Wei Wu Wei
What is wei wu wei? It is
“doing not doing” or “practicing nonaction”
And is an Important Concept in Taoism.
We shall call it “wei wu wei,”
Indulging ourselves in the foreign term because of its loveliness:
So what is this wei wu wei? Many will tell you what wei wu wei is
They will tell you it is not “merely doing nothing,” or not “laissez-faire.”
How silly! They are wrong: it is that and more.
How much more? That I cannot tell you.
Wei wu wei is forbearance, it is restraint, it is the hurtful word
The foolish deed not done. It is the realization that “something
must be done”
Is fantasy, and in reality, in all likelihood, nothing needs to be
done. Do nothing.
And nothing will remain undone.
Some say wei wu wei is “not literally doing nothing.” Bah.
Sit still for two minutes. Do nothing. Don’t even meditate,
ignore your breath.
That is wei wu wei, and very beneficial wei wu wei.
Or meditate, breathe, attain passivity, yielding to awareness, letting
go of thought,
Attending the ever-vanishing present moment.
That is wei wu wei, profound and inexhaustible wei wu wei.
The small, preventive deed that steers events,
The subtle action with immense effect.
These are also wei wu wei.
The car that drives you to your destination practically without your
Much less driving it –
That too is wei wu wei, most excellent wei wu wei.
In the midst of life’s chaos you are tranquil: that is wei wu wei.
You surrender to life’s current: that is wei wu wei.
The stick afloat on the river, the stolid stone immobile where the
rapids froth –
Both log and stone are wei wu wei.
Day turning into night, winter turning into spring,
The ten thousand billion heavenly bodies even now exploding away:
All these are wei wu wei
They do nothing, and nothing remains undone.
Wei wu wei.
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