Existing in China alongside Confucianism and Buddhism throughout the centuries, Taoism has had a major impact on Chinese intellectual and spiritual life. This concise guide offers an engaging introduction to the precepts, history and practices of Taoism, in a well-designed and attractively illustrated volume that includes dozens of color photographs. The book illuminates Taoism--its main beliefs and rituals, the key sacred texts, the status of the religion today. We learn that the term Tao ("Way") signifies the natural pattern underlying all cosmic change and transformation, the way in which qi (life force) is endlessly created and dissolved to form the myriad phenomena of the universe. Focusing on one's development as an individual and on establishing harmony with nature, Taoism teaches that to achieve order and harmony in one's own life and in the cosmos, one must learn to perceive the Tao in nature and to act--or refrain from acting--in accordance with it. The idea of strengthening oneself through attunement with natural forces is also applied to the preservation of the body through the quest for longevity. Oldstone-Moore also illuminates the history of Taoism, ranging from its founding by Laozi, who is believed to have written the Tao Te Jing, the main text of Taoist thought, to the religion's decline in the early twentieth century, due to the impact of anti-religious movements, the most radical of which was Chinese Communism, to its recent resurgence. Elegantly designed and beautifully illustrated, this volume would make a wonderful gift for someone interested in Eastern religion or Chinese culture.Oldstone-Moore, Jennifer is the author of 'Taoism Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places', published 2003 under ISBN 9780195219333 and ISBN 0195219333.