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Daoism is commonly used as an English expression for Chinese Folk Religion (ca. 2600 BC). The collection of some articles dealing with Chinese Mythology (Pantheon.org) may give a introduction into the various traditions.
Nevertheless, Daoism is better described as a philosophical school and as a religion based on Chinese traditions and mythology. The origins are rooted deeply to the prehistoric Chinese religions. Nevertheless, the introductions of Buddhism had a profound impact on the development of Daoism.


The Chinese have always seen the human body as a microcosmic image of the larger, macrocosmic universe. Human beings are but an archetype of heavenly beings and heavenly structure.

  • The human being is an image of nature
  • Everything originates from the Dao
  • The flow of Qi determines all which is around us
  • To be in harmony with the flowing Qi and to become one with the Dao is someone's main goal
  • To improve one has to align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces
  • One should be prudent and think before acting
Taoism is not a belief-centered religion, and there are no known Taoist creeds. Furthermore, there are a lot of different schools emphasizing different aspects of spirituality. Nevertheless, some fundamental principles are shared by all Daoist schools:
The Principle of Ying and Yang.


Everything originates from the Dao and the main focus of the teaching is to return to it. Alas, the most people will die or become to ill or to distracted before becoming one with the Dao. Thus, the Daoism teaches to preserve and to nourish the Qi to achieve a healthy body and long life which is the supposition for any spiritual ambitions. To do so one has to practice detachment and to nurture the San Bao (Three Treasures) or 3 bodily energies (Ching, Qi, Shen) through activities such as exercise and meditation. These exercises are commonly referred as Qi Gong. Furthermore,one must observe and reflect on nature to find enlightenment.

Although, there a a lot of traditional texts and scriptures the Daoistic traditions rather rely an personal training than on the written word. These teachings are given from a master to his scholars. All along, different schools with different teachings and traditions have emerged.

Ancient Texts

The Daoist philosophy and their scriptures goes back to the so called early spring and autumn period (722 - 481 B.C.) The most well know is the "Dao De Jing" from Laotse. Nevertheless the "Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi" and the "Huang Ting Jing" are supposed to be as important as the former. Some ancient texts of Daoism can be viewed at Sacred Texts.

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