Taoism > Wu

What is Wu (Emptiness)?


Wu is translated by "emptiness". Some call it "void" - of course it is about the mental void (1). Emptiness and Tao are close related as the most important Taoist concepts.

The simplest definition of Taoist emptiness is provided by the famous Lao-tzu's disciple, Chuang-tzu, in his homonymous book. Here's what he said:

    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. (Legge version)

So emptiness is linked to sageness. It is stillness, and 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 philosophical concept not related to the spiritual pragmatism?

  • Emptiness in Everyday Life

We know lots of things about yoga exercises and their goal which is the experience of dhyana. We feel that emptiness should emulate this state of mind which unites - it is said - ego and the external world.

Well, emptiness is not yoga, nor dhyanna or something that could be compared to them. It is not acquired through taking a retreat and keeping everything at rest until the unity is completed. Still it is linked to our mind and its natural feature of being empty.

We deal with the Taoist emptiness both as theory and personal experience through our initiation courses, especially the level three of the initiation into Taoism and the Tao practice in the day to day life. .

1. One may find another emptiness in 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. When one's mind is empty he may see the perfection of Tao.


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