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  • Wu Wei?

    Hello Everybody,

    I was just writing a post to Alex about his Qigong training and I mentioned the use of Wu Wei as a guiding principle in Qigong.


    What does Wu Wei mean to you and what role does Wu Wei take in your training??

    Best wishes,
    Jeffrey Segal

  • #2
    Wu Wei is why I call Shaolin Kungfu the lazy man's Art.

    Comment


    • #3
      無為

      Originally posted by Darryl
      Wu Wei is why I call Shaolin Kungfu the lazy man's Art.
      I am not sure if anyone thinks Darryl's comment is flippant (I still can't get over he saying that free sparring is sparring you need not pay for...) but to me, his comment contains a lot of truth.

      I personally love Self-Manifested movement for the wuwei aspect. Although it is rather inconvenient (I end up taking a shower late at night after practising it due to the big movements), it is one exercise where i really need not think and be myself.

      It is not quite the same as zhan zhuang where you also need not think of anything. Here, you think of think but have freedom of expression.

      SIfu in his previous Q&A mentioned the importance of wuwei. Qi knows better than we do where our real problems are, and I heartily subscribe to this philosophy. This is why I had to endure certain ailements for months yet a lot was going on while in Self-Manifested movement. What kept me going despite the apparent ineffectual practice was the knowledge that qi was doing something good, just not what I wanted.

      I have been neglecting my Taijiquan qigong because that requires a fair bit of visualisation which tires me. Instead, I practice Shaolin Cosmos daily because it is so easy on the mind and spirit. That may not be lazy, merely just going with the flow, which is just another way of saying wuwei.

      And let me write out the Chinese words for wuwei. I have been getting implied complaints about my use of the simplified system so I have included the traditional one here. Yeah, I know, traditional seems better, but try telling that to beginners like Jeffrey and Hubert. No one I know who is starting out in Chinese ever opts for traditional....OK, I confess. I am just lazy.

      无为

      無為
      百德以孝为先
      Persevere in correct practice

      Comment


      • #4
        Briefly, here's my thoughts:

        Wu Wei = practice daily, let go, relax, enjoy, do nothing and everything will be done for you.

        Laziness = can't be bothered to practice daily.

        Regards,
        Chris.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was at a party on Saturday night. I can only describe my dancing as coming from wu wei, no-one could have intended to move like that .

          Seriously, I have been a practising therapist for a while now. When I started I wanted to know what to say to people to help them. I learnt theories about the way humanity operates at both the unconcious and conscious levels. I read many books by, and talked directly to, many experienced practitioners to find out what they did. And I tried to use this all consciously in sessions with clients. Needless to say I could sometimes paralyse my own attempts to act helpfully through my ceaseless internal chatter. As time goes on I am more natural and spontaneous with clients. Some of the things I say and do I wouldn't have dreamed of doing when I started. But often these turn out to be important things in a client making a change. Of course I still meet a "therapy master" to talk about and examine how I am working. But while I am doing it I am engaged with the client, rather than trying to be or thinking about being engaged with the client.

          I am much earlier in my Tai Chi Chuan learning but I am guessing it is a similar kind of process. I perform the movements more rather than thinking about performing the movements. The essence of relaxation and flowing becomes more important than mechanically manouvering my limbs into certain positions.

          When I read books that described wu-wei I used to get confused about how doing nothing could be doing something. I used to worry it would lead to apathy and indolence - something I was quite used to. As I practice more the paradox slowly disappears - not just in my Tai Chi Chuan and CHi Kung but also my daily life. I used to try not to get angry with my wife. Slowly, I just don't get angry with my wife.

