Wu Wei

Okay, I confess, I was really preaching to myself yesterday. I always believe every word of what I say Sunday mornings, it’s just that sometimes I need more practice doing what I say than other times. For those of you who missed my sermon yesterday, I preached on the Taoist concept of wu wei, the action of non-action.

Wu wei suggests that, if we can get out of our own way and let go of our need to control, we will cultivate a way of being that connects with the natural ebb and flow of life, and with the movement of God and the universe. Wu wei is the art of “letting-be”; going with the flow. Sometimes we try so hard to make things happen our way, in our time, that we leave no room for the Spirit to work. Letting-be opens up space in our minds and hearts for new possibilities, different ways, and new paths, because we have let go of our preconceived notions and expectations.

There are weeks when I struggle for hours at my computer trying to write my sermon for Sunday. Either I can’t find the right stories, or my words aren’t coming together well; either way, the longer I try to force it to come together, the more frustrated and anxious I become. Finally, I’ll get smart and practice wu wei (I just didn’t know there was a name for what I was doing) and walk away. I’ll let it go for hours or maybe even a day in order to clear space in my head for God to come in and arrange all the pieces to make sense. Typically by the time I feel ready to try again, the stories will have appeared, my ideas have sorted themselves out and my sermon will flow together easily.

As with everything in our spiritual journeys, it comes back to self-awareness. We need to cultivate awareness of when we are striving too hard, practice a little wu wei, and then watch to see how things play out in their natural course. I’m constantly amazed at how well this works… when I let it!

Wu wei! ~Kaye