Monday, September 25, 2023
  Wu Wei - (not doing)  
At least three meanings given to Wu Wei
wu wei

  1. “Do not do anything.  Observe.  Act only if it is in the order of thing to do so.”
  2. “Let Nature take its course with no interference.”
  3. “… a man or woman whose life is in perfect harmony with the way things are.”

So, what else is new, not that it really matters.  Take and use whatever works!

But always, Verify everything.

Tao Bums

On the one hand, we have this guy at The Tao Bums claiming:

無為(Wu Wei) is "no need to do anything" rather than "Not-doing". What LaoTze had in mind was that Nature will follow its course. There is no need for intervention with Nature; Nature will do her thing and everything will be turned out Okay.

The definition of Wu Wei is very simple. "Let Nature take its course with no interference." Another words, let it be the way it supposed to be.

To finalize the meaning of Wu Wei, it is being "natural"; free of interference or interruption; let Nature take its course. For example, if you force your son to be a doctor but he wants to be a philosopher, then you are not being Wu Wei. It is because you were interfering with someone's will. If you let him be what he wants to be with no interference. Then, by the no action, it was said to be that you were being Wu Wei because you took no action on your part.

LaoTze is a mysterious figure because he kept himself in a low profile and lived in a simplest and humble lifestyle. He was secluded as a librarian to isolate himself from any political involvement. He was fed up with the politicians, at the time, who ruled in a tyranny form of government. His philosophy was to rule the people as simple as possible with less decrees. His philosophy was based on the idea that "the people should be ruled with Wu Wei".

How did he come up with this amazing knowledge?
No one knows, he only had all his knowledge written down in the Tao Te Ching. The Tao Te Ching was written using first person tense. It has to be authentic by him because there was no other literature in history which resembles his thoughts and wisdom.

He took off and went west as an old man as LaoTze himself. … Finally, his legend still remains as a mystery.

Inner Game

See: The Inner Game at Wikipedia

See: Ski like the wind

… whereas on the other, here is a different opinion from Stephen Mitchell.

People usually think of Lao-tzu as a hermit, a dropout from society, dwelling serenely in some mountain hut, unvisited except perhaps by the occasional traveler arriving from a '60s joke to ask, "What is the meaning of life?" But it's clear from his teaching that he deeply cared about society, if society means the welfare of one's fellow human beings; his book is, among other things, a treatise on the art of government, whether or a country or of a child. The misperception may arise from his insistence on 'wei wu wei', literally "doing not-doing," which has been seen as passivity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A good athlete can enter a state of body-awareness in which the right stroke or the right movement happens by itself, effortlessly, without any interference of the conscious will. This is a paradigm for non-action: the purest and most effective form of action. The game plays the game; the poem write the poem; we can't tell the dancer from the dance.

quote big

Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
Nothing is left undone.

Nothing is done because the doer has wholeheartedly vanished into the deed; the fuel has been conpletely transformed into flame. This "nothing" is, in fact, everything. It happens when we trust the intelligence of the universe in the same way that an athlete or a dancer trusts the superior intelligence of the body. Hence Lao-tzu's emphasis on softness. Softness means the opposite of rigidity, and is synonymous with suppleness, adaptability, endurance. Anyone who has seen a t'ai chi or aikido master doing not'doing will know how powererful this softness is.

Lao-tzu's central figure is a man or woman whose life is in perfect harmony with the way things are. This is not an idea; it is a reality; I have seen it. The Master has mastered Nature; not in the sense of conquering it, but of becoming it. In surrendering to the Tao, in giving up all concepts, judgments, and desires, her mind has grown naturally compassionate. She finds deep in her own experience the central truths of the art of living, which are paradoxical only on the surface; that the more truly solitary we are, the more compassionate we can be; the more we let go of what we love, the more present our love becomes; the clearer our insight into what is beyond good and evil, the more we can embody the good. Until finally she is able to say, in all humility, "I am the Tao, the Truth, the Life."

Natural Action

square wu wei

From: Wu Wei or Natural Action

The sage does nothing, and yet everything is done.
– Lao Tzu from Tao te Ching

The principle of least action (or stationary action) seen in the previous entry Noether’s Theorem immediately makes me think of the Taoist concept of wu wei – literally no action or effortless action. It consists of knowing when to act and knowing when not to act (or perhaps even not knowing to act). It also means natural action, or the action of natural physical or biological systems. In Western culture, such action is considered bad and “mechanical” because physical systems are thought to be like clockwork, but in Eastern culture, it is sagelike and enlightened, harmonious. Very often intention, or conscious action, gets in the way and impedes our effort.

