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Basic Taoism Practices

The basic belief of Taoist followers is that the world is continuously affected by change.

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

But continuous change begs the legitimate question: how do we adapt to it or, more precise, what we need to do in order to cope with the life requirements so as to avoid failure and harm, and achieve our goals despite setbacks.

"Following the Tao" is the goal of the Taoist life cultivation

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

Lao-tzu himself was interested in practice and preached social seclusion, abandon of ambition and desires and keeping a low profile.

The pragmatic approach of changes is made through intuition and the I-ching oracle.

Here we have two practices: one based on cultivating the natural intuition (spontaneous knowledge that springs from the realization of mind emptiness - wu) and, the other, on divination through the oracle of changes (I Ching).

The practice of the emptiness is the core of Taoist teachings. When we practice it, we empty our minds and get rid of our desires. This, ultimately, leads to better adaptation to the concrete requirements 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 offers one of the means to know in advance the temporary tendencies that will predominate, thus allowing us to choose the best strategy to avoid failure, illness and even premature death.

Yarrow stalks
Yarrow stalks used to inquire the oracle of changes.

The use of the oracle can be applied in many areas: social, political, health and profit, war, love and even dream interpretation and psychotherapy.

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

Nonaction is a concept unknown to Westerners. And when combined with the practice of emptiness and divination, it leads to the realization of our spiritual status as Sons of Heaven - of which Lao-tzu teaches - which is the final aim of the Taoist disciples.

This requires no physical effort, but only intellectual understanding and meditation on the seeds of events.

Finally, let us emphasize that the Taoist understanding of life and spiritual principles that guide it, and the knowledge to cope with the conditions dictated by the moment are absolutely unknown in the West.

The practice of Taoism as shown above is thus becoming a "must" if we want to find our way out from the confused and deceiving world of today.

Note: Modern presenters of Taoism, living in the West, mistake the Taoist way of life for naturalism, that is, a New-Age return to nature ideology.

This serious confusion has led us to believe that Taoism is familiar to Westerners as if it simply consisted of living in harmony with nature.

Even if it talks about adapting to natural conditions, Taoism does not mean a way of life in harmony with nature, which, moreover, is impossible for man who is fundamentally social, that is, living in societies controlled by precise rules and norms.

Read also:

Tao Practice in the Day-to-Day Life

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