Wu Wei and “moving with the flow” –reposted

Wu Wei and “moving with the flow” was origionally posted on 3-24-2011

There are  a couple distinctions in  Taoist philosophy::

The Subjective: The way people interpret and describe the way things happen.

The Tao: the way things, or Nature, truly happen, which transcends human description.

A person’s reaction to “the way things happen” influences how he/she internalizes the way things happen.

great discrepancy between:

  • the way nature happens(or Tao), and
  • how a person internalizes the way things happens,

…can lead to stresses, and chaos.

According to Taoism , no person can fully know the Tao, The universe, nature’s forces  and  ways of change… because the Tao transcend human senses, full rational dissection, and full description. (thus the “Tao is Nameless” other than “Tao”)

However. Taoism’s practice is interpreting, behaving(or not behaving), interacting, or patterning more and more with the way nature happens as it becomes more apparent to the person.

That is:  Move , work with, or flow with Nature, Act in Harmony with Tao and one will experience less stress and chaos and one will experience more happiness.

Wu Wei

Wu Wei is the principle of “No Action”. More Accurately, its defined as abstaining from excessive effort and excessive action beyond the way a situation naturally happens..

If person canoing upon a river is paddling against, or across the current, he must exert a lot of energy. If the person turns his boat and point to move with the river’s current, he may need no action. He moves along effortlessly with the current., as the river “happens”.
Think  of the river current as a metaphor of how nature changes or flows. In Practicing Wu Wei one uses his experientially refined ability to recognize the way nature flows, and moves with it
Go with the Flow. Action in Harmony with the Tao and no action beyond that.
This is Wu Wei

Wu Wei in our modern world:

  • If a person worryies too often  about things that are not important to  his present moment; or is  multitasking;or he is uses more effort and then situation needs, the resulting effect may be stress and fatigue.
  • A production worker may find he is more productive and happier outside of work, If he uses body in more natural positions of lifting, ergonomics, and works with ways that require less noneffective effort.
  • Permaculture designers create ecological garden and agriculture designs, that pattern nature and use of Wu Wei, resulting in relatively self  or long sustaining  systems of produce.

A person may increase ones capacity of authenticity, harmony or integrity of his internal way with the natural Way or Tao, by meditating: the witnessing the two-as-one, briefly . Others studies, are  Yoga, Tai -chi, or just taking walks.

From there they may be inclined  apply Wu Wei in what ever action or non-action they do.

As for the distinction of the “subjective” and the “Tao”, they may move together harmoniously.


About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

3 Responses to Wu Wei and “moving with the flow” –reposted

  1. Thank for the directness and simplicity of this post. It is very helpful. I’m seeking wu wei… and more and more it seems to be about being rather than thinking.

  2. chris says:

    Well said!
    I once thought of using the word “paradigm” ,or way of thinking, to describe these “Taoist” tenants — such as Wu Wei. I quickly realized that Wu Wei is a way of doing, thinking, sitting still, etc. Its a way of being.

    Thanks for your comment, Jessica Macbeth.

  3. chris says:

    Reblogged this on Pennsylvania Echoes and commented:

    无为 -Chi | 無爲 -Kor | Vô | 無為 -Jap

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