What is the Tao?

About the Tao

TaoAbout 2500 years ago in ancient China, the keeper of the Imperial Library, Lao Tzu, was famous for his wisdom. Perceiving the growing corruption of the government, he left for the countryside. On his way, the guard at the city gates asked Lao Tzu to write out the essence of his understanding to benefit future generations. Lao Tzu climbed down from his buffalo, wrote the “Tao Te Ching,” got back up on his conveyance, and was never heard of again.

The Tao Te Ching is called simply, “Tao.” The T’s are pronounced as if they are D’s. It provides the groundwork for Taoism, a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the right path –“Tao” – the ultimate creative principle of the universe. All things are unified and connected in the “Tao.”

Chinese characters are actually pictures of their meanings.

The meaning of the “Tao” character is clearer if it is seen:
It is made up of two characters:

Go forward

and Head

The idea is that the head chooses a path to go forward on. For this reason it is often used in Asian philosophy to denote the path or way to clarity.

In Taoism, the path is also “The One, which is natural, spontaneous, eternal, nameless and indescribable. It is at once the beginning of all things and the way in which all things pursue their course.” It has been denoted as the “flow of the universe,” or something that individuals can find immanent in themselves. However, the “Tao” is not God and is not worshipped.

Dedication to the “Way” promotes

  • achieving harmony or union with nature;
  • the pursuit of spiritual immortality;
  • being virtuous (but not ostentatiously so);
  • and self-development.

The essence of “Tao” is
action through non-action –restraint, patience and silence;
nothingness in terms of simplicity and frugality;
harmony between the individual and the cosmos;
and the Three Treasures: compassion (kindness), moderation in all things (absence of excess) and humility (modesty).

The Three Treasures have been described as the three rules that formed the practical, political side of LaoTzu’s teaching –“abstention from aggressive war and capital punishment, absolute simplicity of living and refusal to assert active authority.”

Has anyone ever told you: “Just act natural”? It’s impossible, of course, because if you’re acting, it can’t be natural. Lao Tzu makes the same point in the Tao Te Ching when he recommends wei-wu-wei, literally, do-don’t-do or action without action. This is a central concept in the Tao. Briefly, it means to follow the flow of nature, without trying. Rather than constantly trying to fight situations and control them which is unnatural and self-defeating, it is better to understand the true nature of the Tao, behaving completely naturally and in tune with the natural order of things.

Chinese astrology, Zen Buddhism, feng shui, yin & yang, several martial arts including qigong, traditional Chinese Medicine, meditation, and fortune telling have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history and have achieved a meaningful place in our modern day New Age. Actually, the essence of the “Tao” itself is a most significant aspect of the New Age. It is neither magical nor mystical. It simply is! As Lao Tzu wrote, Even a 1000 mile journey starts with a single step so following the “path” leads to a better understanding of not only New Age, but our very existence.


About the Center for the New Age

Spirit guided us to this special place which centuries earlier was used by ancient people as a ceremonial site. We were guided by Spirit to open the Center at this place which is now the heart of spirituality in Sedona.

We’ve searched the globe and pulled the most accurate Psychics and Healers and amazing Massage-Therapists from all over the world who have come here to be part of this special community, whose energy makes them even more psychic. Their services are offered at the Center daily and by phone at (928) 282-2085.

Center for the New Age
341 State Route 179
across from Tlaquepaque
Sedona, AZ 86336-6111

888-881-6651 Free
928-282-2085 Main
928-282-7220 Concierge