Taoism is a way of life inspired by the course of nature. It is a natural wisdom and a practice aiming at uniting one with the Great Pervader or the Tao.
The basic ideas of Taoism were created by Lao-tzu in his famous Tao-te Ching (Book on Tao and Te). His disciples have further developed these concepts that later gave birth to what was called Taoism. Meaning a spiritual discipline focused on the art of living in accord with the flow of the natural world.
We address the basics of Taoism (the tao-chia
branch) and also include other online resources, quotes and papers. Last but not least, we deal with the I-ching (Book of Changes) explaining its functioning as oracle and how to interpret its answers.
Online courses. Should you want to study Taoism more deeply, we have created several online courses intended for beginners. These courses are
inspired by the classical Taoist literature combined with our experience on a daily practice. Click here to learn more.
Featured articles. Several articles and papers related to Taoist issues are delivered as PDF. Below is the list of the new issues - also you may visit our paperstore here.
Is there any step one must take to know the Tao or rather Tao is self-evident so there's no step to take? Click here to learn more.
I-ching Dictionary (PDF) - Explains the main terms in plain words. Click here to learn more.
- At the Death of Lao-tzu - A commentary on a Chuang-tzu's story treating of why Lao-tzu was not a Great Man. Learn more...
- Taoism on Death - A collection of quotes from Chuang-tzu and Lao-tzu related to the Taoist experience of death. Learn more...
Quotes: Alan Watts on Taoism. Certain Chinese philosophers writing in, perhaps, the -5th and -4th centuries, explained ideas and a way of life that have come to be known as Taoism - the way of man's cooperation with the course or trend of the natural world...
[more quotes here].
Master Lu's Sayings
new! What about Time?
Question: What does Taoism teach us about time?
Master Lu: Time as cosmic event or lifetime?
Q: Time as lifetime.
Nothing. Taoism is not interested in time or things related to the flow of time. Time and the experience of time are part of life. They are elements of life such as breathing or nutrition. They can not be avoided nor should be avoided. Time is accepted as such no matter what we feel about it individually.
Is There a Must for One
Who Follows the Tao?
Me (Jhian): What's the most important thing in the life of one who follows the Tao?
Master: There's nothing important so there's nothing "most" important.
All one can do is to receive the insight of his inner self and be ready and resolved to apply the insight to the very moment.
Me: Is this readiness a must?
Master: No, it depends on the times, or the course of the things or the individual innate nature.
Me: You mean one may be lazy as well?
Master: We don't proceed on the basis of an established list of "you
must" or rules. We just follow the trends. And they may require one to be lazy as well.
The Civilized Tao
Me (Jhian): I often heard of Taoist morals or ethical attitude one should
follow to the end of his life. What's your opinion about this?
Master: About what?
Me: About the disciples who follow the Path - should they adopt an ethical approach concerning the World?
Master: You mean they should be good people, love animals and their neighbors, and so forth?
Me: Yes, something like that.
Master: There's no such thing in Taoism. One should follow only the Tao.
Me: Still following the Tao doesn't imply being a civilized person?
Master: What you call a civilized person?
Me: One who respects others and follows the rules.
Master: No, there's no such civilized person.
Me: People think we should adopt civilized manners and help our fellow people and the Earth, and everything else.
Then give them a civilized Tao.
Dialogue about Power
Me (Jhian): We are looking today at people and we find them very strong, I mean they try to impose their will against the prevailing conditions.
Also we know of people rejecting the will and power and choosing the meditation states, the step-back style. Which is the best?
Master Lu: You mean power or stillness?
Me: We can say so.
Master Lu: Many Taoists will tell you: Man you have to emulate the water conduct, that is, be flexible and follow the trends. This is the best.
Me: But how can one emulate the water conduct in his everyday life, I mean pragmatically?
Master Lu: This is a personal issue. Every individual should have the test of his life condition and empty his mind as to follow what is. One can not follow what is with a full mind.
|Three Sages: Buddha, Confucius and Lao-tzu
Me: The full mind is the aim of today people fighting to know as much as they can. Where's knowledge, there's power, they said.
Master Lu: Then maybe they should know that power doesn't equal
forcing. Power is also stepping-back.
Dialogue about Power (continued)
Me: How we practice your power theory in the everyday life?
We always do without thinking. Even now we practice power.
Master Lu: You keep asking and I am responding.
Me: I am not sure I get it.
Master Lu: Well, it's simple. When you ask, you put a pressure on me. You force me to think of your question and give you an answer. When I respond, I obey your pressure.
Me: I see.
Master Lu: But this is a comes-and-goes process. You must focus on my
question and try to understand it. This way you obey my answer. This happens all the time...
Me: You mean your power theory is part of nature?
Master Lu: You may say so. By Jhian
Thoughts about Emptiness (wu)
One day I heard Master Lu commenting on a verse from Tao-te ching
. He said: The emptiness (that is, wu) is the key for the secret teaching. People are looking for a secret teaching but they follow the same path as they were told about in the school. A path compatible with their limited knowledge. Fact is that everybody's trying to find confirmation. No matter what teachings they deal with. They need proof. This is why nobody can teach anybody.
My comment: I just noticed a short comparison between the mind
emptiness with Taoists and the Gnostic Christ. I thank Sarah for this. It is about a short saying in the Gospel of Thomas where it is said that when the disciple is empty his is full of light and vice versa, when he is full, he is full of darkness. This may sound familiar with a Taoist master of ancient times. Still Master said we are inclined to find the same teaching no matter what
the discipline is. Perhaps sometimes we find similitude. Or perhaps it is only a wrong interpretation. (Jhian)
What if there's no separation,
What if "I" has fallen for its lie,
What if ignorance lead it astray,
What if there's no me to die?
What if every-thing's been provided,
What if all is shared,
What if no false identities,
What if nature truly cared?
What if no words spoken,
What if no sound,
What if stillness I AM,
What if in Presence IT found?
What if "I" let's go completely,
What if there's no me,
What if ALL IS one being,
What if only Truth could be?