Effortless Action: Doing from Being


Doing Without a Doer

There is a Chinese term called wu wei, which can be translated as “spontaneity” or “effortless action.” Wu wei does not mean passively waiting around, but actively recognizing that spontaneous action is already occurring, without being conducted by an ego-identified “doer.”

Being is always already naturally here, but we aren’t yet wired to function from Being. Functioning from Being means interacting, responding, and creating from a panoramic flow state where we feel free of self-centeredness and ego-identification, yet retain full access to our memory and learned skills.

Most of us who aren’t living in a monastery or cave—or who aren’t meditating most of the day—must find a balance between doing and letting be. Therefore, we need to learn how to function in the world without going back to the doer. Awake awareness as the ground of Being has intentionality and the ability to choose.

Coming to Trust the Ground of Being

The discovery of the intentionality of open-hearted awareness enables us to trust the spontaneous action that arises from Being. In order to move from abiding to stabilizing, and from stabilizing to expressing, we need to learn the paradoxical dance of doing from Being.

Ultimately, doing from Being is much easier and more comfortable than acting from our overwhelmed and frightened ego-identification. The more we act from the ground of Being instead of ego-identification, the easier it gets. Eventually, acting from Being becomes the new habit and happens with ease by itself.

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