Taoism is an ancient Chinese philosophy based on the principle that all phenomena of the Universe emanate from the same source — the Way, Nature, or the Tao (pronounced "Dao"). This is a philosophy of harmony and balance.
History and Origin
Believed to be the creator of Taoism, Lao Tsu (604-531 B.C.E) was looking for a way to prevent the perpetual warfare and other conflicts that interrupted the society during his lifetime. He wrote a book known as Tao Te Ching.
Historians believe that the book was composed between the 6th and 3rd centuries. Others believe that Lao Tsu is merely as mythical character.
The teachings contained in this philosophy have nonetheless been classified as some of the most powerful, profound, and valuable. Tao philosophy maintains much significance in meditation practices throughout the world.
Beneath the growing distraction in today’s way of life, the essence and nature of each moment will always exist and infinitely present; a beautiful, subtle path that offers a mysterious depth for the modern mind to make contact with.
Taoism began as a combination of philosophy and psychology; it grew into a religious faith in 440 CE when it became the state religion. During this period, Lao Tsu became popularly respected as a deity. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism became the three biggest religions of China. The support for Taoism ended in 1911 after the end of Ch’ing dynasty. Considerable Taoist heritage was destroyed during the period of warlordism.
After the Communist won in 1949, Chinese religious freedom was strictly restricted. The new government forced monks to engage in manual labour, plundered treasures and confiscated temples. Several millions of monks were reduced to less than 50,000 by the end of 1960.
From 1966 to 1976, which is referred to as the period of Cultural Revolution, much of the Taoist heritage that remained was destroyed. Under the Deng Xiao-ping from 1982 to present, religious tolerance in China has been restored.
The early Taoists started studying the flow of life currents in nature and began cultivating a comprehension of how the transfer of energy is reflected in human beings.
Actually, human beings are part of the natural world around them, and hence, the accurate understanding of the laws of nature gives human beings clarity and enlightenment about themselves.
The pathway of the Taoist Alchemist is to change the Light of Awareness 'around’- so as to bend it inwards, allowing human beings to serve their core nature and drink from the fountain of longevity and vitality.
From quality time in nature, philosophical teachings, introspective analysis, meditation, and Qi Gong (also referred to as energy yoga), the Taoist expert wakes up to the natural pulse of the universe and is completely free from the controls of social influence and mental distortion.
The Integration of Taoism in the Modern World
The practice of Taoism teaches us how to respect the natural way of life. This is the path of least resistance and compassion for each moment. A better appreciation of the complex inter-relatedness of everything in life.
Those who practise Taoism become more attuned to the universal flow of life force, in all the spheres of their life and as a result, experience heightened states of balance and synchronized energy.
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