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Nature uses few words. Lao-Tse in Tao Te Ching

Taoism, or Daoism, (pronounced "Dowism") originated with the teachings of Lao-Tse, born in 604 BC as a contemporary of Confucius. Both men lived in a time of fierce feudal warring in China, and both similarly sought ways to adopt more peaceful alternatives to constant strife.

Tao, or 'The Way", taught inwardness and harmony with the self as a means to achieving balance and harmony with others and the natural world. The basic principles of Taoism were first written down in a short text, Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tse in the 6th century. A century later, its author was being worshiped as a deity and Taoism officially recognized as a state religion within China.

Today, Taoism is regarded as one of the three great religions emanating from China along with Buddhism and Confucianism, and is most recognized in the West by its well known Yin Yan symbol, yin yang representing the universal balance of complementary opposites, i.e., night and day, hot and cold, male and female.

lao tse
Lao-Tse, regarded as
the founder of Taoism.

Taoism currently claims about 20 million followers, mostly in Taiwan, in mainland China, and Southeast Asia.

Western countries, particularly in the US and Canada, have also come to increasingly adopt the health and exercise techniques that have sprung from the study of Taoism. These include the study of Tai Chi, a rhythmic exercise that gently tones muscles and increases circulation, as well as recognition of the beneficial effects found in acupuncture, herbalism, and holistic medical practices followed by many adherents of traditional Chinese medicine.

On the Web, discover more about the ancient practices of The Way, its history and origins, active discussions in related online forums, and recent adaptations of Taoism in Western medicine and everyday life ...


More about Taoism around the Web:

 

Taoism.net - Extensive collection of teaching stories, feature articles and poetry, Tao principles and ethics, annotated Tao Te Ching, background history and information on I-Kuan Tao, plus an active online community forum.

Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan - Online introductory course covering the life of Lao Tzu & Chuang Tzu, the development of Taoism, practices & beliefs, overviews of Taoist deities, with additional information on Neo-Taoism and Tai Chi.

Daoism - Basic primer covering ts history and development, with a discussion on Neo-Daoism and comparisons to Buddhism, extensive bibliography and related resources, from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Taoism - Daoism Depot - Introduction to basic beliefs and teachings, discussions and translations of sacred texts, Daoist humor, recommended reading, resources, related art gallery, live chat, forum.


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