Foundations of Taoist Practice. When you try to define Taoism, you immediately run into trouble. The great Taoist philosopher and author of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, begins his first chapter with the warning words, The Tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. Thus Westerners are not the only ones who have a hard time defining Taoism; the Chinese have had difficulty time agreeing on just what Taoism is. Taoism is sometimes defined as a ritualistic religion, as a philosophy, as Chinese folk religion, as alchemy, as a system of magical lore or as a series of health practices similar to yoga. The adherents of each school often look with disdain on the others as being heterodoxy, heresy, or simply incomplete portions of the great Tao. This book “Foundations of Taoist Practice” by Jampa Mackenzie Stewart defines the practices and world views of the followers of Tao.
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