Daoism

What is Daoism?

Intro to Daoism

The word in the dictionary meaning:

daoism


noun

philosophical system developed by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events.

Daoists seek the path over the way.

The Dao, or 'Way', is a concept that relays all things adhere to a simple principle or force that guides naturally and without effort. The crux of Daoism is Wu Wei, or non-action, the idea that through letting nature flow the way it is intended, and ourselves flowing with it, we can reach a harmonious and balanced life.

What is Taoism? Aspects [HD]

How did it begin?

The Dao, or 'Way', is a concept that relays all things adhere to a simple principle or force that guides naturally and without effort. The crux of Daoism is Wu Wei, or non-action, the idea that through letting nature flow the way it is intended, and ourselves flowing with it, we can reach a harmonious and balanced life.

In a nutshell... and Diffusion

The history of Daoism can conveniently be divided into four periods: Proto-Daoism (aka "Philosophical Taoism" in an older (mis-)understanding), Classical Daoism, Modern Daoism and Contemporary Daoism. Although these labels suggest a gradual historical development, it does not follow from this that Daoism has been steadily developing in a linear fashion towards some ideal state, nor is it mean to imply that the "classical" period is somehow "better" than the "modern" period or vice-versa.


During these four periods Daoism has diffused the most. Many monasteries, and temples were built during these four periods and the monks within these structures the monks would spread the teachings of Tao Tsu towards the nearby community. Many of these citizens accepted the religion and started practising the religion.

Martial Arts

Tai Chi

Taoism Martial Arts - There is a big and long history, behind the long movements and beliefs of Tai Chi that is associated with Taoism. Some of the belief and ideologies of Taoism as contributed to the creation of Tai Chi. Tai Chi was based on Taoism. Balance is one of the key aspect of Tai Chi and it is depicted by the symbol of Yin and Yang. Many Taoist monks practice Tai Chi as a daily ritual everyday in there morning. Many people under the Taoist religions also practice this ancient art as well.

Gods and Spirit

Beliefs

Taoism does not include a god within their religion. They do not believe in a universal being that as created the cosmos and and controls everything in the universe. Taoists believe that the Universe springs forward from Tao. But here is the interesting thing Tao is not god, and it is not worshipped by as god itself.

But many Taoists refer to Lao Tsu as the first god of Taoism. But does have gods but they are borrowed from other religions though.

Key Figures and Holy Book

Lao Tsu and Tao Te Ching

Taoists refer to Lao Tsu as the first god of Daoism. He is described as a legendary icon and national figure to the followers of Daoism. Originally he was the first person who created Daoism. Lao Tsu during this time he written all of his teaching into a holy book know as the Tao Te Ching. The book was a collection of Lao Tsu teachings of Daoism and his godly wisdom. Many of the modern followers of Daoism follow the Tao Te Ching and learn the ancient wisdom that was passed down from the ancient times. The Tao Te Ching is like the bible for the Doaist followers.

Holy Places

Five Peaks

The Five Peaks are considered sacred within the Daoist religion. Each of the peaks are mountains and they each represent a direction. The different energies that resided within the Mountains had a major influence on the development of the spiritual traditions of Daoism. In the olden days many Daoists believed Mountains were great storage of energy. Many times in history we see so many different religious societies retreat from their modern surroundings and into the Mountains to develop their religion. It is said that Daoism was cultivated and developed in these Sacred Mountains.

Places of Worship

Shrines and Temple

Many of the Daoists followers pray at various shrines and temples at a convenient distance. But usually most of the followers have a small shrine set up in their homes where they can perform their own rituals and pray in their homes.

Branches

Subdivisions

In 21st century Taoism is divided into 2 main categories.
  • SOUTHERN TAOISM
  • NORTHERN TAOISM

Southern Taoism - is centralized mainly in Taiwan and Southern China
Northern Taoism - Is unknown to the modern world and it is mainly practiced in the mainland of China. It is also practiced by the modern Taoists.

Southern Taoism - A form of Cheng - i Taoism which is the only liturgical tradition of Taoism. The Cheng - i goes back to the 11th century. Mainly in this branch the priests would perform chiao (a liturgy) and this would harmonize the community with the cosmos. They also perform healing rituals and exorcism in the general public.

Northern Taoism - Subdivided from the Chuan Chen tradition. This was originated in the 12th century and its founders was Wand Chu’ung - yang. But this form puts more emphasis on the religion’s moral and spiritual discipline.

Aproximately 2,700,000 people follow Taoism

Location

Where is Daoism today?

Daoism is mainly clustered/concentrated in China. The religion has a heavy influence into the average daoist's life.
Daoism; The Ying and the Yang

Is there a difference?

Daosim vs. Taoism

The difference depends on which romanization system you use: Wade-Giles or Pinyin? People in Taiwan use Wade-Giles, while people in Mainland China uses Pinyin. Taoism = Wade-Giles system, Daoism = Pinyin system. Both are called "dao jiao" in Mandarin Chinese, no matter what system you use. dao = tao, jiao = teachings; doctrine.

Daoism is also referred to Taoism. Dao or Tao means the way. The Way which is referred as a spiritual force that underlies the universe and it is found within everything. It is part of all things but also it is greater than all things as well. Its believed to be the ultimate reality.

How has diffusion of folk culture affected daoism/taoism?

ESSENTIAL QUESTION