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Wu-wei

Wu-wei

Lao Tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching, stated that the world governs itself. It doesn't need our intervention. Lao Tzu wrote: "When you arrive at non-action, nothing will be left undone."

The idea resembles the basic understanding of the paradoxical concept "we-wei." Wu-wei means "non-doing", "doing nothing", or "effortless action." It is about aligning our actions with nature and not forcing anything.

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Effortless action

Effortless action

With effortless action, we are not so much doing, but rather going.

We start on a river stream without considering where it leads us. We're setting sail into unchartered territory, without getting worried about the great unknown. We swim with the current, not against it, ma...

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Wu-wei can enhance our relationship with the world

The ancient art of "letting things happen" doesn't make us passive.

Lao Tzu stated that using force, "forcing the flow of nature" always leads to unseen troubles. Nature has its course and is always working in the background to create and recreate the 10,000 things.

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"Fasting of the heart"

Confucius described "fasting of the heart" as a form of meditation, which leads to letting our preconceptions go and making room to receive. 

Understanding wu-wei helps us to let go of the ego, so we can act with the situation at hand, as it is. We let things happen and act responsi...

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2.7K reads

Human effort

Human effort

Today's society focuses on the importance of conscious human effort. We celebrate effort, despite its actual effectiveness, as we aim to always be busy for the sake of being busy. 

Hard work is necessary and action is often reasonable, but on many occasions, it isn't. That ...

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3.2K reads

Navigate through life like water

Navigate through life like water

Spending our lives fighting against nature is a waste of time, no matter how much people celebrate us for engaging in the effort.

We are really better off accepting what is and navigate through it like water, flowing through a rocky surface.

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The need for courage

We need to be brave enough to let go of what we've learned and ignore our assumptions. 

As Lao Tu puts it, "Renounce knowledge and your problems will end. What is the difference between yes and no? What is the difference between good and evil? Must you fear what others fear? Nonsense, look ...

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2.58K reads

The ego

The ego

Ego often distorts how we perceive reality.

For example, when we converse with a spouse, the ego tends to fill the unknown gaps with prejudices, fantasies, and convictions.

The larger the ego, the more it will dominate the situation and close us off from what's reall...

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2.55K reads

Letting go of the result

We often focus too much on the results.  Zhuangzi talks about how different prospects can influence our actions and emotional states if we attach ourselves to them.

In the context of a date, we want the other person to like us, and if we don't succeed, we feel miserable. In...

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2.57K reads

CURATED FROM

CURATED BY

carson_

Running away from your problems is a race you`ll never win.

Wu Wei is the responsive way of action from a clear openness in yourself.

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Alan Watts On The Way Of Nature: Wu Wei

Tao is the way of nature, and the way to be in accord with it is Wu Wei that is non-doing. This non-action, effortless effort, or actionless action goes past most western societies who are having a ‘doing’ mentality rather than a ‘being’ one.

Acting out of the result in mind is no...

Recognise Fault As A Fault

In the Tao Te Ching , Lao Tzu wrote, “To know that you do not know is highest. To not know but think you know is flawed. Only when one recognizes the fault as a fault can one be without fault. The sages are without fault. Because they recognize the fault as a fault. That is why they are ...

Lao Tzu: The Action In Inaction

Doing nothing, non-action or not forcefully acting is one of Lao-Tzu’s well-known teachings. We mistakenly think this is akin to being lazy, and doing absolutely nothing. What Lao-Tzu means is that we should not do anything that is not in accordance with Tao. It means swimming with the ti...

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