Daoism is a life philosophy that originated thousands of years ago in China. Ask what Dao is precisely and you’ll encounter complicated concepts. Some practice it in a philosophical way, others consider it their religion.
The first written text on Dao is dated somewhere around 550 BC and was composed by the philosopher Lao Tze meaning “Old Master”. His masterpiece, which consists of 81 chapters, is called the Tao Te Ching (“The Classic of the Virtue of the Dao”).
Although many consider Lao Tze and his writings as the founder of Daoism, some philosophers and historians believe that the ancient system was already present in Chinese society long before. We might never know the exact truth, but fact is that it has been around for countless centuries and is still being practiced by close to 3 million people in the world today.
Daoism is a philosophical system that promotes a life of complete simplicity, naturalness and living it in such a way that it does not interfere with the course of natural events. Only if we are as we are in rhythm with nature, we can attain a happy existence in harmony with Dao. Understanding Daoism is simply accepting yourself. Live life and discover who you are. Your nature is always changing and yet at the same time it is always the same. Some ways to describe what Dao means are from a later period and are expressed as “The way”, “The Path” or “The Flow”.
Yin & Yang
Daoist followers believe that everything in nature consists of two balancing forces called Yin and Yang. These forces are opposing yet complementary. One cannot live without the other and Yin and Yang are found in all forms of life. These energies can be thought of as dark and light, cold and hot, male and female and so forth.
Yin and Yang are always equal and balanced. However, living can bring these forces out of balance. Yin might prevail or Yang may dominate. In order to achieve happiness we have to find harmony in all that we do so that Yin and Yang can return to a harmonious state. An imbalance between the energies can cause unhappy feelings and even illness.
One of Daoisms most important concepts is Wu Wei, which is sometimes translated as “non-doing” or “non-action.” A better way to think of it is: to do by not doing or to act by not acting. An example of this can be a plant that simply grows. It doesn’t make an effort to grow it does what it need to do without effort. And that is precisely what Dao instructs.
The ideal way to cultivate Wu Wei is by practicing rituals of aimless wandering through beautiful places for example. Taking a stroll in nature nourishes body and soul with the natural energies from plants minerals, earth, sun and sky.
The Ritual of Dao
These days our lives are so busy that we often forget to pause, take a step back and reflect on what is really important. Nurturing your needs for inner peace to counterbalance the daily pressures, is essential to your wellbeing. Whether you pamper yourself with a warm soothing bath or relaxing massage, The Ritual of Dao will soothe your senses and help you on your path to inner peace.