Books, sutras and myths
Dao de Jing
Category: Books sutras and myths
The Tao Te Ching, Daodejing, or Dao De Jing (simplified Chinese: 道德经; traditional Chinese: 道德經; pinyin: Dàodéjīng), also simply referred to as the Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ), is a Chinese classic text.
According to tradition, it was written around 6th century BC by the sage Laozi (or Lao Tzu, Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ, literally meaning "Old Master"), a record-keeper at the Zhou dynasty court, by whose name the text is known in China.
Although the text's authorship is debated in academic circles, the attribution to Lao Tzu appears not to be questioned by followers of Taoism. Lao Tzu (604-531 BC) lived during the Chinese Zhou Dynasty (1122-255BC).
The Dao de Jing, as well as the Zhuangzi, are key texts for both philosophical and religious Taoism, and "strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Daoist words and concepts".
Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners, have used the Daodejing as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread widely outside East Asia, and is among the most translated works in world literature.
The Wade–Giles romanization "Tao Te Ching" dates back to early English transliterations in the late 19th century; its influence can be seen in words and phrases that have become well established in English. "Daodejing" is the pinyin romanization.
In the Dao de Jing, there are many sayings related to Qigong practise, especially to Embryonic Breathing and the spiritual path and thus there is the complexity of how to attribute any observation. Observations could be linked to this entry or to Lao Tzu or to Qigong, or even Taoism as a source.
This problem has caused us some consternation, as our site only allows one source for an observation.
For ease of understanding, we have decided that all the observations unrelated to Qigong practise should be grouped under Lao Tzu. Then the small number of observations which are directly related to Qigong are grouped under the Qigong heading, but clearly labelled with the name Dao de Jing.