What is Taoism? A way of life inspired by the course of nature. It is the wisdom and a practice inspired by it - in short, it is the way of uniting one with the Great
Pervader, that is, the Tao.
The basic ideas of Taoism have been developed Lao-tzu (The Old Sage) and his followers, such as Chuang-tzu and Lieh-tzu. We present them here along with their works such as the famous Tao-te ching.
We also deal with the I-ching (Book of Changes), and explain its usage as a divinatory tool.
Learn Taoism Online. Should you wish to learn more about Taoism viewed as a way of life, we provide sveveral email courses
designed for beginners. Please check the courses list here.
Featured articles. Several articles and papers related to Taoist issues are provided 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.
- Taoism about Death: Taoist view on death explained in few words and further resources. Click here to learn
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 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 Way - 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 so forth...
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 on a personal level. Each individual should have the taste of his life condition and empty his mind as to follow what it really is. One can not follow what is with a full mind.
|Three Sages: Buddha, Confucius and Lao-tzu
(Note by me: One can not follow what is with a full of mind, that is, based on preconceived conventions and beliefs. One needs to connect to reality and react accordingly.)
The full mind is the aim of today people fighting to know as much as possible about everything. Where's knowledge, there's power, they say.
Master Lu: Then maybe they would have to know that power is not similar with forcing. Power is also stepping-back.
Dialogue about Power (continued)
Me: How can we practice your power theory in our everyday life?
Master Lu: We always do practice it without thinking. Even now we practice power.
Master Lu: You keep asking and I am responding.
Me: I am not sure I get it.
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 come-and-go kind of 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.
Thoughts about Emptiness (wu)
One day I heard Master Lu commenting on a verse of 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 path they were taught
in the school. A path compatible with their limited knowledge. Fact is that everybody's trying to find confirmation of this path when learning something new. 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 to a Taoist Master of ancient times.
Still Master Lu said we are inclined to find the same teaching in every new teaching. Maybe sometimes we find similarities. Or perhaps it is only a wrong interpretation of the new information. (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?