Tao means how: how things happen, how things work.
Tao is the single principle underlying all creation.
Tao is God.
Tao cannot be defined, because it applies to everything. You cannot define something in terms of itself.
If you can define a principle, it is not Tao.
Tao is a principle. Creation, on the other hand, is a process. That is all there is: principle and process, how and what.
All creation unfolds according to Tao. There is no other way.
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Tao cannot be defined, but Tao can be known. The method is meditation, or being aware of what is happening. By being aware of what is happening. I begin to sense how it is happening. I begin to sense Tao.
To become are of what is happening, I must pay attention with an open mind. I must set aside my personal prejudices or bias. Prejudiced people see only what fits those prejudices.
The method of meditation works, because principle and process are inseparable. All process reveals the underlying principle. This means that I can know Tao. I can know God.
By knowing Tao, I know how things happen.
Source: The Tao of Leadership – Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age by John Heider