          Best,

          Barry
          Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
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          • #6
            At peace with yourself

            Hi Barrys,
            Carl Gustav Jung once wrote that to be able to feel for the patient you must not pass judgement on him/her. The only way you can truly do this is to be at peace within yourself (internal peace/silence/no-thing/wu wei). If you cannot acheive this [state of mind] then the patient will not feel accepted for who he is and you will not be able to guide him/her.
            Namo Ami Tuo Fo
            Phil
            You should not only aim at the destination but also enjoy the journey. You should not just celebrate the achievement but also cherish the effort.
            - Sifu

            Comment


            • #7
              Phil,

              Hi. Yes, Jung was a great man and one of the people I studied as part of my training. He was also highly instrumental in the development of the current twelve step programs, in the view of one of the two founders of AA [Now not a lot of people know that - with apologies to Michael Caine]. However, he also had his demons. As Mike mentioned in another thread about Zen, Jung is reputed to have let his lack of judgement of actions lead to sexual liasons with some female patients. It is a difficult balance to tread.

              Interestingly, re: being at peace, another father of modern therapy was Winnicott. He talked about the importance of "remaining the same" in the face of destructive anger and other assaults from clients. While in theory this is a fantastic aim, when one is faced with clients sometimes it is difficult to achieve. It is very easy to move to a position in opposition/response to. A lifetimes practice required.

              Best,

              Barry
              Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
              Chi Kung & Tai Chi Chuan in the UK Fully Alive
              Fully Alive on Facebook Fully Alive
              UK Summer Camp 2017 Click here for details
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              • #8
                To me, Wu Wei = "let the grace of God flow through you"

                In quotes, because these are Sifu's words, that I'm sure many of us recognise from courses. In fact they are a wonderful example of what I think of as Sifu's 'words of power' - that is to say words which carry a transmission way beyond the verbal level. When we are ready, we can receive the full benefit of this transmission - also an example of Wu Wei, I think!

                I think it was during my second regional course that this phrase "let the grace of God flow through you" really hit home (I am not a Christian by the way). I'm convinced there is a direct connection between this, and a satori experience I had a few weeks later.

                Integrating this state of grace into daily life is another matter, and altogether more difficult. But "let the grace of God flow through you" is one of the many phrases of Sifu's that I can call on now to help this process along, or reorient my practice when it's not going so well.

                So many, many thanks to Sifu, and to Jeffrey for the wonderful question!

                Fleur

                Comment


                • #9
                  Greetings to All:

                  Wu-Wei is to me that Totally Calm, Still Point of Unlimited Potential and Unrestricted Power found in Complete Union with the Creator of All That Is, the One Presence and One Power in the Universe and in my life, God. "Be Still...and know that...I Am...God! As the Chinese characters imply, it is that serene, peaceful state of 'not doing', of 'no becoming', of 'without making' found in the Silence of the Spirit Within! Is it not profoundly significant that the Form exercises begin and end at the quiet standing posture so named? I believe that it is only from this quiet state of passive inaction, Wu-Wei, that we can truly "let the Grace of God flow through us" as Sifu Wong so eloquently stated! As time passes, I no longer strive to 'make things happen', but merely 'allow things to happen' instead..."doing nothing, yet nothing is left undone". My greatest ever demonstrations of skill have been manifested in a manner that I cannot duplicate at will, yet they 'happened' when they needed to, without desire, without thinking, without planning, without controlled effort, without attachment to the outcome...from Wu-Wei manifesting as Stillness in Motion!
                  Last edited by Sifu Stier; 12th November 2004, 05:10 AM.
                  http://www.shenmentao.com/forum/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi folks,
                    Uncle Jeff: very nice thread you have started! I like the comments given by my brothers and sisters!

                    wu wei er wei means to me:

                    Let go and be gentle aware what will be happening with/to you: You do something which is beeing gently aware without any action and distraction and simultaneously you do nothing as you will let happen whatever happens/will happen....

                    Correct me if I am wrong but I meant to have read a statement from Ho Sigung concerning Zenmeditation: "do nothing think nothing"!

                    Respectfully

                    Roland
                    "From formless to form, from form to formless"

                    26.08.17-28.08.17: Qi Gong Festival with 6 courses in Bern:
                    Qiflow-Triple Stretch Method-12 Sinewmetamorphisis-Bone Marrow Cleansing-Zen Mind in Qi Gong

                    Website: www.enerqi.ch

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                    • #11
                      For me Wu Wei means let the Universal Reality takes care after I put my whole efforts (yu wei).

