Taoism > Meditation

Meditation in Taoism

The word "meditation" is very popular in Western culture. The main source of its popularity is based on the yoga practices and philosophy. In Taoism, meditation doesn't follow the same purpose like yoga. Furthermore, there are no postures (asanas), nor inner concentration or fusional feelings. Talking about Taoist meditation Alan Watts wrote:

    Taoist meditationContemplative Taoists will be happily to sit with yogis and Zennists for as long as is reasonable and comfortable, but when nature tells us that we are 'pushing the river' we will get up and do something else, or even go to sleep. (From Tao: The Watercourse Way).

Basically, Taoist meditation is more like a sort of wisdom achieved by close observation of the things and phenomena in the world surrounding us. Such wisdom should help us go alongside with things and not against them, and is surely related to the Nondoing concept and practice.

There are a lot of Taoist texts pointing to the mediation technique. Here's a fragment from a dialogue between Master Lieh and one of his disciples where the Master explains his own final experience:

    At the end of seven years, there was another change. I [Master Lieh] let  my mind reflect on what it would, but it no longer occupied itself with right and wrong. I let my lips utter whatsoever they pleased, but they no longer spoke of profit and loss. (From Taoist Teachings Translated from the Book of Lieh Tzu, 1912, Lionel Giles version).

The phrase "no longer spoke of profit and loss" points to the complete detachment of the Taoist disciple from all contingencies of human ethics.

What is the meditation good for?

It clearly helps one to free himself from the "you should" of everyday life, in order to achieve the child-like nature. It is the return to the genuine purity of the human mind.


You may learn more about the Taoist meditation by taking our 10-lesson email course dedicated to this topic. Click here to access the course page.


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