Another example that comes to mind is the short story “On the Marionette Theatre” by Heinrich von Kleist. In the story, one of the characters comment that marionettes possess a grace humans do not, a view which contradicts ordinary aesthetics. It is claimed that our consciousness and capacity for reflection cause us to doubt ourselves or become self-conscious, and prevent us from acting with the singlemindedness and purity of an animal or a puppet. For example, a bear in the story is able to successfully fence with the narrator, by deflecting every thrust towards him seemingly without effort. And all feints are ignored, as if the bear is reading the narrator’s mind or knowing the future before it happens.

Also note:

Philip Pullman, author of the fantasy trilogy “His Dark Materials”, was inspired by von Kleist’s story.

The character Forrest Gump, of book and movie fame, could be considered a Taoist. Be like a feather on the wind…

Edward Slingerland / Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China — Preview at Google books

Conceptual Metaphor

Effortless Action

Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China — Edward Slingerland

This book presents a systematic account of the role of the personal spiritual ideal of wu-wei — literally "no doing," but better rendered as "effortless action" — in early Chinese thought.

Edward Slingerland's analysis shows that wu-wei represents the most general of a set of conceptual metaphors having to do with a state of effortless ease and unself-consciousness. This concept of effortlessness, he contends, serves as a common ideal for both Daoist and Confucian thinkers. He also argues that this concept contains within itself a conceptual tension that motivates the development of early Chinese thought: the so-called "paradox of wu-wei," or the question of how one can consciously "try not to try."

Methodologically, this book represents a preliminary attempt to apply the contemporary theory of conceptual metaphor to the study of early Chinese thought. Although the focus is upon early China, both the subject matter and methodology have wider implications. The subject of wu-wei is relevant to anyone interested in later East Asian religious thought or in the so-called "virtue-ethics" tradition in the West.

Moreover, the technique of conceptual metaphor analysis--along with the principle of "embodied realism" upon which it is based — provides an exciting new theoretical framework and methodological tool for the study of comparative thought, comparative religion, intellectual history, and even the humanities in general. Part of the purpose of this work is thus to help introduce scholars in the humanities and social sciences to this methodology, and provide an example of how it may be applied to a particular sub-field.

Effortless Action

Effortless Action

From: The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy
Download Effortless Action

quote big

the ability to fulfil human needs effortlessly through working with nature
Ling Feng, University of Sheffield

Effortless Action? This term, derived from Taoist philosophy, sounds passive and incompatible with our modern society where effort seems decisive to success. I want to suggest that it can be very relevant to sustainability and explore some ways in which it might be applied by educators. Contemporary thought unconsciously conceives of ‘effort’ in a selfcentred and modernist way that contributes to the unsustainability of our social and ecological system.

The notion of Effortless Action (Wu Wei) is one of the major themes of Taoism – an ecologically-oriented Chinese traditional philosophy that originated around 2500 years ago with the classic work Tao de Ching by Lao-Tsu (see Maurer 1982 for a full translation). Although Taoism originated in early China, over time practices in various cultural contexts have proved its wide applicability. It is philosophical yet practical, seeking to inspire and instruct practitioners in how to obtain an optimal state of harmonic integration between both material and spiritual realms of existence with lessons derived from nature (Kirkland 2002).

As one of the most distinctive characteristics of Taoist thought, Effortless Action is ‘a form of intelligence - that is, of knowing the principles, structures, and trends of human and natural affairs so well’ that achievements can be made through the least amount of effort (Watts 1975: 76). It is important to recognize that in Taoism, which urges ‘selflessness’ as opposed to ‘selfcentredness’, ‘effort’ in Effortless Action refers to the total effort of all beings involved in and related to an action, instead of just effort of the self. Properly understood, then, Effortless Action is participative and inclusive rather than passive and anthropocentrically instrumental.

