The Tao is always at ease.
It overcomes without competing,
answers without speaking a word,
arrives without being summoned,
accomplishes without a plan.
Its net covers the whole universe.
And though its meshes are wide,
it doesn’t let a thing slip through.
-Lao Tzu- (Tao Te Ching, chapter 73, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
All the Things We Can Do Without…
Having spent the last few chapters talking about the practice of not-knowing, as it relates to putting his teachings into practice, today, Lao Tzu begins talking about not-doing.
We have talked about this before, but for those new to my blog, not-doing doesn’t mean that nothing gets done. All things get done. But, they are done effortlessly, or with ease. Your actions flow from the core of your being. Spontaneously, and guided by your intuition. You are working with, rather than against, nature. You have probably heard it, before, as going with the flow. It is the practice of being in harmony with the Tao.
Doing without doing. Effortless action.
Pointing at the Tao (the way things are, in nature), Lao Tzu says, It is always at ease. It overcomes without competing, answers without speaking a word, arrives without being summoned, accomplishes without a plan.
The key word in all of that is the word, without. It is amazing the things you can accomplish “without” trying. How much can you accomplish? All things.
It is when we are out of harmony with the Tao, when we are working, interfering, hindering, pushing, reaching, grasping, when we are trying to dominate, trying to control, trying to force things, that many things are left undone.
Don’t try to practice doing without doing. Instead, let yourself, and your every action, flow with the Tao.
Its net covers the whole universe. And, though its meshes are wide, not a thing slips through.