Daoism (or Taoism) is defined by a set of philosophical teachings and religious practices rooted in a specific understanding of the Tao, developed primarily in the works of Laozi and Zhuangzi.
Daoism emphasizes freedom, nature, cosmology, self-cultivation, retirement from social life and even the search for immortality. There are two different types of Daoism:
- One that is mostly philosophical, metaphysical and aesthetical.
- One that is focused on religious practices, encompassing exorcism, alchemy and a wide set of popular beliefs.
Daoism has had a deep and long-lasting presence in many domains of Chinese culture and has spread widely throughout Asia.