Taoism

Definition - What does Taoism mean?

Taoism is a philosophical and religious tradition of Chinese origin. Also called Daoism, this belief system is based on living the Tao, a concept that is difficult to describe and has different meanings but is typically translated as the “way” or “path.”

Taoism is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in China. Some say Lao Tzu, purported to be the author of the "Tao Te Ching," founded Taoism in the sixth century B.C.E., but the authorship of this important Taoist text and even Lao Tzu's existence have been debated.

Yogapedia explains Taoism

The belief system of Taoism is built around living a life of service and living according to one's own nature and in harmony with all creation. Taoists accept contradictions because they are part of the nature of life. Taoism believes in the concept of dualism – that things only have meaning due to the existence of their opposites. This is often referred to as yin and yang, seemingly opposite but complementary forces.

Even though Taoism includes many deities, the Tao is not a deity and not worshiped as such. It is the ultimate principle in all creation, and everything that exists and happens is unified in the Tao. Taoism also promotes the quest for spiritual immortality and living an egoless virtuous life. Beyond that, Taoist practices, rituals and beliefs are diverse.

Like yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism, Taoism may include the practice of meditation and chanting. Taoists also practice feng shui (harmonized with the environment) and fortune telling.

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