Fundamental Difference between Taoism and Buddhism

wanhong's picture

I want to emphasize a very important difference between Taoism and Buddhism, the two very big philosophical system in Eastern world, as in a previous reading both are used as examples of advocating the idea of being nice to nature.

Both Taoism and Buddhism have the idea of "following the rhythm of nature", but their goal are completely different.

In taoism, people follow the rhythm of the nature, be peaceful in mind, make "magical medical spherical pills" to prolong life--in other words, to try one's best avoid death, but in Buddhism, death is actually the start of a new, wiser life, and should be accepted peacefully. So, although both system tells one to be nice to nature and peace in mind, Buddhism provided a more altruistic idea while Taoism care relatively more about one's own well being. Taoism has borrowed many ideas from Buddhism but for a different goal.

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sifu paul turner 's picture

it is for ever possible to

it is for ever possible to harbour buddhist belief's yet taoist feelings is it not take for instance great master bruce lee born and raised buddhist yet towards the end of his life he claimed to be taoist this was do to his in depth philosocal studies which lead him to a better under standing of the self so in turn he leaned towards the philosopy that mirrored closest to his new found insights and self actualizations he realised his natural character was better suited for taoism as opposed to buddhism osu!!! please in future lets discuss the chinese version of chi as opposed to the japanese concept of zen osu!!!

Barbara's picture

I think there are different

Yin YangI think there are different understanding beliefs within both Taoism and Buddhism, especially in the circumstance that they have been developed so much branches over thousands of years around the Eastern world. According to what I know, the classic of Taoism "Tao Te Ching", for example, as so much interpretation mainly because punctuations has not been not used yet when the original work was written and the language was quite inexplicit. Just wanted to say that we can hardly know the original ideology of these two philosophical systems. But Wanhong and Sarah saw a pattern in two types of ideology, which is really nice! I wanted to post these two symbols of these two philosophical systems (Buddhism - above). I saw "all to be embraced" in the yin-yang. Both of the symbols are quite balance. Maybe you will be interested in them!

wanhong's picture

Rotational Symmetry?

Thank you for the pictures! The symbols do show different patterns, but both of them are rotational symmetric! The Tai Chi pattern of Taoism especially emphasizes on the balance between two aspects, Yin and Yang.

Sarah Cunningham's picture

taoism as I know it

Maybe there are different forms or different beliefs within Taoism-- but I have understood the Tao to include the flow and balance of life and death, light and dark, good and bad, as all parts of the river of life. All to be embraced. Whereas Buddhism seeks more to escape from that wheel of up and down. So kind of the opposite of Wanhong's understanding! Interesting.

wanhong's picture

Different but no conflicts :)

You're right, Sarah, Taoism does care very much about balance, but one of the most important aims of it was to prolong people's lives by the "balance" that you have mentioned. Buddhism, on the other hand, was not pursuing a longer life--Buddhism tells people that death is not something to escape, but something that should be respected and objectively, peacefully faced--and that is the difference that I was focusing on.:)

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your attitude toward and

Your attitude toward and understanding of Toaism is so misguided. It surprises me that someone who is so ignorant as you has the audacity to comment on this matter.

hamadi m's picture

i'm drawn to learn more about

i'm drawn to learn more about Daoism/Taoist practice. The comment you replied to shows glaring bias, i guess to encourage folks to walk the path the author has found, which has good at its root. can you (plural) suggest resources, insightful Tao Te Ching readers or whatever? peace

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