The Center of Your Being (Poem by Lao Tzu)

The Center of Your Being (Poem by Lao Tzu)
First Impressions (acrylic) by Polly Castor

First Impressions (acrylic) by Polly Castor

The Center of Your Being

Always we hope that someone else has the answer,
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer.

No other place will be better.
And it has already turned out.

At the center of your being you have the answers.
And you know what you want.

There is no need to run outside for better seeing,
nor to peer from the window.

Rather abide at the center of your being.
For the more you leave it,
the less you know.
Search your heart and see that
the way to do is to be.

by Lao Tzu

Center of Being by Lao Tzu

7 into 3 (acrylic) by Polly Castor


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Sue Krevitt 4 years ago

    Hi Polly-Inspiration!

    I enjoyed Lao Tzu’s poem “The Center of Your Being.” Thanks!

    Just returned from an amazing and huge Quilt Show, and thought of YOUR art while there! I’ll try to post some
    of the photos I took, as I think you would enjoy em. (Soon as my iPhoto lets me upload them. Urg. )

    I am a Big Polly Castor Fan!!


  2. Linda 4 months ago

    Hello. What is the source of this. I like it, but I cannot find any other website or book that quotes this. What did you translate it from? Thanks!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 months ago

      I got it from one of the blogs I read.

      • Linda 4 months ago

        Alas! It may be that it is fake…

        Internet quotes are such a pain. I remember something like from 35 years ago as a youth, and I was looking for the source. But it is not in any of my Lao Tzu books.

        Well, it is good, either way. Thanks for the reply!

        • Author
          Polly Castor 4 months ago

          I felt it was a reliable source.

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