TAGSchinareligiondaoismtaoismspiritualitynature
TRANSCRIPT

Daoism is China's organized indigenous religion. The goal of Daoism is to obtain the Dao, which is the way, which is the source of generative vitality in a world that is constantly transforming and evolving.

So Daoism is basically a life-affirming religion. Daoists seek to obtain life, to cultivate life, to transform life. Even to obtain a kind of immortality or transcendent life that goes beyond the confines of one's physical experience.

And Daoism has existed really in two major traditions in China.

One has been a monastic tradition where Daoists have left their families, gone to live in the mountains engaged in communities of practice, engaging in yogic-like cultivation of meditative practices seeking to transform their lives through engaging with the Dao.

The second has been a kind of communal religion, especially in the south of China where priests have been interceding with the forces of life to try and restore harmony between the people and the world and the Dao.

Daoism was looked down upon in the modern world both by westerners coming to China and also by Chinese modernizers. It seemed a kind of superstitious, backward, mystical religious tradition that wasn't really well organized and didn't have a kind of key message that could be easily given to people.

But I think that Daoism has gone through a kind of renaissance recently and it's found resonance with people who seek a kind of modern spirituality that is basically life-affirming and nature-loving.

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