Excerpts from Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell translation) and other sources

There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty. Solitary. Unchanging. Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao.
Tao to Ching, #25

Mountains are high because of it,
oceans are deep because of it,
animals run because of it,
birds fly because of it.
Wen Tzu, #1

The Tao gives birth to all beings, . . .
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
Tao to Ching, #51

Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao.
Tao to Ching, #51

The Way is the basis of virtue, the root of heaven, the door of fortune.
All beings depend on it for life, growth, and stability. . .
there is nothing it does not do;
no one knows its state, no one knows its reality, but there is truth in it.
It flows through all things, inside and outside,
and returns to the origin of all things.
Wen Tzu, #72

Thus the Way effects the movement of the heavens and the stability of the earth,
turning endlessly like a wheel, flowing ceaselessly like water.
It is there at the beginning and end of things:
as wind rises, clouds condense, thunder rumbles, and rain falls,
it responds in concert infinitely.
Wen Tzu, #1

it harmonizes dark and light, regulates the four seasons, and tunes the forces of nature.
Wen Tzu, #1

The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds.
It is always present within you.
Tao to Ching, #6

The Tao gives rise to all forms, yet it has no form of its own.
If you attempt to fix a picture of it in your mind, you will lose it.
Hua Hu Ching, #6

The Tao never does anything, yet through it all things are done.
Tao to Ching, #37

Form that includes all forms, image without an image, subtle, beyond all conception.
Tao to Ching, #14

It is hidden but always present.
I don’t know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.
Tao to Ching, #4

How can the divine Oneness be seen?
In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe-inspiring miracles?
The Tao is not obliged to present itself this way.
It is always present and always available.
When speech is exhausted and mind dissolved, it presents itself.
When clarity and purity are cultivated, it reveals itself.
When sincerity is unconditional, it unveils itself.
If you are willing to be lived by it, you will see it everywhere, even in the most ordinary things.
Hua Hu Ching, #22

You can’t know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from: this is the essence of wisdom.
Tao to Ching, #14

Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.
Tao to Ching, #25