Wu Wei: nonaction, inaction or nondoing.
Sounds cryptic, doesn’t it? When I first heard the word Wu Wei being bandied about like some mystical magical concept that the average blonde mortal Babe could never possibly dream of comprehending or fitting into the vacuous spaces in between her ears, I thought it was some transcendental New Age state that had to be cultivated for years while sitting heavy-lidded and cross-legged, on top of a mountain, underneath a banyan tree.
As it turned out, the part about cultivation for years is quite accurate. The banyan tree on the mountain part… maybe not so accurate.
Non-action does not mean no action and nondoing does not mean being lazy and doing nothing. It means doing something so often that its movements are natural and no thought is needed to reproduce the action correctly, and in the right time and place. It is simply done effortlessly, cleanly and in harmony with everything around it.
This brought a slight sense of disappointment in my lazy bum Babe soul as my hopes of attaining such a cool and elevated state without having to do all the hard work to get there was pretty much dashed. I consoled myself with the thought that I at least had cultivated one or two Wu Wei-ish skills, such as being able to type as fast as I could think. Of course, this meant either I typed really really fast, or I thought really really slow–take your pick.
At any rate, for the modern-day Babe, Wu Wei is exemplified when you make a perfect score on your Wii bowling, while bowling with one hand, and holding a phone with the other, discussing esoteric knowledge to your girlfriend. And then when you hang up with her, you can’t make a single strike to save your life, because you are concentrating too hard on the bowling and not on your girlfriend.