A place to discuss Taoism, Taoist literature and texts, and learn about how to live through observing natural cycles.

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Latest Activity: May 9

Does anyone know the story behind this picture?

There are 2 interpretations of this picture, which is called "The Vinegar Tasters". The three men standing around the vat are Buddha, Lao Tsu, and Confucius.

One interpretation is that, since there are 3 men and only one vat, the three religions are, in essence, one.

The second is that the vat of vinegar represents life. Confucius pronounces it sour, and in need of rules to correct the degenrative tendencies of humanity. Buddha pronounces it bitter due to the pain and suffering humanity experiences. Lao Tzu pronounces it sweet because he believed that life was fundamentally good in it's natural state.

To which of the three outlooks do you subscribe, and why? Or would you offer a fourth choice? 

Discussion Forum

Back Again!

Started by Brian Maloney Nov 18, 2016. 0 Replies

Remember the discussion I posted way earlier where I said wherever in the cycle you were, be prepared because it will change? Well, it sure did for me! Since I posted that article, I've gone through…Continue

Great book for the Chinese New Year.

Started by Brian Maloney. Last reply by 19bq12sh1k31s Dec 6, 2013. 1 Reply

I found a book awhile ago, and wanted to bring it to your attention. It's called The Lunar Tao, the author being Deng Ming-Dao. This book goes day by day through the Chinese Lunar year, and gives a…Continue

5 Element Theory

Started by Brian Maloney. Last reply by 1vkkntt9zxrk7 Oct 26, 2013. 10 Replies

Just thought I'd post a diagram that describes the Five Element Theory. Think, enjoy, then take an asprin! …Continue


Started by Brian Maloney. Last reply by Brian Maloney Oct 18, 2013. 4 Replies

One of the more difficult concepts in Taoism is wu-wei, or acting without acting. What exactly does that mean? How can you "act" without "acting? Well, for the answer, all you really have to do is…Continue

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Comment by Brian Maloney on May 9, 2019 at 4:37pm

Comment by Brian Maloney on March 18, 2019 at 11:22pm

Comment by Brian Maloney on November 16, 2016 at 10:21am

Comment by Brian Maloney on July 29, 2016 at 8:37pm

This is a Buddhist Temple I was able to visit in, of all places, Flushing, NY. My fiancee and I were able to meet one of the nuns, and were invited to attend a service. This was built the same way it would have been built in Korea. Not one nail was used in the construction, and the beautiful carvings andd paintings were done by hand. Unfortunately photography inside the temple was not allowed.

Comment by Brian Maloney on April 7, 2014 at 8:41pm
While it isn't a part of the Taoist Cannon, there is a text called the Hua Hu Ching which was translated by Brian Walker. In chapter 17, it is stated that one shouldn't worship deities or religious institutions as the source of the subtle truth. This is totally consistent with daojia and daojiao. The different gods in Taoism represent certain, specific qualities which are associated with them, but they are not worshipped the way Christians worship their One True God. The Tao itself is the closest thing to the Christian or Jewish God, but there are major differences. TheTao is impersonal, and pays no attention to prayers or requests, nor does it care whether it's worshipped or not. The main objective of Taoism is to become one with the Tao DIRECTLY without the mediation of a deity. The Tao has given each of us everything we will ever need, so to ask for something is to request what we already have. If you have two arms already, would you ask for another? It's up to you to find within yourself that which you would ask for because you already have it. This takes work, and it's sometimes very difficult. The main thing is to remove anything, whether it's a God, angel, demon or saint, that stands between you and the Tao. That being said, there is nothing in Taoism which says you can't be a believer in another religion or spiritual system as well.
Comment by Brian Maloney on January 26, 2014 at 9:22am

Comment by Brian Maloney on September 2, 2013 at 8:42am

Welcome to Taoism, Ito! Please feel free to introduce yourself to the other members. I'm looking forward to hearing any thoughts you may have.

Comment by Brian Maloney on August 5, 2013 at 8:23am

Just read your latest contributions, Paul. They were both very informative, and I really appreciated your contribution. Hopefully, we can get more like that from tou and the other members. Thanks again, Paul, and keep up the good work! Dao An!

Comment by Brian Maloney on July 20, 2013 at 9:51am

Sorry for my absence lately. I've been rather busy dealing with several rather pressing family issues, but I'll be posting on a more regular basis as things get resolved. Meanwhile, I'll be checking in, and I hope to hear from you. Thanks for your patience!

Comment by Brian Maloney on July 20, 2013 at 9:45am

Great comment, Gordon. I like your interpretation of the Vinegar Tasters, as there's much truth in what you say. When you say All That is exists within God's extended being, that covers a lot of territory. Call him God, Yahweh, Allah, Krishna,  Jehova, The Tao, or whatever you like, we are all ultimately acknowledging there is something or someone greater than ourselves, and we are within it as well as it being within us. We are all trying to get to the same place after all.  We may take different routes to get there, but if we can all stand together in the same destination at the end of the journey, does the route we take make that much of a difference? I personally think that we might as well enjoy the journey as much as possible.

Good to hear from you, and thanks for your insight!


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