Category Archives: Religion

Taoism Explained

​ “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” These seven simple words were written by Lao Tzu in his book, Tao te Ching, which became the basis for the Chinese religion of Taoism. The book was written in the 6th century and at this time it is estimated that there are between 2,700,000 and 5,000,000 people that continue to practice Taoism worldwide. While this is a lesser practiced religion, Taoism offers many lessons that could prove invaluable to people of the world today. To understand the true meaning of Taoism you must first comprehend what Tao is. It is “the Way.” The Way is a force that underlies the universe and while it is a part of everything, it is greater than all things. It, combined with the practice of doing by nondoing (wu-wei) allows the believer to unite with the Tao. What sounds very complicated becomes almost basic as it is broken down.

What is Taoism? What is Daoism?
1. Taoism is both a religious tradition and a philosophical belief. There is no God in Taoism. Instead the core of Taoism is the Tao, which is often seen as beyond description. However, it is referred to as the origin of the universe and the basis of all by believers.
2. Taoism is also known as Daoism. The difference lies in the pronunciation between American British and English British.
The short video below will give you an overview of Taoism.

What are Taoism beliefs?
1. The main principle is the belief in the Tao. This can be difficult to explain in English, but it is essentially the path one must follow in life. It is the natural order of all things and the Tao is considered to be the universal life force or the underlying nature of all things that exist in the world.
2. The key to Taoism is that you must first accept yourself and learn to accept what is going on around you. You must accept both the good and bad parts of your life and flow with the path life sends you on.
3. The Three Jewels (or The Three Treasures) should be behind all the things that you do. Compassion, moderation, and humility will lead you to a path of courage, generosity, and leadership. Be patient and gentle.
4. You should live a natural and simple life. It is acceptable to need time to yourself to just sit and listen only to the voice in your head and not to those around you. This will allow you the time to see the real truth in the world. Eliminate anything that is unnecessary or artificial in your life.
5. The world, and everything in it, is in a constant cycle. The cycle consists of coming into your own being, maturing, and eventually, decaying and returning to the Tao.
6. Everything should follow a natural course and you should avoid any action that is not spontaneous or wu-wei.
7. Be patient and see beauty in everything around you and in yourself.
8. Practice love and restraint. “Do not regard weapons as lovely things, for to think them lovely means to delight in them, and to delight in them means to delight in the slaughter of man.”
9. Be true to yourself and you will be happy.
10. Show compassion for others and honor life.

What Are Common Taoist Symbols?

1. The most recognized and widely used symbol of Taoism is the Yin-Yang symbol, or tajitu. It is vital to Taoism as their beliefs center on harmony and balance. It is the diagram of ultimate power. The circular shape represents the Tao. Our fate is determined by the balance or unbalance of the two forces. Yin (feminine, negative, and dark) and yang (masculine, positive, and bright). Neither can exist without the other such as day and night or birth and death. They are ever-changing, but together they form a whole.
2. The yin and yang symbol are designed to remind believers of the nature of duality (a situation that has two states that are both complementary and opposed to each other.) It can be used to meditate upon and discover deeper meanings in life.
3. The third eye in simple terms is a combination of all the senses and the brain working together to form a larger, more powerful sensory organ. The following link gives an explanation of the third eye and genuine intuition.

4. Mountains are symbolic to Taoist as they believe that you can communicate with immortals through them.
5. Ba gua translates to trigrams in English and symbolize the principles of reality to Taoist.
6. The Five Elements (wu xing) are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. They represent the activity cycle of yin and yang while they are alternating resulting in the changing cycles of nature that regulate the Earth. They are also known as The Five Movements which describe the stages of transformation that occur during seasonal changes.

Famous Taoism Quotes and Their Meaning

1. The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.” This seems to be saying that there are some truths out there that can only be felt and not necessarily be put in to words
2. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” This implies that to be successful at anything you have to first understand yourself.
3. “When the best leader’s work is done the people say: We did it ourselves.” A true leader works with his people to inspire them and allow them to realize their own potential as opposed to standing in front of them and giving orders.
4. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” You have to be open to change, both personally and in the world around you, in order to grow.
5. “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” This implies that through meditation you can truly begin to understand the world around you without all the constant noise of others.

To sum it up the best way to understand Taoism is simply to remember to go with the flow and love yourself.