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Daoism: The Basics

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Taylor Hollander

on 29 January 2015

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Transcript of Daoism: The Basics

Main Ideas
What is it?
Be Happy and Free!
There is a religious Daoism and
philosophical Daoism - we're
focusing on the philosophy
- it's a way of thinking about things
Yin and Yang
He also thought that people should make their own decisions, not have the government make decisions for them
- he didn't like rules
Like Confucianism, Daoism was
a reaction to the war and
chaos of the times
Lao Tsu believed that everything alive (plants, animals, humans) shared a universal life force
Lao Tsu thought it was wrong for people to fight each other in wars because it would harm the life-force
Daoism (Taoism):
Dao means "way" or "path" in Chinese
There are two parts to this life-force:
yin and yang
Yin is the dark side and involves
women, the moon, and things that are
still (not moving) like ponds and death
Yang is the light side and involves men, the
sun, and things that move like rivers and birth
One of the Three Teachings
Lao Tsu (Tzu) was the founder
of Daoism. He probably lived in
the 600s-500s BCE.
Wu Wei
One of Lao Tsu's main ideas was
called "wu-wei" or "doing by not doing"
Rather than do things the difficult way or challenge the way things are, people should try to go with the flow
It is important to keep the yin and yang balanced
- not to have too much of one or the other
There are three secrets to being happy:
*COMPASSION (care for others)
*HUMILITY (being down-to-earth)
*MODERATION (enjoy everything in small amounts, but don’t go crazy!)
It's all about perspective and becoming happy. You should:
Try to find joy and laughter in everyday moments
Let go of stress and worry
Forget about things that make you sad
Be like the ugly duckling: look inward and find out who you really are

Several years ago, an author named Benjamin Hoff wrote a book that compared Daoism to the Winnie Pooh stories.
He made the connection between each character in the 100 Acres woods and Daoist philosophy.
According to Hoff, Some of the characters are Daoist thinking and some are not.
How to Think

Winnie the Pooh, like Daoism, was all about keeping things natural, simple, and uncomplicated.
Pooh is kind of clueless. As he puts it, he is "without brain."
But Winnie the Pooh is almost always happy.
Since he has no goals or expectations, he has no disappointments
and he can take delight in simple pleasures like cake, balloons, and especially, honey.

Daoism and
Winnie the Pooh
Piglet is not Daoist because he is never at peace. He is always worried about other people's feelings and needing pats on the back. He wants to please and get approval. He is very sweet but often stressed out.

Christopher Robin is Daoist.
He is a daydreamer who is very artistic and imaginative. He likes to play with his friends all day.
Eeyore is definitely not
Daoist. He is a pessimist who always
thinks bad things are going to happen.
Although loved by his friends, he complains
and worries. He is often sad, tired, or shy.
Full transcript