Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Taoism - Living in Harmony

Recently I read a book, "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff, and was introduced to a beautiful concept called Taoism.

To introduce what Taoism is, it is a philosophy which emphasizes on living in harmony with Tao (meaning "path" or "way").

This philosophy connected straightaway with my inner self and I wanted to share my understanding of Taoism with the readers. What Taoism is all about and how it connects with our life, can be understood by some of these basic things which Taoism talks about:

Wei Wu Wei

Wei Wu Wei, meaning "Action without action", is one of the basic principles of Taoism. At first, the phrase may sound a bit confusing that how an action can be performed without action, but going deeper into the meaning, we can find the essence of this phrase. Every thought and every act of ours are done with so much effort that the very basic essence of life often gets neglected and and our actions often turn into efforts. The concept of Wei Wu Wei teaches us to be effortless in our thoughts as well as in our actions. The universe around us and within us always guides us to what is right and what shall be done. But the noise around ourselves is so loud that we are not able to listen to the inner guidance. Calm down and let the voice within you speak and take care of you. Once you are in a habit of following this voice, then no effort will be needed any longer in any of your actions and you can understand the concept of Wei Wu Wei.


The purpose of life is to be happy. But how can one be happy when life is full of suffering? The "Tao answer" to this question is that suffering is not bad. Suffering adds flavor to life, just as salt adds flavor to food. Sometimes the amount of salt is very high and it becomes more of a bad taste than a flavor. What should we do then? We cannot reduce the amount of salt, but what we can do is increase the amount of food to neutralize the salt. It means that we cannot reduce our sufferings but we can increase our own life to larger dimensions, expanding our mind to such a wide perspective that we are able to see that suffering is only a part of life and our life is much bigger than the suffering.

The Uncarved Block

The concept of the uncarved block teaches us to be natural and simple. Trying to be something that you are not or wanting more than what's required, are one of the main causes of suffering. Be natural like an uncarved block and don't make yourself too complicated.

This way or That way?

It is not necessary for you to choose a specific path. You may take two completely different paths and still reach the same goal. It is just which path suits you the best and which path your inner voice guides you to take. The universe is there to guide you, just let the "Effortless Action" choose the path for you.

Stop Sleepwalking!

Yes, everyone might be thinking that we are not sleepwalking and definitely we are awake. But have we ever considered are we really awake? If you are thinking about the past or the future, then the answer is No. The one who is truly awake is the person who is there in the present. And the present just doesn't mean the present day, it means this very moment you are living. Don't live your life day-by-day, live it moment-by-moment.

Honestly speaking, Taoism is not something to be talked or written about, it's something which is to be felt and lived. If it can be explained in words, then it's not Tao!

You will not be able to understand Tao, by thinking about it or talking about it. You have to live it to feel it. Words are just our helpers which can lead us to the path, following it is up to us! This article was not about making anyone learn Taoism, but I hope it gave an insight and has opened a door for someone for whom the universe was planning to follow this path!

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