Updated: Apr 10
wu wei is the taoist art of doing without doing.
it's the state i paint in, it's the state of meditation in action. or rather non action.
what does that even mean?
it means acting without adding any stress, expectations or story telling about 'this is me, doing something, this is how i am supposed to do it, this is what i want to represent, that's what it should be like, this is who i want to be'. none of that is allowed space, to creep in, to dominate, to exile us from our natural state of being and doing. think of a really young child playing in the mud.
sometimes, as in martial arts, the form exists and you just do it. first you have to learn the technique. learning is easier too without a mind full of stressful trying and striving. the mind can work better at actually doing things without the extra static.
sometimes, as in all kinds of improvisation, and as in intuitive painting, the techniques we already know, like how to speak, move, distribute paint, are very much built in already. then a completely new form opens up, and you follow it.
there are all kinds of ways to trick yourself into the state of wu wei as well as some well-trodden traditional paths. it starts with the desire, and there's no reason why the desire should not be enough.
it's natural, after all. dance, pick up a paintbrush, just do it!
to read more about this kind of process, here's my book!