Wu Wei

The Taoist view recognises that opposing sides transform into each other, and Wu Wei is the art of acting in a non-forcing, subtle, hardly noticeable way.


There is something formless yet complete,
That existed before heaven and earth;
Without sound, without substance,
Dependent on nothing, unchanging
All pervading, unfailing,
Without beginning, without ending.
One may think of it as the mother of all things.
Its true name we do not know;
"The Way" is the by-name we give it.

See, all things howsoever they flourish
Return to the source from which they grew.
For the timeless net has been cast wide,
Coarse are its meshes, yet nothing slips through.

When beauty is recognised to be beautiful, ugliness is also there,
When goodness is recognised to be good, evil is also there.
For Being and Non-being grow out of one another.
Difficult and easy contrast one another.
Formed and formless complete one another.
Therefore the Wise Ones
Do what needs to be done, unconcerned and without striving,
Give their teaching through the way they live.
The myriad things rise and pass away,
They do not turn away from them.
They point them the Way, but do not lean upon them.
They rear them, yet do not lay claim to them.
As they give, so grows their abundance.

Whatever is to be made to fall, first must be raised.
If you want to become whole, first let yourself become broken.
If you want to become straight, first let yourself become twisted.
If you want to become full, first let yourself become empty.
(Tao Te Ching)

When you demand nothing of the world, nor of god,
when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing,
then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.   
(Nisargadatta Maharaj)

If you don't realise the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realise where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
even-tempered, amused,
kind-hearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.   (Lao Tsu)

That in whom reside all beings and who reside in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe,
the limitless being--I am That.    (Amritbindu Upanishad)

That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and
which fills everything completely from within and without,
that Supreme Reality - that you are.   (Shankara)

Start with the body. From the body you get the knowledge of `I am'.
In this process you become more and more subtle. When you are in a position to witness the knowledge `I am', you have reached the highest.
In this way the seeds of knowledge will sprout in you.  
(Nisargadatta Maharaj)

That without substance can enter where there is no room.
Hence we know the value of patience and no-action.
For sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they follow behind;
Sometimes they blow hot and sometimes cold;
Sometimes they are far and sometimes near.
And so the world is mastered by letting things take their course,
It cannot be mastered by interfering.
Therefore the Wise Ones
Stay in the background, yet they are to the fore.
They do not contend
And for that reason no one under heaven can contend with them.
(Tao Te Ching)

Taking things lightly results in great difficulties.
Therefore the Wise Ones face difficulties without delay,
Thus they may avoid great difficulties.
They do not attempt anything very big,
And so achieve greatness.
Whatever is to be made to fall, first must be raised.
Therefore good generals effect their purpose and then stop.
They do not take further advantage of their victory.

After a bitter quarrel some resentment will remain.
What can be done about it?
Therefore people of virtue keep their half of the bargain,
But do not exact their due.
People of no virtue are for the laying of blame.
But the Eternal Way is impartial.
It sides with virtue all the time.
Therefore the Wise Ones
Refrain from killing, refrain from violence,
Refrain from taking what is not given,
Refrain from sexual misconduct and refrain from intoxicants.
Refrain from false speech, refrain from angry speech,
Refrain from hurtful speech, refrain from slanderous speech and
Refrain from idle speech.
They are good to the people who are good,
And also good to the people who are not good.
For virtue is goodness.
They give to the people who have little,
And also give to the people who have much.
For virtue is giving.

There are three treasures the Wise Ones keep and guard.
The first is Goodwill.
The second is Never Too Much.
The third is Daring Not To Be Ahead of Others.
From goodwill comes courage.
From never too much comes accomplishment
From daring not to be ahead of others comes eminence.
Goodwill is irresistible in attack,
And invincible in defence.
Heaven arms with goodwill
Those it would not see destroyed. (Tao Te Ching)

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your
mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does
self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and
steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles
without any effort on your part.  (Nisargadatta Maharaj)


The Awakened One was once living at Savatthi in Jeta's Grove. A deity called Rohitassa came to him late in the night, paid homage to him and asked: "Lord, the world's end where one neither is born nor ages nor dies nor passes away nor reappears: is it possible to know or see or reach that by travelling there?"

"Friend, that there is a world's end where one neither is born nor ages nor dies nor passes away nor reappears, which is to be known or seen or reached by travelling there -- that I do not say. Yet I do not say that there is ending of unhappiness without reaching the world's end."
(Translated by Bhikkhu √Ďanamoli)


Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.
Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness.
In the same way, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness
are emptiness.
Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness.
There are no characteristics.
There is no birth and no cessation.
There is no impurity and no purity.
There is no decrease and no increase.
Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling,
no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose,
no tongue, no body, no mind;
no appearance, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no dharmas,
no mind consciousness; no ignorance, no end of ignorance,
no old age and death, no end of old age and death;
no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path,
no wisdom, no attainment and no non-attainment.
The Heart Sutra, Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Wisdom)


Things are not what they appear to be. Nor are they otherwise.  (Zen saying)