Daoist Sage
The Sage is occupied with the wordless
And acts without effort.
Teaching without speaking,
Producing without possessing,
Creating without regard to result,
Claiming nothing,
The Sage has nothing to lose.
Tao Te King

Human conditions, often we forget are relative, it matters little to be poor, rich, sick, or healthy, if you have a proper attitude, that of remaining happy with our lot, we must constantly remind ourselves that we are not only the body, but that our true nature is  Spirit, and before this fact, all material conditions are only secondary, and immaterial, in relation to our true Nature, and therefore only conditions for ever changing, and of importance relative to the moment we are presently experiencing, not to say they are not important.

Wu wei is a concept literally meaning non-action, non-doing or non-forcing. Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period to become an important concept in both Taoism an Chinese statecraft.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu explains that beings (or phenomena) that are wholly in harmony with the Tao behave in a completely natural, uncontrived way. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Lao Tzu, the attainment of this purely natural way of behaving, as when the planets revolve around the sun. The planets effortlessly do this revolving without any sort of control, force, or attempt to revolve themselves, thus engaging in effortless and spontaneous, or as water flowing downstream avoiding obstacles naturally, and effortless.

Lao Tzu

It’s An Attitude

So, Wu Wei, it’s not doing nothing, it’s an attitude, like when things are outside your control, what’s the point of clinging to, and be in the way of it?

There’s many things that require an attitude, of tuning yourself on, and off in a special wavelength, of letting go, like jumping the rope, you do it without thinking, first, of course you just jump, but later, you can add even different ways of doing it, and even get to do fancy moves.

Fancy rope jumping

Our mind, and emotions, are like our body, we can train them to do what we want to accomplish, in fact, body, and mind are one, and emotions are the product of our minds. When your body and mind are together as one, you are fully and naturally present in the moment. This is the essence of mindfulness practice. Body and Mind Are One

Pen Shue, or Chih Shue?

The nature of mind has long been one of the most perplexing problems in Western philosophy, achieving particular prominence since the time of Descartes (1596-1650) who, in the second of his Meditations, attempted to distinguish between mind-substances and physical-extended substances. Understanding the nature of mind has been a difficult and still unresolved problem in the West.

According to pen chueh, the mind is believed as being enlightened from the very beginning. Shih chueh believes, however, that there is a definite point in time when we transition from ignorance to realization.

As we shall see, the so-called defiled mind is the activity of mind which conceptualizes, judges, distinguishes subject from object, hates, craves, and constructs the conceptual framework within which we categorize our perceptions and experiences. This defiled mind seems to correspond roughly to the Western notion of mind, but what is this “pure mind”? How is the pure mind related to the defiled mind? Are they two different minds or two aspects of the same thing? Are they separable? Is one more fundamental than the other? If so, in what sense? These tended to be the kinds of questions which the Ch’an Buddhists were concerned with, and it goes without saying that the realization of the pure mind was considered an essential part of the goal for the Ch’an Buddhist.


To get a feeling for this pure mind, the following quotation taken from the sermons of Ch’ao-chou Ta-tien, a disciple of the famous Ch’an master Shih-t’ou (700-790), describes the pure mind:

    The master ascended the ‘high seat’ and spoke to the assembled monks, saying:

Now, you students of the Way must realize your own original mind (tzu-chia pen-hsin …. Simply do away with all of your erroneous imaginings, thoughts and discrimination. This is your true mind (chen-hsin ). This mind has nothing to do with sensory realms, with maintaining the experience of silence and quietude, and is completely free from interaction [with these kinds of states]. Just this mind is Buddha, and it is not spiritual cultivation. What is the reason for this? It responds to worldly activities, it is in accord with the illumination [of each thing], it is calm and self-functioning. Penetrating to the place of this functioning cannot be grasped conceptually. And the name we give to this subtle functioning is the ”original mind” (pen-hsin)

The Undefiled Mind


About theburningheart

This entry was posted in Attitude, Buddhism, Ch'an Buddhist, Chih Shue, Eastern Ways Vs Western Ways, Enlightenment, Inspiration, Mastery, Mind, Original Mind, Pen Shue, Pen Shue, Philosophy, Realization, Spirituality, Tao, Transformation, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Wu Wei, Zen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I love this post! It is so relevant at this time. Thank you for sharing. 💞

  2. Reblogged this on guidelinesweb and commented:
    This information is so similar to what I’ve been receiving from The Grandmothers over the past four months that I felt it should be shared on guidelinesweb.

