Things have a way of arriving or arising in batches. Ask a genuine question, and watch (if you’re observant) various answers or clues popping up in different ways as you go through a given day or week.
That’s Spirit’s fascinating way of dancing and being in conversation with us, once we tune in to the music, figure out the language, and learn to track the clues (and re-tune and recalibrate, again and again!).
More recently, going with the flow, wu wei, and non-action — do without doing and all (of the important stuff) gets done — are related themes that have come up in-batch.
Just moments ago, Rod MacIver’s Heron Dance email musing arrived in the emailbox, focusing on? You guessed it: wu wei, non-action, and the words of contemplative monk, Thomas Merton:
“If man, born in Tao,
Sinks into the deep shadow
To forget aggression and concern,
He lacks nothing
His life is secure…He is lost in the Tao.”
The very mention of “not doing” is enough to give most well-trained and well-indoctrinated Westerners a marked case of hives and shortness of breath, or worse, because it’s not something we understand very well.
It runs counter to the more workaholic, Puritan-ethic-influenced tendency to keep busy and do at any and all costs – any doing is better than not doing because “idle hands breed the Devil’s work” is embedded deeply within our psyches.
But Rod MacIver defines the wu wei, non-doing, quite nicely, saying that it’s pretty much a matter of “alignment with those energies of the universe that keep it balanced and ordered.” [Read the full entry in Rod’s e-musing here.]
So wu wei or non-doing is really a matter of graceful doing, very efficient and in-flow, rather than a conditioned default of re-acting all willy nilly splashing around, pushing boulders up hills and trying to change the course of the tide and making things happen whether it’s wise or whether it’s time but just because we want to and have to stay busy or the entire world will whirl into bits and it’ll all go to the Devil and then where will we be? Whew!
Wu wei, non-doing, elegant and well (Divinely) timed doing is more graceful, and does take some unlearning, remembering and/or learning anew, and practice. Lots of practice.
Once we get a smidge of experience with the graceful doing, though, the way right action arises, practicing gets a whole lot easier, or at least more enjoyable, and we have a sense of life as magical … of Life’s inherent magic.
Big Love on the (Wu) Wei,