Purposeless Wandering

Wu-wei, or “non-doing” refers to behavior that arises from a sense of oneself as connected to others and to one’s environment. At the same time it is not to be considered inertia, laziness, or mere passivity. Rather, it is the experience of going with the grain or swimming with the current. Our contemporary expression, “going with the flow,” is a direct expression of this fundamental Taoist principle, which in its most basic form refers to behavior occurring in response to the flow of the Tao.

Wu-wei implies action that is spontaneous, natural, and effortless. As with the Tao, this behavior simply flows through us because it is the right action, appropriate to its time and place, and serving the purpose of greater harmony and balance. Chuang-tzu refers to this type of being in the world as flowing, or more poetically (and provocatively), as “purposeless wandering!” The sage is often described in Chuang-tzu as a purposeless, free and easy wanderer. The text urges one to “embody to the fullest what has no end and wander where there is no trail.”

I live in a converted barn on a farm in rural Devon.

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I like to take long walks through the fields and along the farm tracks. There is so much to see right outside of my front door. Click on the album below and come for a wander with me!

Purposeless Wandering


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