"No sin can exceed / Incitement to envy; / No calamity's worse / Than to be discontented," said Lao Tzu centuries ago. The alienation and anxiety that stalk our lives today are the result of a "psychology of lack." Laurence G. Boldt, the best-selling author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living, believes that eight ancient principles from Taoism can put us on a path of abundance. The first principle is to accept the unity of all things, or as Lao Tzu put it: "To embrace all things means also that one rids oneself of any concept of separation: male and female, self and other, life and death. Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao."

Abundant living comes when we are open to receive and when we follow the path of least resistance. This is the art of wu-wei (effortless action), which is an antidote to the struggle for survival. Boldt is convinced that contentment comes not by succumbing to social pressures but by honoring our inborn abilities. Or as Chuang Tzu put it: "Obey your own destiny; it is often very difficult, but it is the only means of attaining serenity."