What is Taoism? A way of life inspired by the cosmic rhythms. It is a philosophy and a practice - in short, it is the way of uniting one with the Universal Power, that is the Tao.
The basic concepts of Taoism have been developed by the famous Taoist Masters such as Lao-tzu, Chuang-tzu and Lieh-tzu. We approach them here together with their greatest works such as Tao-te ching. We also deal with the I-ching (Book of Changes), explaining its hexagrams, trigrams and more, and mainly stressing on the method of consulting and interpreting its symbolic answers.
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Featured articles and ebooks. The following are several "must have" if you wish to learn more about Taoism.
- At the Death of Lao-tzu (article, PDF) - A short commentary on a Chuang-tzu story explaining why Lao-tzu was not the model of the Taoist master. Learn
- Taoism on Death (article, PDF) - A collection of quotes from
Chuang-tzu and Lao-tzu related to the Taoist experience of death + final conclusion. Learn more...
- Teachings on Tao by Chuang-tzu (Ebook) - A collection of abstracts from Chuang-tzu explained in plain words. Learn more...
- Living in Tao (Master Lu Dialogues on Tao and Taoism) (Ebook) - A collection of sayings referring to the Tao experience of a true Master of our days. 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 Sayings
Dialogue about Power
Me: 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?
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.
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?
Master Lu: 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)
Mistaken the False Disciple
for the True One
There are two kinds of people: those who follow the Tao without thinking about this, one may say, unconsciously. And those who try to follow the Tao through a constant effort, say, consciously. The reason is they wish to
step on what is sure, leads to attainment and avoids failure.
For the first category the benefit is only a certain feeling of rightness, or something close. One may say it is a kind of going with the stream. Their benefit is very personal so one can not recognize them.
Therefore when one says: Look
this is a Taoist adept (because he looks and behaves like a Taoist), I am pretty sure he mistaken the rather false disciple for the true one!
One can not recognize a true Master. He doesn't look like a Taoist.
Lao Tzu talked about the ancient masters and pointed to their muddy or troubled figure. He couldn't recognize them either!
Two Kinds of Wisdom
There are two kinds of wisdom: the practical and the static one. The practical is the wisdom which helps one doing things. It is a rather short living wisdom because it ceases when time comes. The static one doesn't help one in doing things and looks like a store of unsold goods. People cherish the practical wisdom and leave or ignore the static one.
I just found the following verses on an online Taoist group:
The past is gone.
The future is unpredictable.
All we have is now.
Make great use of it.
Are they really Taoist? I doubt about. The past is gone, of course, but did you learn something useful from it? The future is unpredictable? I don't
think so: what about the I Ching and the divination method? I Ching is part of Taoist aim at knowing the way of adaptation to the life trends. We all know that Taoists can't do without I Ching.
All we have is now! This is what we call a natural philosophy of living or seizing the day. We live for today and look for what can excite our feelings. The entire western modern civilization of TV, News and
Advertisements is based on this idea. It is not Taoist at all! It is modern living without past and future! By Jhian
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