Taoism and Buddhism
With these two, they would appear to be running on different pathways.
In fact, Buddhism and Taoism sit really well as bed fellows.
The Taoist way, the Taoist life system was there way before Buddhism came along in fact. Eventually Buddhism came from India and really grabbed the public imagination.
There was a need for it, because where Taoism stresses that you develop your relationship with those around you, with your environment, with your Buddha, with your Tao, from within, by emptying yourself and practicing a set of very simple psychophysical principles, the Buddhist approach actually looks at and examines all the different strata of communications between you and your relationship with yourself, your God, your Buddha, the world around you, your environment, with money, with the law, with ways of doing things in the external world, and the two really work well together.
So it’s very rare to find somebody who’s a devout practitioner of the Taoist ways who isn’t also deeply influenced by the Buddhist ways and vice versa.
Buddhism stresses compassion. It really looks a lot at how you develop compassion through empathy.
Taoism also is designed if you like to lead you to a much more compassionate place, but it doesn’t actively focus on it.
So the two work well in that respect as well.
There’s not a Taoist in the world who would have ever said, no, I don’t think the Buddhist’s way is right and I can’t use that. It’s anathema to me. It’s an adjunct to what I’m doing.
And just in the same way, I think there’s not a Buddhist around, who knows what they’re on about, who doesn’t have absolute respect for the way of acquiescence to the great flow of events that Taoism espouses.
So really Buddhism and Taoism work really well together.
And it was the combination of the two that gave rise to Chan Buddhism which became Zen in Japan, which is, if you like, the minimalist version of Taoist practice.