Daoism is the only major religion that came from Chinese roots and grew to maturity in Chinese soil. It originated at the end of Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.) and is based on ancient witchcraft and formulas of immortality. Taoists regard Lao Zi (Lao Tzu) as the founder and supreme god of Daoism, and Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), a profound book of only five thousand Chinese characters by Lao Zi as the believer's canon.
The word "Dao" (Tao) is translated as "the way". In its broadest sense, Dao is the way the universe functions, the path taken by all natural events. Dao is nature's way, expressed in effortless action. Within the Dao, the two elementary powers, Yin and Yang, function by reciprocal action. Daoism stresses the union of man and nature, suggesting that man control his environment not by fighting it but by cooperating with it. Daoism was associated with alchemy, which was at one time a practical way of seeking elixir of life, by the transmutation of base matter into gold. The idea of "Wu Wei", sometimes translated as "action by non-action", was a central tenet of Daoism. Wu Wei means not so much inactivity as doing nothing out of harmony with the flow of things.Photo Gallery of Chinese Daoism