The fifth International Daoist Forum held on Maoshan Mountain, Jiangsu province, will promote the wisdom of Taoism in areas such as healthy living, moral education, cultural dissemination and international exchanges, the organizer said.
The two-day forum, which got underway on Sunday, will help to enhance communication between Taoist communities on the Chinese mainland and those in other regions, including Hong Kong, Macao and abroad, it added.
Taoism, also spelled as Daoism, is an indigenous philosophical religion originating in China. It teaches people to balance yin and yang — the positive and negative — and other opposites, as well as go with the flow and live in harmony with the Tao, which means "the Path" or "the Way". This philosophy has fascinated and inspired people not only in China, but around the world.
Held on the sacred Taoist mountain of Maoshan in Zhenjiang city, the forum has attracted more than 500 delegates, including Taoist practitioners, experts, scholars and related parties from 39 countries and regions, including the United States, France, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, Deng Fei, deputy director of the Jiangsu Religious Affairs Administration, said on Sunday.
According to the China Taoist Association, the forum is the largest international cultural exchange platform for Taoists around the world.
This year's forum is themed "Revering the Tao and Upholding Virtue, Moving Forward with the World". It aims to encourage people to discuss how Taoism can promote traditional Chinese culture and embody the core teachings of Taoism while keeping up with the development of modern society, the organizing committee of the forum said in a statement on Sunday.
"In recent years, Maoshan's Taoist cultural resources have been extensively explored. The Maoshan School of the Shangqing Sect has become an integral branch of Chinese Taoist culture. The Maoshan Ritual Music Ensemble has also conducted several exchange visits to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan," Deng said.
The forum will include speeches, artistic performances and thematic exhibitions, as well as television and new media forums, to better interpret and promote Taoism in international communities by highlighting the contemporary significance of Taoist culture, which embodies a fusion of Eastern and Western values and bridges both ancient and modern perspectives, he added.
The forum will serve as a platform for people to discuss how to use wisdom embedded in Taoism to provide new perspectives and solutions for the common challenges facing today's society, the organizer said in the statement.