A Piece Of Wisdom From A Chinese Philosophy
If you follow WAW Lifestyle and our class streams, you most probably already know about a few martial art practices from the East. You probably are aware of some of the large variety of martial arts that originate from China. You also perhaps heard of the rich history behind Chinese martial arts, such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu having rich backgrounds in terms of ideology and philosophy. Moreover, you have probably already read quite a bit about the background ideologies and philosophies of these martial arts.
However, this not a piece of writing about those martial art practices. No, it is about something else. Something as rich as the history of these martial arts, the topic of this article goes deep into the history of a philosophy from the land that gave birth to these martial arts. Have you ever wondered about the belief systems and philosophies that come from the same land that of the techniques like Tai Chi and Kung Fu? If your answer is “Yes”, well here is your perfect opportunity to get to know an ancient philosophy from China - Taoism!
Taoism is a school of philosophical thought and is widely accepted as a philosophy of wisdom and acceptance around the world. It is an ancient Eastern philosophy with its roots extending back to 4th century BC, originating from the vast and historically prosperous lands of China, which never had a shortage of producing wise philosophies, ideologies and religions. Based upon the writings of Lao-tzu, this ancient Chinese philosophy is an exemplary one as it has both a philosophical and a religious facet. Initially founded as a school of philosophical thought, Taoism was developed into a religion by Buddhist monks in the 3rd century AD.
According to its origin as a school of philosophical thought, the Taoism philosophy is an advocate of humility and simplicity. This philosophy suggests that we abandon wisdom, learning and purposive action in favour of simplicity and wu-wei (non-action or letting things take their natural course). You may wonder “Well, I just read above that Taoism is a philosophy of wisdom. How does abandoning wisdom as a part of this philosophy makes sense?” yet worry not. Although it may seem controversial since this philosophy encourages to abandon wisdom and the strive towards improving oneself, its wisdom stems exactly from this. It teaches us acceptance through not putting too much of a value to the virtues of the life on earth. Rather letting life flow without trying excessively hard and working on our humility is the way to go.
Taoism is methodology to reach Tao, or in English ‘the path’. Tao is the source of everything and is ultimate. Despite its mystique definition and vaguely-defined English counterpart, it is not that difficult to demystify Tao to be able to follow ‘the path’ it in our daily lives. A great and easily-adopted starting point would be simplifying our overly complex modern lives wrapped and influenced by innumerable external factors affecting it on a daily basis. The traffic jam on your way to the office, the heavy rainfall getting you soaked and ruining your hair on your way to a dinner with your friends, your favourite cereal running out of stock at your local grocery store… There are a ton of factors and events that can affect your mood and disappoint you in the modern day. Yet, Taoism dictates that these are all simple things that we attach too much value to. Moreover, if we keep taking them seriously, we will steer further away from reaching Tao. Hence, to lead a happier and simpler life en route to Tao, sometimes all we need is just to take a deep breath and let it go.
Do you want to learn how you can learn to let it go? It begins with seizing your breath. Wonder how to seize your breath? Our App has the answers!
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