Dharma and Dao: Tantra and Tao
Buddhism and Daoism are each profoundly influential paths of personal growth and spiritual development.
Initially they can seem quite different in both their methods and
goals, but look beneath the differing cultural overlays and profound
similarities can be seen in their systems of thought. Perhaps this is
not totally surprising as scholars have documented that Yogacara
Buddhism first began to be influential in China from circa 450 AD. Hence
from a very early stage, Buddhism began to influence the development of
Taoist thought and practice.
Although a number of academic texts exist which look to undertake a
comparative analysis of these two influential philosophies, very little
has been written from the point of view of a practitioner of both paths.
However both Daoism and Buddhism emphasis the need for actual practice
to reach true understanding; Intellect alone is not enough.
Hence this article seeks to examine the relationship between
Buddhist and Daoist systems of thought from the point of view of the
practitioner. It reasons that Buddhism and Daoism can provide deep
insight into each other across the thee domains of human experience,
body, energy and spirit (heart-mind).