Wu-wei is a fundamental Taoist principle that means “non-doing.” However, Alan Watts adds the translation “not-interfering” and that made me think.
Wu Wei as not-interfering in relationships
It seems to me that relationships are the place we butt in the most. We tell people what to do and how to be. We force our way to the front. We want to do it our way. That’s major interfering and is definitely not wu-wei. What is important to you? What can you let go? I learned a huge lesson when I was in charge of the bulletin board in my senior community and the consensus was that we would not put up anything religious on the board. Not forcing our views on others. One resident kept putting up religious sayings and I kept taking them down. It was rather frustrating until I realized it was more important for her to put it up there than for me to take it down . I let it go. That was a HUGE lesson for me. What can I let go of? What is not truly important for me to have my way? Where is my line in the sand and can I bring it closer to me?
Wu Wei as not-interfering in work
We’re right back to unfolding, allowing life and circumstance to simple unfold and shaping them as they present themselves. We can not interfere by allowing work to flow rather than force a direction or an outcome. Everyone has their own version of how to express themselves, and when we learn to honor that uniqueness, that method of unfolding, we’ll leave them to their own process. We can help IF we are asked for it. We can mention alternative choices, but not promote our viewpoint. How do I interfere in my own work flow? By filling myself with busy work. By over-committing. By non completing. Hummm. I get to think about that.
Wu Wei as not-interfering in your own personal growth process
There is a lot of acceptance that comes with not-interfering. I get to accept that I am aging and still choose to support my body by seeing to my well-being. I find friendship and support by participating in the arena of the online world. I can accept that my life is going in cycles and there is nothing I can do but be aware and adjust and shape things as they come. And you see, not-interfering is truly about allowing life to unfold.
I can do that. Can you?
To Sing a Deeper Song consider: