and set an example for all beings.
Because you don’t display yourself
people can see your light.
Because you have nothing to prove
People can trust your words.
Because you have no goal in mind
everything you do succeeds.
Ever since I read Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh, I have been interested in this thing called Taoism. Pronounced /ˈdaʊ.ɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊ.ɪzəm/, it literally means ‘the way’ in Chinese. When I read it, a light went on inside me and it just made sense. It was how I always thought the world worked written down for me to read.
Taoism is mostly a philosophy, tho some practice it as a religion. From The Tao of Pooh, I graduated to the Tao Te Ching, one of the major guiding texts written by Lao Tzu. Taoism is about letting life take the path it will take, but it’s more then just going with the flow. Wu wei, action without action, is a powerful concept of Taoism. It’s the art of knowing when to quit, when to stay silent and when to quietly wait.
Recently I can say that wu wei literally saved me $5,000. I had sold a camper, and the buyer asked if I could arrange for shipping if he sent me the extra money. I agreed, but when I was trying to send the extra money on to the shipper I ran into issues. I was stressed, the buyer wanted his merchandise shipped, and I wanted to be done with it and see him happy. Two Western Union offices and three failed online attempts later, I paused and remembered wu wei. This wasn’t working, time to take a step back and wait.
Next morning my bank informed me that the check I had received had been reported stolen, so they needed to take the money back out of my account. If I had pushed to send it, the scam would have worked and I would have been financially devastated.
Wu wei, the art of knowing when and when not to act, is a fundamental aspect of living the Tao, and that means finding a life that works instead of having to be worked.