Zhuangzi (c.369-286 BCE), second perhaps only to Laozi, is considered one of the main founders of the Daoist tradition. Unlike Laozi, scholars are more certain Zhuangzi was a real historical figure. While the Daodejing was composed in poetry, Zhuangzi’s work, simply called the Zhuangzi, offers much more prose and philosophical narrative advocating a simple, spiritual life far removed from intellectual and political disputes (although it appears that the work is a compilation produced by several offers, making it difficult to pinpoint what was written by the “real” Zhuangzi).


Mazu has been a popular goddess offering protection to Chinese seafarers since at least the 10th century CE. Often, crews who have narrowly escaped sinking during a storm report that, when the tempest was at its most terrifying, Mazu’s spirit guided them to safety. Kublai Khan bestowed upon her the title of Tianhou, Queen of Heaven, in 1278, apparently in hopes of currying favor among the coastal population of Southeast China. As Queen of Heaven, she is subordinate only to the Jade Emperor in the Daoist pantheon.

Heavenly Worthy

In the Lingbao Daoist tradition the Heavenly Worthy (Tianzun) and other celestial lords are entreated to gain salvation for all humankind.


The Daoist tradition incorporates a highly diverse range of philosophical, religious, and folk values and practices, all of which share a concern for realigning human life so that it is in better accord with the natural rhythms of the universe. Symbols of particular importance include the Way (Dao), the Great Ultimate (Taiji), yin and yang. The goals of practice are sagehood, immortality, and universal salvation. To attain these goals, Daoists have performed such activities as visualization meditation, forms of calisthenics, alchemical experiments, and elaborate communal rituals. Today, very... Read more about Daoism

Cultivating the Way

Qigong is a series of practices or efforts to enhance or maintain the balance of qi (vital energy) throughout the human body. The physical, psychological, and spiritual practices include meditation, gentle gymnastic movements, and taijiquan, popularly known as Tai Chi.... Read more about Cultivating the Way

Folk Daoism Comes to the West

Daoism has entered the United States more or less to the degree that US immigration laws have accepted or rejected immigrants from Asia, particularly East Asia. Doaist practice has significantly increased in the United States since immigration reform in 1965, and Daoism has gained greater public popularity through the widespread practice of taijiquan (Tai Chi) for health purposes and the translation of the Daodejing into English.... Read more about Folk Daoism Comes to the West

The Way and Its Power

The central text of Daoism, the Daodejing, describes the dao as an ineffable creative, cosmological process in the world, often depicted by the diagram of yin, dark mystery, and yang, white clarity, trailing and carrying the seed of the other. Most Daoists hold a shared goal of becoming in tune with the ziran (spontaneity) of the Way, but philosophers in the centuries from 600 BCE - 200 CE have presented varied teachings and traditions drawing from the Daodejing and other Daoist texts.... Read more about The Way and Its Power

Justices Sharply Divided in Gay Rights Case

December 12, 2017
The Supreme Court entered the latest battleground in the culture wars on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a hard-fought clash between gay rights and claims of religious freedom that was a sort of sequel to the court’s 2015 decision establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.