Taoism > Wu-Wei

What is Wu-Wei?

Wu-wei - usually translated as nonaction, inaction or nondoing - is one of the most important Taoist concepts. When linked to the Tao - the creator and sustainer of everything in the Universe - nondoing means the actionless of Heaven, like in the following abstract from Tao-te ching:

    The Tao in its regular course does nothing (for the sake of doing it), and so there is nothing which it does not do. (Legge, chap. 37)

Linked with the human behavior, nondoing refers to not forcing the things on their way, on the action without effort.

aikido and wu-wei
Aikido is a living illustration of the Taoist wu-wei concept. The practitioner is moving along with his opponent instead of resisting his attacks.

In the terms of Alan Watts, nondoing is "what we mean by going with the grain, rolling with the punch..." (Tao: The Watercourse Way, Pantheon Books, 1973.)

Thus nondoing refers to a specific form of intelligence and, in the same time, to the urge of following the Tao/Way. These two are linked: one follows the Tao because has (holds) the intelligence to do so, or because has this intelligence he/she is able to follow the tao.

We talk much about the nondoing concept in our email courses Lao-tzu and Tao-te ching Revealed and Initiation into Taoism (Level One and Three). In Level Three of the later we approach the wu-wei as a method of meditation.
here to learn more about Lao-tzu and... course - click here to learn more about Level One, and here about Level Three.


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