What does the concept of Wu-Wei mean? Have you heard of it before?
I wrote about Wu-Wei over 3 years ago in an article.
I was first introduced to Wu-Wei during my first Glow Kauai Spiritual Retreat in October 2015.
Adrian Nicholas of Kalewa Kauai, the spiritual retreat company who was our ambassador for this retreat, and then 2 more retreats, shared what it meant.
Therefore, he asked each of us to work with Wu-Wei during our time together in Kauai and to carry it into our lives when we went back home.
It is a Chinese word and implies action that is spontaneous, natural, and effortless.
Wu-Wei refers to behavior that arises from a sense of oneself as connected to others and to one’s environment. It is not motivated by a sense of separateness. It is action that is spontaneous and effortless.
A different way to live and look at life than we generally learn growing up.
Also, at the same time it is not to be considered inertia, laziness, or mere passivity. Rather, it is the experience of going with the grain or swimming with the current. Our contemporary expression, “going with the flow,” is a direct expression of this fundamental principle, which in its most basic form refers to behavior occurring in response to living in the flow.
The principle of Wu-Wei contains certain implications. Foremost among these, is the need to consciously experience ourselves as part of the unity of life.
Hence, we must be quiet and watchful, learning to listen to both our own inner voices and to the voices of our environment in a non-interfering, receptive manner.
These are things I talk about often. I do my best to live within Wu-Wei throughout my day.
In this way, we also learn to rely on more than just our intellect and logical mind to gather and assess information. We develop and trust our intuition as our direct connection to God and the Universe.
As a result, we heed the intelligence of our whole body, not only our brain. And we learn through our own experiences. While all of this allows us to respond readily to the needs of the environment, which of course includes ourselves.
Living within it, produces a harmony and balance, inside of us and with our actions as well.
Consequently, this behavior simply flows through us because it is the right action, appropriate to its time and place. It is serving the purpose of greater harmony and balance.
This means trusting our own bodies, our thoughts, guidance’s, emotions, and also believing that God and the Universe, will provide support and guidance. Thus, we need to develop watchfulness and quietness of mind.
Wu-Wei is listening carefully within, as well as to our surroundings, by remembering that we are part of an interconnected whole (The Universal Law of Divine Oneness).
As a result, by remaining still until action is called forth, we can perform valuable, necessary, and long-lasting service in the world, while cultivating our ability to be one with God and the Universe. Such is the power of Wu-Wei, allowing ourselves to be guided.
Listen. Slow down. Pay attention. Meditate. Quiet your mind. Tune in.
What do you think? Are you allowing yourself to live within Wu-Wei, even part of the time?
Leave a comment or send me an email back with your thoughts.
Here’s to living in the flow of life,
PS. Here is a vimeo video shot during our 2015 Kauai Retreat. At the 5 minute mark, you will hear more about Wu-Wei:
PSS. Below is a photo from our 2018 Glow Kauai Spiritual Vacation Retreat. To watch more videos and see more photos from our 2015 & 2016 Kauai Retreats:
To read more testimonials about what I do: