Taoism is a complex vast collection of customs, rituals, and beliefs that have never been codified into doctrine. This ancient Chinese path emphasizes attunement to the natural rhythms of life, the wisdom of intuition, and the value of inaction or wu-wei. C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins, authors of Zen Around the World, discuss the importance of chi (life force or energy), yin and yang, the five elements, and simplicity in Taoism.

The movement from Lao-Tzu's writing about the Tao to the contemporary search for methods of enhancing and prolonging life is a zigzag course rather than one of logical progression. "Wisdom lies in not contending," write the Simpkins. "Sensitive to the inner nature of self and other, Lao-Tzu's Way leads through mystery by returning to the core of life."

Those who are interested in living in balance will find plenty of helpful resources in Taoism including meditation, Eastern medicine, the martial arts of tai chi and aikido, feng shui, and techniques for working with dreams.