A recent advertisement for Volkswagen vehicles can help illustrate the difference between total effort and self effort. The advertisement shows how easy it is to drive and park the Volkswagen 4x4, followed by the slogan: ‘Tiguan, simply effortless’. It makes perfect sense – easy to use, hence, simply effortless. But, is it really effortless? It may be for the driver, but it is certainly not effortless when viewed through the perspective of total effort: the engineers’ effort in designing the car, materials and energy used in producing the car, the fuel imported from the warzone for running the car, the car parks and roads that need building, and the effort required to deal with the health consequences of pollution, accidents and the sedentary lifestyle of the driver. In addition, the fuels burned to build and run the car release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which requires current and future generations to make great effort to deal with the consequences of climate change. On the other hand, re-organizing life so that most journeys can be conducted on foot, by bicycle or wheelchair, requires physical movement but, in comparison, is Effortless Action, since it flows with the natural order of things, which is for humans to expend bodily energy in moving from one place to another.

Learners could engage in practical active learning exercises to mind-map the total effort that goes into the production of daily products and services. This requires little more than a basic understanding of social and natural systems, and might be the easy bit. The more challenging bit is whether learners are able to think or are willing to think beyond the world of the self, to think of the self as a part of the social and ecological environment and build a holistic worldview in order to discover effortless alternatives for themselves.

Because our social system gets more and more complex, mutable and uncertain, it is increasingly difficult to trace every single effort involved, and it is easy to be misled by Greenwash and the supposed benefits of new technologies. For example, the generation of energy from nuclear fusion is one of the major ongoing projects that people count on to save humanity through providing clean and unlimited energy. No need to worry about peak oil and global warming once we get hold of the technology. However, the extension of human power through the use of fossil fuel energy has led to immense damage to ecosystems, and has massively accelerated the depletion of literally ‘vital’ resources like fresh water. Even more unlimited energy is not a ‘solution’ in itself, since it could be used to exponentially increase efforts to deplete vital resources and further accelerate the damage to ecosystems.

Effortless Action reminds us of our place in the world, and also points out the way to be truly effortless – through working with the flow of nature. As Ames (1986) describes, Effortless Action is a model for creative participation in the cosmos in a manner that coheres with nature rather than resists it. This does not have to be an esoteric or mystical notion; it can be one which is intensely practical. An example is flood control. Typically, flood control is dealt with using ‘hard engineering’ – the building of concrete barriers and the hardening of channels. This approach is the path of effort since it depends on complex machinery, large amounts of energy, and highly skilled labour. It is a path which generates multiple further problems along the line, as the National Trust (2008) points out:

quote big

Hard engineering works tend to increase the speed at which water moves through rivers, thereby increasing flood risk further downstream. Canalised rivers and drained floodplains are also bad for wildlife, and increased or more rapid run-off from land has a negative impact on water quality. Furthermore, the effects of climate change are already causing an increase in flooding, particularly as a result of extreme rainfall.

Unless a new, more strategic approach to flood risk is adopted, flood risk management will require more and more expensive (and carbon intensive) hard defences.

Instead, the National Trust is promoting a ‘soft engineering approach’ based on ‘making space for water’. This path of Effortless Action involves:

quote big

wetland creation, woodland planting and soft engineering of the river course to return it to a more natural state, which have all helped to make space for water, with benefits for biodiversity and water quality, as well as reducing the risk of flooding. (the National Trust 2008).

Solutions which restore and enhance the natural flood resilience of ecosystems end up providing multiple solutions rather than multiple further problems, and therefore save vast amounts of effort. There is also the case of ‘missing-the-point’ conservation projects such as ‘Save China’s Tiger’, which has chosen to conserve the endangered south China tigers by transporting them from China to southern Africa for breeding and re-wilding (an action of great effort), instead of focusing on looking after their natural habitat in China. Lao-Tzu uses a water metaphor to explain the benefits of the ‘softer path’:

quote big

Nothing beneath heaven
is softer and weaker than water.
Nothing is better
To attack the hard and strong
And nothing can take its place.
The weak overcome the strong;
The soft overcome the hard.
There is no one beneath heaven
Who doesn’t know this,
Yet no one who practices it1

In general, Effortless Action means wisely and intelligently making use of what is already available in nature (the so-called ‘ecosystems services’) to fulfill human needs rather than taking the hard path of conquering nature through immense fossil fuel subsidies, excessive use of technology, or inappropriate civil, chemical, genetic, nuclear or planetary engineering.

The significance of Effortless Action goes beyond ecologically sensitive design, however, to address one of the root causes of unsustainability – self-centredness and the overwhelming preoccupation with competition that results from it. We are facing a situation where huge amounts of effort are being expended in self-centred ways in order to compete and achieve goals such as having a high salary, a high status at work, a large car, or a prestigious address. These goals are not pursued because they are worthwhile for their own sake, but because people want to appear to be better than others.

This mindset is largely rooted in a form of individualistic self-centeredness. Individualism has been seen as one of the achievements of Western modernisation, a form of human development through self-realization. However, rearranged by the rich and the powerful through education systems, advertising, and the media, individualism now serves the goal of furthering consumerism. As Hartley (1997: 62) observes, ‘new forms of individual identity are rooted in conspicuous consumption’. Our identity is now less about who we are and more about what we have, with the priority to have more things, different things, and better things than others. In the meantime, while more consumers keen on getting better things and different things are being generated, ‘the drugged, the deranged and the depressed’ (Hartley 1997: 63) are also mounting up, because not everyone can have more things than everyone else.

As Olive et al (2003: 237, 170) claim, the ‘major cultural error’ of Modern culture is the ‘hyper-individualistic self', since 'we lose our continuing commitment and capacity to participate in and negotiate culture within a fuller range’ of possibilities for relationships with nature, and are ‘left with a much more limited quality of “self” or “being”’ than we realize (Hilson-Katzenbach 2006). On the other hand, Lao-Tsu describes a more holistic way of being-in-the-world, a way of achieving self-realisation without self-centredness or competition:

quote big

True goodness is like water.
Water benefits the ten thousand things,
but does not compete with them.
It stays in humble places,
Therefore comes close to Tao.

If you do not compete,
You will not be faulted.

[The sage] does not compete with anyone,
and no one beneath heaven can compete with him.

Don’t exalt the worthy:
People then will not compete

Taoism, then, represents a gentler way, a softer way, a way that flows with nature, that blurs the rigid boundaries between self and other, thereby tackling the obsession with competition at its source. How can ‘I’ compete, if ‘I’ exists only in interconnection and interdependence with other people and natural systems? (see Being-in-the-world, this volume). By avoiding the competition altogether and moving beyond the concept of winners and losers, beyond the idea of better people and worse people, we cannot lose, and therefore become invincible, and, importantly, more sustainable, because we are not building our sense of superiority on the repression of other people or the destruction of the environment.

Looking around us, movements such as Permaculture (see and Transition Towns (see show us hope and alternatives. Why compete against each other and build success upon other’s failures, when we can work together to create stronger and more resilient communities? Why expand competition culture through globalization, unnecessarily multiply wants, and satisfy them through immense international efforts, when so many human needs can be fulfilled through the local community and ecosystems. Movements like the above have no place for competition culture, instead, they bring back a sense of community and trust and provide ways of acting effortlessly, flowing with nature to fill both basic and deeper human needs. There is, of course, a lot of physical work, design work, and teamwork that occurs when communities come together to fulfil their needs through practical local projects. This is not ‘effort’, though, because it is the kind of work that humans, as social animals, are naturally adapted for, work that resonates with who and what we are, as opposed to the effort of sitting isolated in front of computers, steering wheels, screens, and production lines, playing out a meaningless role in an unsustainable society.

Not only is our modern civilization built upon competition, the changes that are occurring are accelerating competition between individuals, between communities/societies, between humans and the rest of nature. Environmental degradation, resource depletion, economic crises and the continuing growth of population and consumption make being critical about the entire competition culture at personal, social, national and international levels, a significant part of Education for Sustainability.

Unfortunately, competition culture is extremely evident in formal education as well, mainly through evaluation based on exams and league tables. As Sterling (2001: 21) suggests: ‘We are educated by and large to compete and consume, rather than to care and conserve’. This means that, in terms of sustainability, ‘education is both part of the problem and the solution’ (Sterling 1996: 18). If learners are to gain skills in ‘effortless action’, they will need to overcome the competitive atmosphere of educational institutions. They will need opportunities to work cooperatively with other learners, members of the local community, and local natural systems, in real projects of value for the future, rather than putting in effort just to get better marks than their peers. This is ‘active learning’, and if it is done in a way which flows with nature it becomes ‘effortless active learning’. But how can this be taught? Lao-Tsu has some useful advice here about effortless teaching:

quote big

Therefore the sage
achieves without striving
teaches without talking


1 All translations of the work of Lao-Tsu are from Maurer (1982), with some small adjustments by the author.

2 Calligraphic stone stamps by Jiehua Gong

Ames, Roger (1986) Taoism and the nature of nature. Environmental Ethics 8:8:317-350

