Taoism and Zen – Similarities

Ask Lewis – Q. Why are Zen and Taoism Considered “Wisdom Paths”.
Lewis Answers: No matter how deep your understanding of Zen, Taoism or some other spiritually based studies, no matter how advanced your intellect, and mental clarity, the fact remains that in your practice you will need to explore how the appropriate application of your individual talents, personal resources, and your ability to delay short term gratification can help you create your best life.

Both Zen and Taoism are essentially “Wisdom Paths”. They are approaches to spirituality that explore what “Is” through metaphor and poetic thoughts, while guiding you to surrender the need to understand your thoughts concerning what “Is”. Each of these paths, Taoism and Zen, has subtle differences that ultimately will dissolve once you have mastered either. It better to drop the distinctions from the very beginning if possible. Let’s just call one’s intention to live life fully, with little or no unnecessary struggle the, “Wisdom Path.”


The Wisdom Path integrates practices and traditions from Zen and Taoism and also draws from a diverse pool of thought including Kabala, Sufism, Game Theory, and mystic Christianity. Whether the source is Lao Tsu Meister Eckhart, Thomas Merton or the Ball Shem Tov the core element in this work is the sitting meditation often associate with the Soto School of Zen. Also Integrated into the Wisdom Path is the exploration of kōans as practiced in the Rinzai Zen School, and the altered states of consciousness that may naturally arise with deep introspection and contemplation. The aim of all of these is essentially the same – enlightenment or awakening. In addition to mediation and the exploration of kōans learning to conserve our resources and balance them as they manifest through our life skills is equally important. By merging these approaches, you are in a sense creating a post-modern monastery.
Click below to observe a nine minute video interview Lewis did with the Award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes on why people suffer:

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