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Transcript of Taoism-Ally Cerini
What is Taoism?
Who, What, Where, When, How
Zhang Daoling became the first Celestial Master and founder of the first organized Taoist school of thought. The tradition continues to the present day, with the current Celestial Master living in Tawian.
Main Premise of Taoism
Taoism is about the Tao. This is usually as "the Way". The Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe.
The Tao is not God and is not worshiped. Taoism includes many deities that are worshiped in Taoist temples, and are part of the universe and depend, like everything, on the Tao.
Achieving harmony or union with nature
The pursuit of spiritual immortality
How many followers? Is Taoism growing, shrinking, or staying the same?
Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldview.
Taoism is also referred to Daoism, which is a more accurate way of representing in English the sound of the Chinese word.
Taoism originated in China over 2,000 years ago
Taoism was first recognized as a religious system during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE
Taoism has no founder and no founding date. It grew out of various religious and philosophical traditions in ancient China, including shamanism and nature religion
Taoism has 2.7 million followers today
The religion takes up only a small
proportion of the world's religions.
The Chinese government has tried to suppress Taoism (severely at times in the past), but it's teachings and practices still thrive and remain strong
About 30,000 North Americans practice Taoism
What is the literal
doctrine of the religion?
Yin Yang Symbol
The key book of Taoism was compiled around the 3rd century BCE. It's called the Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing or Daode Jing) - The Way and Its Power
This short book of around 5,000 Chinese characters is divided into 81 brief chapters filled with short paragraphs of advice on life, and poetic descriptions of the nature of the universe.
Taoists regard the Tao Te Ching as the essential guide to living a full spiritual and ethical life.
No one person wrote the Tao Te Ching. Although elementary textbooks usually say it was written by Lao Tzu (Laozi) this is untrue. The book is probably a collection of the proverbs and sayings of many anonymous people over a long period of time.
Taoism is a religion of unity and opposites; Yin and Yang. The principle of Yin Yang sees the world as filled with complementary forces - action and non-action, light and dark, hot and cold, etc.
What does a typical worship service consist of?
This video displays the traditional worship service of Taoism typically done in the home.
Taoism practices also include:
Reading and Chanting of Scriptures
Leadership and Structure
Does Taoism fit the definition of a religion or a cult?
Taoism fits the definition of a religion. The religion is very free and open. Acquiring peace through meditation and feng shui is very important to those who follow the religion. There is no one leader that dictates what the people of the religion can do.
There is no leader or formal hierarchy of priests in Taoism.
However many Taoists have seen Lao Tzu as the Taoist leader, unofficially. The religion regulates on a very open basis.
Taoism in Media
Many people are familiar with the Yin Yang symbol of Taoism due to its display on clothing, jewelry, artwork etc.
There are not too many stereotypes of people who practice Taoism because not many people know the religion even exists. Taoism has remained mainly in the Asian region therefore it is little known.