Hartley, David (1997) Re-schooling society. London: Falmer

Hilson-Katzenbach, Mimi (2006) Wu wei all the way. International Journal of Leadership in Education 9:3:269-277

Kirkland, Russell (2002) Self fulfillment through selflessness: the moral teachings of the Daodejing. In Michael Barnhart (ed.) Varieties of Ethical Reflection: New Directions for Ethics in a Global Context. Maryland: Lexington Books

Maurer, Herrymon (1982) Tao, the way of the ways. Cambridge: Cambridge University [includes one of the best English translations of the Tao de Ching together with an insightful commentary]

Olive, Donald, Julie Canniff and Jouni Korhonen (2003) The primal, the modern, and the vital centre: a theory of balanced culture in a living place. Vermont: The Foundation for Educational Renewal

Sterling, Steven (1996) Education in change. In John Huckle and Steven Sterling (eds.) Education for sustainability. London: Earthscan

Sterling, Steven (2001) Sustainable education: re-visioning learning and change. Dartington: Green Books

The National Trust (2008) Nature’s capital: investing in the nation’s natural assets.

Watts, Alan (1975) Tao: the watercourse way. New York: Penguin

Without doing

From: Tao Manor

Wu wei is a concept frequently mentioned in the Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing), and is often translated as non-action or not doing. It is also part of another phrase often repeated in Taoist (Daoist) scriptures — wei wu wei, or "do without doing" — which makes the paradoxical nature of the concept clearer. How does anything get done if I don't do something to get it done?

Perhaps wu wei is more easily understood when it is not translated so literally — as "effortless action" perhaps. We find that the more we let go of our need to control events around us, the more we are able to see how Tao (Dao) puts things we need within our easy reach constantly. Like the heron standing patiently waiting for a fish to swim close enough to grab and eat, we can wait for opprotunities to come to us. We can wait for the decisions to come easily, effortlessly.

Chapters 63 and 64 of Lao Tzu's (Laozi's) Tao Te Ching speak to this first aspect of wu wei by stressing timing:

quote big

"Do when there is nothing to do,
Manage affairs when there are none to manage.
Know by not knowing.
Regard the great as small, the much as little.
Repay injury with te.

Plan the difficult while it is easy.
Accomplish the great when it is small.
Difficult affairs of the world,
Must be done while they are easy.
Great affairs of the world,
Must be done while they are small.

— from chapter 63, E. Chen (tr.)

Chapter 64 goes on to further emphasize the idea that by remaining balanced and observant, we can notice things that are just developing, when they are the easiest to handle and direct:

quote big

What is at equilibrium is easy to maintain;
What has not emerged is easy to plan;
What is fragile is easy to dissolve;
What is minute is easy to disperse.
Act when there is yet nothing to do.
Govern when there is yet no disorder.

— from chapter 64, E. Chen (tr.)

What makes the practice of wu wei so frustrating is that we have a hard time letting go of our fears of deprivation and our expectations that things turn out a specific way. Wu wei is a leap of faith we become more and more willing to take when we realize that nothing horrible happens when we remain humble, surrender to the Way Things Are, and act so effortlessly that we are barely able to recall any deliberation that led to the action. The space between the opportunity to act and the action becomes so short when we learn to trust this level of spontaneity.

And when you meet situations that used to vex or anger you, for example, you will effortlessly and quickly respond to bring balance to the situation, or you will become better at avoiding such situations. For that is the second aspect of wu wei. You have to be in the flow of Tao in order to experience its power. If you are avoiding engaging the world and being where you need to be, it will be more difficult for Tao to assist you in your goals. If you are looking for a romantic partner, for example, you don't necessarily need to go to the extremes of cruising singles bars and placing personal ads; just make sure you're out among people. As a friend reminds me, very few movie stars were discovered in their homes. The heron doesn't wait on the shore for a fish to jump out of the water and land at its feet; it has to be in the water where the fish are.

Tao of Letting Go

From: Tao in You

Wuwei (无为), or non-doing, literally means 'doing nothing' in Chinese.

It is the fundamental of Tao. If you have to learn only one thing from the reading of Tao Te Ching, this is what you should go for. The concept permeates the entire book.

You may wonder why Lao Tzu would advocate 'doing nothing' in this timeless classic.

