Category Archives: WuWei Articles

Carving the Block = Knowing the Context.

In Daoism we often refer to something called The Uncarved Block. For most Daoists the lesson goes something like this: In the Dao De Jing, Lao Tzu says “the name that can be named is not the name, naming is the origin of all Things”. In a nutshell this means that if you use language to separate things from each other, you ultimately deny yourself any chance of seeing the interconnectedness of all things. Or the “Not Two-ness” of the Universe. But what does this mean for everyday people? How can we use this in practical life?

Observation on Wu Wei


The Motto is “Final good, all good”.

One can see life is happening as a vision, with all aches and sorrow, happiness and joy.
All movements belong to Dao.

Just observing, everything is a reaction on something.
Speaking, hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting, feeling.
Just observe – nothing to do, nothing to not-do – just observe.

There is final good.

Author: Priest Wú Wù

Wu Wei and No Mind are Not Two

I always wanted to be a poet but practice Bagua instead. It is a way of not-doing to do.
I do, however, enjoy reading poetry. And, perhaps, it is the most effective mode of illustrating that Wu Wei (non-action) and No-mind are Not Two.
Below is a gem from the Chinese poet Wang Wei (701-761). After reading it, I hope you will intuit what I am aiming at.

I dismount from my horse and drink your wine.
I ask where you’re going
You say you are a failure
and want to hibernate at the foot of Deep South Mountain.
Once you’re gone no one will ask about you.
There are endless white clouds on the mountain.
(Translated by Tony and Willis Barnstone and Xu Haixin)

Many bows to Master Wan Wei. Not-doing and no-mind are the single source of potential.
Wu Wei and No Mind are Not two. Poetry in motion. Time for some Bagua practice.

Written by
John Gist
Priest-in-Training 2013

Newsletter Summer 2013 – WuWei


It’s easy to see the meaning of Wu Wei as inaction when using direct translations from Chinese into English but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The universe is a dynamic place and all its components, vibrant, progressing, moving forward and keeping to a natural rhythm. Everything evolves and changes and it is when we are able to hitch our ride on this heartbeat, which is the natural world, it is then we can feel and understand what wu wei is. With each step and movement we make within the sense of Tao, we discover ourselves becoming more and more responsive to the natural elements both inside us and surrounding us. Take for example the sense of being still and doing a Buddha qigong. The connection with all those around is absolute and unquestioning. We become part of nature and in our regular day to day lives, we can achieve wu wei by simply being true to ourselves within the natural world. What does this mean? It means to go with the flow. The flow is the natural order of life and it’s occurrences. “Wu wei occurs beyond the need for formal religious or secular moral precepts of any sort.” Think of action as something which requires great effort to perform beyond the norm. If we follow nature and our hearts and minds, if we dare to empty out that which we don’t need, then we might, we might just fall into the spring which leads into the stream, down through the river returning to the ocean of wu wei.

Written by
Jane Nash
ADGL Member