Taoism > Wu


What is Emptiness (Wu)?

Wu is translated by "nonbeing" and also "emptiness". We may call it "void", though xu, another term in the Tao-te ching, means void too.

When we think of emptiness we think of the mind emptiness, or the empty mind. (1) Also emptiness (wu) and Tao itself are close related.as the most important Taoism concepts.

A complete vision about the Taoist emptiness is provided by the famous Lao-tzu's disciple, Chuang-tzu. Talking about the mind of the sage, he wrote in his homonymous book:

    The still mind of the sage is the mirror of heaven and earth, the glass of all things. Vacancy, stillness, placidity, tastelessness, quietude, silence, and non-action - this is the level of heaven and earth, and the perfection of the Tao and its characteristics. (James Legge translation.)

Here emptiness is vacancy (void). It is also related to stillness, a mirror of everything - heaven and earth -, it is quietude, silence, and so forth. Even the Perfection of Tao (2) lies in this extremely peculiar state of mind. So one may ask: "is this something one may really attain as a personal experience or just a manner of speaking or a mere philosophical concept"?

  • Emptiness in Everyday Life

About emptiness as a personal experience we treat mostly in our Level 3 of the Taoist initiation course. This course is designed to explain the Taoist meditation methods.

Notes:
1. One may find the concept of emptiness at the origin of the Universe. This is referred to as a void from where everything took form. This "emptiness" is more related to the metaphysical approach of the birth of the Universe.
2. Acquiring mind emptiness equals the perfection of Tao.

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