The answer is very simple: Wuwei is built upon the working of Nature. And nothing in this Universe can be more powerful than the working of Nature — manifested in all things we see, all things we do.

I mean all things and everything. From something as sacred as life and death to others as mundane as riding a bicycle to attracting the man or woman you love.

Knowing the nature of things and direct your efforts accordingly is like flowing along with the current and it will make achieving something effortless.

Many a time, Wuwei, or non-doing, require that you do nothing in order to do something.

For example, if your intention is to grow a plant, do what you should do. Give it the sunlight, the fertilizer and the water. Having done that, begin the non-doing by leaving the plant alone and let it grow on its own.

Don't do anything once the conditions for growing the plant are fulfilled. Otherwise, you would do more harm than good.

In this instance, doing nothing is doing something.

The maxin applies to everything we do. If we let nature take its course , things get done. If we go against it, little — or nothing — will get done, no matter how hard we try.

Do what is required, cut down on the superfluous.

Do less, in order to achieve more!

More articles about Wuwei & Non-Doing

Non-Doing is Powerful

Wuwei, therefore, is not doing absolutely nothing.

What it means is that we, having understood the order of things, act according to the order, and nothing else. It refers to non-action for things superfluous.

Just imagine how much more powerful we can be, if we can focus in such manner. It is just like water consistently dripping on the same spot of a rock. However soft the water is, it can eventually penetrate a rock. It is powerful, although it does not appear to be so?

When we have done what are needed to get things done, stand back. Do not interfere! Let the process work. For the same token, if it is beyond our power to take any action, stand back. Do not do anything. Observe. Act only if it is in the order of thing to do so.

This is non-doing!

In this context, doing nothing is doing something!


Wuwei Harnesses Power of Nature

It is like the planting of seedlings.

After we have worked on the soil and watered the plants, stand back! The seedlings need time and space to grow. Interfering does not help. It impedes the growth!

This applies to all things we do in life.

Instead of revolving around personal desire, as expressed in the go-getter lingo, wuwei rivets our attention on the laws of nature.

It teaches us that in whatever we do, in addition what we want; we must understand the ways of reality. What determines things to be done is not our desire, it is the reality. Unless the laws of nature warrant us to do something, we should do nothing.

In the end, we achieve more by doing less!

Know What Enough Means

Wuwei, nevertheless, is difficult to achieve.

We tend to worry too much, or worry about the wrong thing.

We are inclined to intervene, without considering whether the intervention really helps. This is especially so when we are leaders vested with power and authority.

If we can think non-doing in all things we do, we will be able to know what enough is and is not. Always aim for neither doing too little nor too much.

There are so many things that we long to have in life. If we do not know what enough is, we will never be enough.

In the sense of non-doing, we should not strive for anything, no matter how dearly we want it, if it does not add value to the natural process of achieving the center of our life.

See how wuwei is being applied by peak performers, click here

basic cycle

Wuwei Exercise 1

Recall your recent cycling experience. If you don't cycle, recall you recent observation on how people cycle:

1. Look at the process of cycling. You move the bicycle forward, find the balance, sit on it and let the bicycle move on with the momentum.

2. The moment when you riding along with the bicycle, you should let go and let the bicycle and the momentum do the work. This is wuwei, or non-doing. You do nothing, and yet move ahead effortlessly.

3. What would happen if you unnecessarily intervene in the process? For example, suddenly tilting the balance of the bicycle? The bicycle's momentum is lost, you fall. You have impeded the process.

4. To be effective as a cyclist, you must know when to intervene and when not to. Only then that you are able to let the nature takes its course, and move along by harnessing the power of nature. This is the power of wuwei.

Wuwei Exercise 2:

Imagine that you are the CEO of a company. In the meeting, a group of employees is discussing about ways to improve morale in the company. What should you do in order to hear the true feedback from the group? Pick from the alternatives below, and explain why:

1. Let the employees discuss about what they feel, before feeding back to you.

2. Intervene in the discussion and join the discussion.

Suggested Answer:

Before you join in, stand back, and consider whether your intervention would help in getting good feedback.

On some occasions, your intervention would help. On others, it would not. It relies not on what you want, but what works. For example, if your intervention would stifle the flow of the group energy, and the free flow of the group energy is essential in producing the true feedback, then refrain from intervention. Observe non-doing. Do not intervene.

Click here to go back to Tao Basics

More articles about Wuwei & Non-Doing

Click here to go back to the home page

Read 775 times