Taoism's Four Rules of Living to Achieve Inner Peace

Taoism's rules of living are philosophical and spiritual teachings that can help you live a fuller life and achieve wellness.
Taoism's Four Rules of Living to Achieve Inner Peace
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Taoism’s four rules of living are exceptional guides to finding peace is these present times filled with pressure, stress, and uncertainty.

One of the things that most affect your psychological balance, beyond your daily duties, is “not knowing.”

This includes not knowing if you’re going to reach your goals before the day comes to an end, not knowing if you’ll still have your job tomorrow, and not knowing if all your effort will prove worthwhile in the future.

Uncertainty and an exhausted mind negatively impact our health and happiness.

Therefore, the teachings of Taoism, the philosophical and spiritual wisdom transmitted by people like Laozi  and Confucious, help inspire us and help us find the inner peace that we sometimes lose along the way.

Reflecting on Taoism’s four rules of living will allow you to see things differently. It can help you make changes and focus your objectives on other priorities.

Taoism’s Four Rules of Living to Achieve Inner Peace

Taoism's Four Rules of Living to achieve inner peace

The term “Tao” hides a very interesting symbolic meaning. It refers to a path: the path of nature or heaven.

This definition evokes the need of finding the inner path that will give new meaning to our existence.

It refers to the path where everything must be in harmony, where you must respect cycles, accept change, and learn, in turn, that living means flowing and advancing without resistance.

Let’s look at these four principles that can help you understand it much better.

Discover: How to Make Peace With Yourself

  1. Happiness is Tailored to Each Person; It’s Not the Same for All

    7 Positive Phrases to Repeat Every Day

Think about this for a minute: throughout your life, the importance of finding happiness has been repeated to you time and time again. Moreover, there are some people who’ve tried to explain exactly how to find it:

  • Get a good job, have a partner, raise a family, have a nice house…

Well, something that many of these philosophies reveal is that happiness isn’t a suit that fits us all the same.

Each person must find their own meaning of life and, in it, that which gives that person true happiness.

Thus, it’s quite possible that what satisfies me and allows me to feel fulfilled will probably not be enough for someone else.

Humans should respect each other to be able to find this vital and personal path to true wellness.

  1. The Universe Surrenders to a Peaceful Mind

    a woman meditating on the beach

I’m sure you say that your life is a mess quite often. You have so many things to do, so many responsibilities, that it’s impossible to find a moment of peace amidst so much noise, so much external pressure…

Another of Taoism’s rules of living talks about mental balance.

  • Peace isn’t what surrounds you. After all, there are people able to experience tranquility amidst a crowded city full of traffic and noise.
  • Peace is in your mind. Therefore, if you’re able to train and relax your mind, the universe itself will be synced to the same balance.

You can achieve this through meditation. It’s worth a try.

  1. Practice the Virtues of “Perfection”

    four member family inside two hands

The virtues of perfection, according to Taoism, are actually the principles of existential harmony.

They are a series of dimensions that allow you to shape your life into a much more meaningful, respectful, and humble one.

They are as follows:

  • Practice sincerity. Try to be honest with yourself and those around you every day.
  • Kindness. Being kind is easy and you can achieve many things with it: respect, being valued by others, and an enriching principle that makes you feel fulfilled.
  • The third principle of perfection is support, another element that makes up these rules of living that promotes cohesion between people, where offering support to others will help achieve a collective welfare.
  1. Empty Your Mind of Interests

A principle that is sometimes hard to understand is the idea that we must empty ourselves of interests, desires, and ambitions.

Some people might see this as a contradiction. What about overcoming and achieving things if I give up my interests and aspirations?

Well, what Taoism is actually suggesting is that you should open yourself up to the experience without resistance.

  • Sometimes you’re so focused on an idea or a goal that other opportunities escape you. Also, sometimes other doors open, doors that are perhaps more interesting and in line with our needs.

In conclusion, these four rules of living can help make us think. Sometimes, just changing the focus of your thinking is all it takes to achieve wellness and find that inner peace.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Oldstone-Moore, J. (2003). Taoism: Origins, beliefs, practices, holy texts, sacred places. Oxford University Press, USA.
  • Zhang, G., & Veenhoven, R. (2008). Ancient Chinese philosophical advice: can it help us find happiness today?. Journal of happiness studies, 9(3), 425-443.
  • Little, S., Eichman, S., Shipper, K., & Ebrey, P. B. (2000). Taoism and the Arts of China. Univ of California Press.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.