philosophical taoism

These are notes that I've taken from TaoFAQ's videos on youtube.  See his videos at the bottom of this page.
tao: "path" or "way" - organic pattern of harmony seen throughout nature - most reliable examples are found in nature - live in the current moment - relieve our anxieties and confusion by revealing reality as it truly is - we are a product of this planet and we are intimately connected to it - contains all things - we see the manifestations of tao in nature and in the universe - not an entity or object, more simalar to a force like gravity or electromagnetic radiation - enables things to take care of themselves in perfect balance with everything else - one interlocking harmonious unity - all things are one - provides a pattern for everything to follow, without requiring anything to follow it

te: "virtue" - intellegence of nature

3 jewels:
compassion: see things from the persepective of all other life forms
moderation: avoidance of all forms of extremism
humility: understanding that self-importance is not the way of tao - be open to all views

wu wei: "action without action" flexiblity and suppleness - harmony found when we flow with the course of nature or subtly redirect its energies for the benefit of all beings - use of force and control are avoided

p'u: being guided by intuition rather than political, religious, gender, racial, and patriotic dogma - untainted by cultural expectations or experiences - following natures flow

detachment: allow things to be

yin-yang: balance between opposites - we can only describe something in comparison to its opposite - since tao contains all things, there is nothing to serve as a suitable contrast

oneness: awareness of the unity of all things

tzu-jan: "nature" or "of itself so" - spontaneity - trust in life - freeing from anxiety - humans have the ability to resist following the course of nature, and this is where troubles begin - nature functions automatically - those who flow with nature are provided everything needed to flourish - if something is difficult to obtain, it probably isn't necessary.

examples of tao manifestations in nature: life and death - changing of seasons - migration of animals and birds- exchanging of carbon dioxide from breath of animals into oxygen by plants - cooperation between species, such as bees and flowers - the care that most animals and birds have for their offspring - our love, compassion and intuition

patterns of tao expressed in the universe: spiral galaxies - exploding super novas; nebula stardust forming new stars and planets - orbit of the moon around the earth - tilting rotating motion of the earth that is vital in enabling the earth to have a near even surface temperature

benefits of tao: observing nature and applying the experience to our own life - appreciation of all life - share and respect the natural environment

 Videos from TaoFAQ:

What is Taoism?


What are the Basic Taoist Beliefs?


Is Taoism a Religion?


What is Tao?


Do Taoists Believe in God?