Non-action is a precept of Taoism. It goes with simply being – being present – being aware – being. But non-action goes against the grain in our busy world. I wondered how I could cultivate more non-action to my life.
Non-action goes with silence
When I meditate, I do nothing – except sit in silence. And a lot happens there. My body calms, my mind goes silent. At times I feel like I’m not even here. That silence, that non-action, is very healing and balancing.
Answers come with non-action
We’ve all had times when we had a problem we couldn’t solve. When we let it simmer in the background unattended, the answer suddenly came to us. Then we took action. But non-action preceded it.
We wake up from sleep with a full-blown answer. Or someone says something, and suddenly a whole new direction opens up.
We did nothing – except observe.
Non-action is part of an unfolding life
I love letting my life unfold. It contains just the right number of surprises and all the right answers. It’s a relief not to plan and worry and work with a lot of “what-ifs.”
An unfolding life still gets all the right things done. There’s simply no stress in doing it.
The great personal peace in non-action
When I learn to trust the unfolding process, a huge calm enters my life. There are no decisions I have to make, no actions I need to take. I trust that the perfect opportunity will show up at the perfect time and that I’ll recognize it and respond.
Is response the key to non-action?
I’m a take-charge person. I’m a leader. I get things done. But I’m now learning to do that in the spirit of going with the flow. I simply push the boat off from shore and see where it takes me.
It’s important to push yourself off from shore, to be willing to go on this journey.
It’s important to make yourself available – to the opportunities, the choices, the possible actions.
It’s also important to respond when things show up.
Simply shape things as they come
There’s something so gentle about the idea of shaping things as they come. It’s like working a potter’s wheel – a little pressure changes the shape. A release expands the shape. Your hands are all it takes – together with the spinning potter’s wheels of opportunity.
We might look at life as the potter’s wheel, spinning choices by us. We gently take what we want and shape it into our life.
How will you encourage non-action in your life?
Pause before you speak. Sit quietly and let your thoughts evolve. Simple “be” with someone. Sit in the sun and absorb its warmth. Watch the clouds change shape.
Non-action is to let your life unfold. Get out of your mind and allow life to come to you.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
30 – The No Plan Plan
31-The Power of Simplicity
Unfolding an the Wu Wei of Not-Forcing
Unfolding an the Wu Wei of Not-Obstructing
Unfolding and the Wu Wei of Not-Interfering
How to Walk Beside Someone in Service