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Taoism Practices

Life cultivation methods

The basic belief of Taoist disciples is that the world is continuously affected by change. Nothing lasts forever...

All Taoist books warn us that nothing lasts forever and even turns into the opposite. Hence the human suffering.

This belief in the eternal change has an embodiment in the yin-yang principle that pervades all that exists: people, things and phenomena.

I-ching symbol of changes
I-ching symbol of change
But continuous change rises the legitimate question: how do we adapt to it or, more precise, how we cope with life requirements in order to avoid failure and harm, and achieve our goals despite setbacks.

Thus was born a peculiar method of living, adapted to changes, developed by the ancient Taoist Masters, such as Lao-tzu in his Tao-te ching.

In short, Lao-tzu preached a simple and careful behavior stressing the need to accommodate the yin-yang trends.

The pragmatic approach of changes is made in Taoism through two complementary methods: the nurturing of natural intuition (aka inner view) - the spontaneous knowledge that follows the practice of emptiness - and the I-ching divination.

iconFinding a way to live in harmony with the change is a must for Taoist life cultivation.

The practice of emptiness helps us get rid of many of our desires because we realize their inadequacy or their stupidity. A naked view of reality - without illusory hopes and or childish expectations - leads to a better adaptation to the demands of daily life.

Moreover, we manage to understand the background of the mysterious law ( Tao) of the "come and go" movement of everything that exists in the Universe.

Divination through I-ching provides us the advantage of knowing in advance what is being prepared in the fabric of the universe as well as in our daily life, and helps us find effective solutions to avoid failure and even premature death.

Yarrow stalks
Yarrow stalks used to inquire I-ching oracle

Finally, the practice of nondoing (wu-wei) is also indicated by Lao-tzu.

All this does not require physical effort, as one would think, but intellectual flexibility and meditation on the seeds of the events.

Let's conclude that the Taoist understanding of life and the principles that govern it, the science of cope with the conditions dictated by unforeseen changes, are totally foreign to the West.

Note: Modern Western presenters of Taoism confuse the Taoist way of life with naturalism, that is, with the ideology of returning to nature, so dear to the New Age fans.

This serious confusion led us to believe that Taoism is familiar to Westerners because it simply consists in the idea of life in harmony with nature!

Even if it talks about adapting to the conditions, Taoism does not mean a way of life in harmony with nature, which, let's say, is actually impossible for man because he is fundamentally social, that is, he lives in societies strictly controlled by rules and norms.

Read also

Several ebooks treating of Tao and Taoism

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Master Lu's dialogues and sayings - deal with the Tao practice and the meaning of several Taoist ideas and concepts.

Dialogues are also commented and explained in plain words.

Click here to learn more...

Teachings on Tao cover
Teachings on Tao by Chuang-tzu - a collection of texts by Chuang-tzu presented and commented by Jhian.

If you need a guide in the turmoil of our today world, this is the best one to start with.

Click here to learn more...

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