  3. macalder02 says:

    If we take these statements to the letter, life would be more bearable.

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, it will be nice if we all could flow, and be in the Spirit of the moment, in peace and full of wisdom, but generally speaking we are mostly mired in all kinds of problems, so it’s important to do our best to return to Harmony that really should be our natural state.

      Thank you Manuel, and it’s nice to see you here. 🙂

  4. A very thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Good article. It reminds me of something I discovered while riding a particular horse in my youth. I ended up on the horse because it had thrown some previous riders; but my instructor at the stable knew it was a capable horse and thought that it would tolerate my “light hand” (not being fearful or demanding and consequently yanking on its reigns). I rode that horse exclusively for about two-years, and always greatly enjoyed our journeys.

    Life is often like that, an inarticulate partner in an only loosely-scripted dance. Fighting with it is mostly pointless, simply frustrating and counter-productive. The best we can do is to point ourselves in the general direction we wish to travel, trust and respect and take good care of our conveyance, and experience the beauty along the way.

    • theburningheart says:

      Yes, great example, there’s no point to fight, or struggle, to get our will done, there’s people who have to have control, or they freak out, and there’s people who use the wind from whatever direction comes, to go wherever they please, just using their sails wisely.

      Thank you for your nice comment, we appreciate it. 🙂

  6. Wu Wei is a deep rooted understanding or attitude as you write. It lets us circumnavigate the challenging waters life can otherwise be.

    • theburningheart says:

      Yes Otto, attitude is 50% of the work, the rest it’s just dealing with it. Without the proper attitude life can be misery, and it’s our choice, not only from Oriental sages, but like the Greek Epictetus who taught:
      ‘It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.’

      Thank you for your great insight, and your comment. 🙂

      • I absolutely agree with this sentence! Thank you very much for this post and I will try to act accordingly, which is not easy for me!! All the best Martina

      • theburningheart says:

        Yes Martina, without the proper attitude, we run into all kinds of self made problems. It’s not easy for anybody, but we have to cultivate it, and before giving chance to exasperation, we need to take a deep breathe and realize we can choose between being frustrated, and mad, or be calm, in peace with ourselves, and in control.

        Thank you Martina. 🙂

      • Your words are so true and to know that we have this choice make me really good!

  7. Resulta esperanzador el mensaje de tu escrito y se siente paz al leerlo. La introducción con las palabras de Tao Te King es reveladora.

  8. selizabryangmailcom says:

    “…but like the Greek Epictetus who taught: ‘It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.’”
    I guess the modern day equivalent might be: “it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.” 🙂
    Definitely a much-needed reminder about attitude and perspective, since I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately. Thank you.

    • theburningheart says:

      Yes, I guess you could say so, when you posit all you got on wining, there’s always the chance of losing, are you less for losing?
      It’s ourselves who we create our identity subjectively, and believe to be real, when it’s just a passing thing, that tomorrow will change, and we shouldn’t let the core of who we are to be swindle by moods, or false identities, we should react with a positive attitude to what we perceive as negative, and change what it’s in our hands to do so.

      Thank you for your thoughts Stacy, we appreciate them. 🙂

  9. Hi. I wish I could say that my mind is open and free in the ways that you write about. But it’s not. The things that you discuss in this essay resonate with me. But getting there is a major challenge!

    Have an excellent weekend. Bye till next time.


    • theburningheart says:

      Hey, its no different than dancing a Waltz in your living room, we learn everything, even walking, as children, some of us we just add a little bit more through training, the mind its no different, it start with an attitude, you want to do something, like running the Marathon, or climb a mountain, well you got to train for it.
      How big are your goals, that depends on you, and how much effort you put at the right time, you are happy now day to dance on your living room, maybe winning a price for dancing its not on your list of priorities, or you feel its too late for that, maybe, but nobody is holding you, but yourself, and how you perceive things to be.

