take each step carefully and with confidence. (C) Copyright 2022 Written by Mark Wattis. All Rights Reserved. No duplication without permission.
How to Read the Verses
The Tao Te Ching has been interpreted many, many ways, most pointing to the discovery of a greater internal wisdom. However, if we see these verses as a tool to guide people and leaders in their relationships with one another, the lens of thanks and gratitude appears. Perhaps this is the way Lao Tzu intends us to follow. I have taken North Creek Rd’s versions of the TTC and used this as a starting point toward a pathway of happiness and joy. I would go as far as to say that if you read and understand these 81 verses, all your questions about life can be answered. The KISS principle (keep it simple…) needs to be applied to create the tools to start the process towards a more contented and happy life. Each day, when you first open your eyes or as your feet hit the floor, recite to yourself, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’. Now, it works better if you can aim your gratefulness at an area of your life. On the first day read the verse and the essay. Recite the Thanks citations over the next 3 days. Perhaps reflect on this area of thanks in your life throughout the 3 days and see how this wisdom becomes present in your world. Then onto the next verse and so on. This is something that has come to me over many years of reading the TTC and trying to create a way forward in my own life. In developing this process, I am learning along the way. This is as new for me as it will be for you, but I believe that it will bring us to a greater understanding of the verses, and help us to find simple ways to apply these principles to our lives… (C) Copyright 2022 Written by Mark Wattis. All Rights Reserved. No duplication without permission.