Wu Wei

The Sage is occupied with the unspoken
and acts without effort.
Teaching without verbosity,
producing without possessing,
creating without regard to result,
claiming nothing,
the Sage has nothing to lose.

tTranslation from the Tao Tê Ching by Priya Hemenway, Chapter I

Wu Wei  may be translated as “creative quietude,” or the art of letting-be.

“… It is not an imaginary state that we aspire to but one readily achievable and frequently entered by those performing repetitive movements which require energy and concentration. It may be experienced by athletes, performers, musicians, ramblers, students of the nei jia (the internal schools of martial arts) students of the wai jia (the external schools), yoga practitioners, students of certain schools of meditation and others. The majority of those who have entered wu weihave no fore-knowledge of the event and only know that something extraordinary happened that they couldn’t put into words.”-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei

It can also be experienced by artists and creatives of all stripes- it’s that place you come to when you get out of your own way and you step through the doorway into the realm of Flow.

In his book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”, creativity researcher and psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihali, (chicks into my harley) describes a specific altered state one enters when creating, which he calls “Flow”.  The flow state is an optimal state of creativity, where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great freedom, enjoyment, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.

In an interview with Wired magazine, Csikszentmihalyi described flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

“Even if we are not aware of it, each one of us longs to create, to manifest what is unique inside of us, to give it form. Freedom is necessary for pure creation take place.   The pressures and demands of an expected result must go.  We need to re-enter the present by the simple act of being spontaneous.  Intuition guides us.  Trusting the flow that comes naturally is the magic of creation.  The hidden, the mysterious, the sacred from within are revealed.  Old patterns break.   The natural movement of creation becomes part of our life.  Passion sets in.”- Michele Cassou

May the Flow be with you!


2 Comments

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2 responses to “Wu Wei

  1. Sherri Baldwin

    Thank for the assistance on the pronunciation of his name, but how do you pronounce Wu Wei?

  2. Ha Ha! Woo Way!
    Actually in Cantonese it is pronounced “Mow why (both starting as low as your voice will go and then going lower). It means “No why.” (not “No, why?”) No answers to why questions.”
    From-http://www.luckymojo.com/esoteric/religion/taoism/taofaq.htm

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