      We all hold a different fight, and live under different circumstances through our life, and age, I use to free dive as a young man like you would not believe it, I stop doing it for many years, last time I tried got a cramp at ten feet depth, decided I was too old to push it. I could go back and do it again and get myself in shape, but my time and circumstances had changed, and other pursuits hold more interest for me.

      Thanks Neil for your comment, we appreciate it. 🙂

  10. sherazade says:

    ‘Se prendessimo queste parole alla lettera…’
    Permettimi di essere realista e forse un po’ cinica per quanto stiamo vivendo di brutale in Italia, con un Governo senza rispetto per chi straniero, fugge da guerra è fame.
    Uomini donne e bambini a cui serve un riparo e un pezzo di pane prima di cominciare a discutere del proprio io interiore e dei suoi bisogni.


    • theburningheart says:

      Ehi, viviamo tutti in circostanze diverse, e abbiamo mantenuto le nostre priorità, ma nessuno ti impedisce di fare quelle cose che senti per te.
      Il mondo è sempre su una sorta di tumulto, e molti bisogni, qui e dappertutto, bambini che vivono in miseria in molti paesi, guerre, in Medio Oriente, caos politico qui e all’estero, e sostengo ogni sforzo per cambiare in meglio , Ho scritto molti post qui nel mio blog dove commento su queste cose.

      In questo blog parlo della nostra lotta interiore personale, anche questo è importante.

      Grazie per il tuo commento cara Shera, lo apprezziamo. 🙂

      Hey, we all live different circumstances, and we held to our own priorities, but nobody its holding you from doing those things you feel are first to you.
      The World its always on some kind of turmoil, and many needs, here, and everywhere, children living in misery in many countries, wars, in the middle East, political mayhem here, and abroad, and I support any effort to change for the better, I have wrote many post here in my blog where I comment about those things.

      This blog I talk about our personal inner struggle, that is important too.

      Thank you for your comment dear, Shera, we appreciate it. 🙂

      • sherazade says:

        io mi sento privilegiata ho letto i tuoi post e ho la possibilità e gli strumenti per curare il mio spirito. Molti, troppi, hanno priorità diverse.

        Shera 🌹

      • theburningheart says:

        Viviamo tutti in un mondo che richiede costantemente da noi cose diverse.
        Cerchiamo di occuparci di molte cose, ma possiamo fare solo una cosa alla volta.
        Grazie cara Shera per la tua comprensione. 🙂

        We all live in a a World that constantly demands from us different things.
        We try to take care of many things, but we can only do one thing at a time.
        Thank you dear Shera, for your understanding. 🙂

      • sherazade says:

        Grazie a te🌹

  11. Creating without regard to result, is one of the things I would love people did more often. It was great to see that this idea has been around for a long time.
    This last week definitely reminded that we take practically nothing with us, and it is the matter of soul and the hidden mind which move us forward or remain undiscovered for most.
    We erroneously put too much efforts in appearances and things that do not matter one small bit in the face of eternity.

    • theburningheart says:

      It’s the nature of the mind to wander off, and therefore the reason to train body, and mind, as one.
      Thank you Inese, for your insightful comment, we appreciate it. 🙂

  12. Lignum Draco says:

    Interesting post. I’ve always believed in the importance of attitude. However I wasn’t aware of the concept of Wu Wei until now.

    • theburningheart says:

      Taoist old teaching, Wu wei refers to the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the ebb and flow of the elemental cycles of the natural world. It is a kind of “going with the flow” that is characterized by great ease and awareness, in which — without even trying — we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situations arise.
      And the why I choose, to illustrate it as jumping the rope.

      Thank you for your comment, we appreciate it. 🙂

  13. smilecalm says:

    my mind is almost
    convinced that it matters,

  14. katelon says:

    Thanks for following my “Walk with Me” blog! Hope you enjoy it! I love the art work in this post!

  15. SympleCrafts says:

    Good writing… Great sharing!

    Being ‘wu wei’ is tough on the mind but doesn’t mean that it is not achievable. I believe that we have to start off by doing everything with good intention in mind (with consistency) and ‘wu wei’ will slowly blend in without us even knowing… It takes time but that’s it is one of the most important lesson we need to learn while we are still alive.

    Take care and have a great day ahead always! Cheers! 🙏

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