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Wu Wei?

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  • #46
    Sifu gave a beautiful explanation regarding the first verse of the Tao Te King. It can be found here.

    Below is the quote.

    Thanks for reading.

    Originally posted by Sifu

    Answer 1

    Lao Tzu was one of the greatest philosopher of China, or of the world. He was the First Patriarch of Taoism. Yes, it is wise tor read up on Lao Tzu. You can get a lot of material on him from the Internet if you make a search in search engines.

    Lao Tzu's most important and most representative work is "Tao Te Ching", which means "The Way of Virtues". This classic sums up the basic teachings of Lao Tzu, and is very concise. Because it is both profound and arcane, which are characteristics of Taoist writings, this classic can be interpreted in many ways, and each way can be vastly different from another.

    The "Tao Te Ching" has been widely translated into English and other languages. You should be able to find the book in its many translations and versions in book shops. However, most writers merely translate the book without giving any explanation, with the result that most readers do not actually know what Lao Tzu's teaching is about. I hope that in future I may write a book explaining and interpreting the "Tao Te Ching".

    The most famous line in "Tao Te Ching" is its first line:

    The Tao that can be named the Tao is not the Tao

    My interpretation is that Cosmic Reality, called the Tao, is undifferentiated, i.e. it is a continuous spread of universal energy or consciousness. But ordinarily we do not see Cosmic Reality as undifferentiated, we see a minute part of it as our phonemeanl world. For example, we may see a moutain and animals and trees on the mountain. We see the animals, trees, the mountain and we ourselves as separate entitites. These animals, trees, the mountain, ourselves and all other countless entities in the world are phenomena, meaning appearances. They are not absolutely real. Other beings, like bacteria or gods, will see them differently.

    In absolute reality, called the Tao, there are no entities. There is only one continuous spread of energy or consciousness. Modern science may help us to understand this great truth better. The mountain, trees, animals, ourselves and all other entities are made of atoms. All these atoms are made of sub-atomic particles. But sub-atomic particles actually have no boundaries. They are just concentrations of energy conceptualized as sub-atomic particles. In other words, there is no demarcation line separating one sub-atomic particle from another. This also means that there is no demarcation line separating any one entity, like an animal, from another.

    An imperfect but useful analogy is an ocean with countless waves. We see the waves as separate entities, one wave differentiated from another wave. But these are only phoenomena or appearances. Actually there are no separate waves, they are all one continuous ocean.

    But when we give a name to an individual wave or any particular entity like a tree or an animal, we differentiate that entity from other entitites. When we give a name to Tao or Cosmic Reality in its transcendental aspect, we isolate ourselves from Tao, thus starting the process of transformation into the phenomenal world.

    The word "Tao" in Chinese ordinarily means the "way". But in this context it means "Cosmic Reality". In other cultures and languages, it may be translated as "God the Holy Spirit", "the Spiritual Body of the Boddha", "Tatagatha", "Brahman", "Allah", "the Supreme Being", "the undifferentiated spread of energy" or "Home".

    Maxime Citerne, Chinese Medicine, Qigong Healing & Internal Arts

    Frankfurt - Paris - Alsace




    • #47
      Dear readers,

      Grandmaster Wong explains "wu wei" in the latest Questions and Answer Series, Feb 2008 part 1,
      Please find the quotation below.

      The explanation is very useful for practitioners of our Shaolin Cosmos Chikung.

      Question 8
      I read about “wu wei” in many books on Taoism. Most authors translate it as “no action” or “non action”. They also say that by doing no action, everything will be done. I find that does not make any sense. Is “wu wei” found in your arts? Can you please explain this to us?
      Robert, UK

      Answer 8
      “Wu wei” is a very important concept and practice in Taoism as well as in many arts of energy and of spiritual cultivation. Literally it means “no action” or “non action”. But a better term, I believe, is “spontaneity” or “naturalness”.
      You are right. A popular explanation of “wu wei” is that if one does nothing, then everything will be done for him, which is the core of Taoist teaching. You are also right to say that this explanation does not make any sense. How can everything be accomplished when one does not do anything?
      The confusion arises because many people, including Western authors who translate the term and explanation directly from Chinese sources, do not know that this is only half the secret. In general, Taoist masters were conservative. They would be generous if they gave you half the secret, often hidden in flowery language.
      The other half of the secret is “you wei”, which literally means “there is action”. Actually, it is not just action, but correct action. First, there is “you wei”, then there is “wu wei”. First, you perform the correct action, then you be natural and reap the benefits that action is purported to give.
      In our chi kung practice we have a lot of occasions to experience and benefit from “you wei” and “wu wei”. Suppose a practitioner has diabetes. He performs some appropriate chi kung exercises. This is the “you wei” part. Then he lets go and enjoy “wu wei”, i.e. he does nothing. If his chi flow moves him to the right, he does not tense his muscles to stop the movement. If the chi flow pushes him onto the ground, he does not resist it. After a few months, his doctors are surprised that he no longer suffers from diabetes.
      Take another example. A student has no obvious illness, but he often feels weak and tired. He performs his chi kung exercises, then he lets go and does nothing. He does not move vigorously in his chi flow, but he just stands flowingly still and enjoys himself. After a few months, he finds himself in good health and vitality. He too benefit from “wu wei”.
      Suppose the first student attempts to be smarter than his teacher who asks him to follow “wu wei”. He has read that diabetes is due to the inability of the patient to digest sugar. He also has read that it is the insulin produced in the pancreas that digests the sugar. So he tries to direct his chi to his pancreas, instead of following the movement of his chi flow. This is not “wu wei”. Not only he may not recover from his diabetes, he may create other problems.
      Let us look at the second example. The second student also tries to be too smart. He thinks that he should have chi flow, the more vigorous the better, and not merely standing flowingly still. So he tries to move his body. This is also not following “wu wei”. He may become weaker and more tired, and may develop some serious health problems.
      Why is this so? Why is it that after performing the appropriate chi kung exercises, i.e. the “you wei” part, by being spontaneous or natural, i.e. the “wu wei” part, the two students get the best benefits. In the case of the first student, the problem may not be at the pancreas. By being spontaneous the first student allows the chi to flow to where the energy blockage is and restore harmonious chi flow. In the case of the second student, his heart is weak. By being spontaneous he allows the chi to work on his heart to strengthen it.
      How does chi know where to flow to or what to do when the students, their doctors and their chi kung teacher do not know where or what the problems are? It is the natural characteristic of chi to flow to where the problems are and overcome them.
      It is like asking why you can quench your thirst when you drink some water. You need not know where in your body is the thirst located or how water can quench thirst. It is the natural characteristic of water to do so.
      Thank you, Sifu.

      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)


      • #48
        Thanks for posting that on the forum Joko.


        • #49
          Thank you!

          Dear Sifu Joko,

          Thank you for posting that on the forum. It was the perfect answer to a question that I wasn't yet aware I had!

          Funny how the forum often answers my questions before I ask.



          • #50
            Thanks to Sifu for "wu wei"

            Mantra to Stabilize the Soul
            Yutang Lin

            Indeed nothing can be grasped
            Don't seek in delusion for stabilization

            Dharmakaya is in harmonious union
            Beyond distinction of purity and dirty

            Encompass all in limitless oneness
            Sphere of peaceful harmony is boundless

            Move or stay as situation calls for
            Whatever comes around will be settled


            • #51
              I have enjoyed a lot reading this thread, I found it in the right moment. Thank you all for sharing.