                      To elaborate: first I do "yu wei", and then "wu wei" takes over.

                      Apllication:

                      In Chikung training: entering tao and generate energy flow, this is yu wei. Intention to continue with certain pattern, another yu wei. Then go to wu wei. Or intent/yu wei to go into self induced chi movement, then let go as wu wei.
                      Another intention would be for instance doing Taijiquan Forms, this is still yu wei. After that, let go as wu wei.

                      In daily life: Make arrangements, planning, execute the planning; all the above process with as much effort as possible: this is yu wei. Then await the result and accept whatever result: this is wu wei.

                      Wu wei means also to be happy now and here, happy with our condition, with what we have and what we do not have. Again this is after we put our whole heartly effort to do our duties, and/or our practice in whatever we do. Be aware of our ability as well as our limitation. In gratitude to whatever result we attain. God knows which is best for us.
                      开心 好运气
                      kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
                      open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
                      ------------------------------------------------------------
                      Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
                      ------------------------------------------------------------
                      Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Effortless Neutrality!

                        Hi Joko!

                        I really enjoyed your post. You made some good points.....and clearly stated.

                        The Classical writings on this subject usually portray the State of Wu-Wei as one of Effortless Neutrality.....totally impartial.....without discrimination.....without thought.....and completely non-judgemental as to good or bad.....happy or sad.....attractive or repulsive.....and so forth.

                        All such assessments are essentially mental gravitations toward one energy polarity or the other.....and as such.....have already departed from Wu-Wei because the mind...body...and spirit are no longer without effort.....and no longer neutral and impartial. The even balance of the scales has already been tipped to one side by the effort required to discriminate and judge.

                        In this way.....the Perfectly Balanced and Harmonius Union of Yin and Yang..... as they exist in the State of Wu-Wei.....is compromised.....resulting in a fluctuating dominance of one over the other and back again......as expressed in the Tai-Chi-Tu, i.e. the Yin and Yang Logo.

                        The Tao never has this problem...however... since it encompasses all things evenly.....and values all things equally.....effortlessly.....eternally!
                        http://www.shenmentao.com/forum/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sifu Stier,

                          Thank you for your encouragement...

                          with due respect,

                          Joko
                          开心 好运气
                          kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
                          open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
                          ------------------------------------------------------------
                          Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
                          ------------------------------------------------------------
                          Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Submission

                            I just came across another meaning of Wu Wei, which I want to share.

                            It means submission to the Supreme One, the One that you have faith in your life. How do you know that you have submitted completely? It is when you do not have any complain whatsoever if anything happens to you.

                            To elaborate this, let us think for a moment: Do you remember the last time you gave a present wholeheartedly to somebody you love ?

                            Do you still think or complain with what he/she might do with the present? Is it not his/her right to do anything he/she wants with it? Do you still have the right to think or to do anything about it after you submitted it? If you do, then you did not submitted your present to him/her wholeheartedly.

                            Please think again: do you still have complaint in your life? Have you submitted yourself to the One?
                            Are you in "wu wei" after "yu wei"?

                            Thank you for reading this.

                            With love, Joko.
                            Last edited by joko; 11th June 2005, 03:45 AM. Reason: spelling
                            开心 好运气
                            kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
                            open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
                            ------------------------------------------------------------
                            Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
                            ------------------------------------------------------------
                            Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dear joko,

                              Please think again: do you still have complaint in your life? Have you submitted yourself to the One?
                              Are you in "wu wei" after "yu wei"?

                              I'm sorry to say I do have sometimes complaints.

                              Anyway, this is my idea of Wu Wei: Doing the right thing, at the right time and place with (or to) the right person.
                              If it's time and place for chi flow than you do that, if it's time, place and right thing to complain infront of your boss, friend, husband or god... than you should do that.
                              When you manage to do things like that without thinking too hard than you may feel you are connected to the flow of life.


                              Enjoy your journey!

                              Rachel
                              Enjoy your journeys,
                              Racheli Wittert-Ashur


                              "There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

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