Tao (Dao) is the Chinese word for Way. Lao Tse, the elder contemporary of Confucius wrote the Tao te Ching in 81 verses which became the basis of Taoism. There are many parallels between the quest in India for Dharma (the way) and Tao in China. In alchemical terms, Tao is xu 虛, or the void, the void emanates shen 神, or spirit, the spirit emanates qi, the qi emanates jing 精, or essence, the essence emanates xing 形, or body, the body emanates ren 人, or human http://www.literati-tradition.com/meditative_practice.html xu shen qi jing xing ren void, spirit, qi, essence, body, human