Wu Wei: Finding Peace Without Doing Anything

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By Souls of Silver

Orientation with the flow of nature

It was a fine morning that day I went to the beach. Waves ebbed and flowed as the rays of the sun skimmed the glittery drops of the ocean. I took my surfboard and ran towards the beckoning of those crashing waves only to realize that all the waves had people surfing them. Every time I tried to ride a wave, the timing went wrong. After a while, I grew tired and decided to rest a while, letting myself float on my board.

Soon, the flow of the water took me to a quieter patch of the sea. I felt the gentle rocking of the waves as the early morning breeze caressed my face. The salty, yet refreshing mist of the sea calmed my nerves.

Accessing the flow

The central tenet of Taoism in Chinese culture is Wu Wei. The literal translation of the term would be “doing nothing”. What one should infer from Wu Wei is the concept of letting go. This idea is the embodiment of the English phrase “go with the flow”. To align oneself with the direction of flow of life energy around is something that should have been more organic a process, but it is not. Instead, this is considered an art that one needs to master. Sadly so, but it stands true.

To be productive without “doing”

Wu Wei followers often take a retreat from society and explore places with the essence of nature dominating it. Meditation and calming of the nerves is done by living in forests or caves amidst the energy flow of nature. But Lao Tzu says that the true essence of Wu Wei lies not in escaping from society, but by living by it through our diurnal course of activities. Let the flow of energy around you guide you through your day instead of your to-do list, to experience Wu Wei in its purest form.

Walking on nature’s path

Let nature’s flow do your work for you. There is always a certain situation where the action-driven approach yields results, but in places it doesn’t, it is best to let nature’s energy take its due course. If you try and do things against the natural order of occurrence, it is bound to not work out. However, letting go of control, can at times, yield best results; doing nothing can do wonders.

Where does one find their Wu Wei?

In this current day of action and almost zero spare time, it becomes imperative to find your Wu Wei, but also seems like a logistically impossible task. We often seem to regret work not getting done under pressure if we let the flow of life energy take its course. However, one needs to only take out a while from their packed schedules and tweak things in life to strike the perfect balance.

Spend more time amidst nature to understand the energy and experience the breezes filling your lungs, refreshing and rejuvenating you, while the energy flows calm your nerve. Give away more out of abundant generosity, rather than making it an act of power where the receiver is at a weaker end of the bargain; give freely. Let go of your control over everything. Once in a while, accommodate an idea or an act that is contrary to your imagining of the final result. If things turned out otherwise, know that the energies did it for the best. And lastly, learn to accept new things as and when they come your way. Expect the most unexpected, and live the changes; there is always a will for the better in the flows of life energy.

So, go on and let the positive energies surrounding you, overwhelm you and take over. Who knows what surprises life might throw at you?!

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