yeloson: (Default)
[personal profile] yeloson
Between reading Chuang-tzu, rereading Lao-tzu, and finally getting back into I-Ching, I've started distilling some useful notes.

"Effortless Action"

Wu-wei/non-action, etc.   First useful note - this is the end goal, mastery.  It is not the starting point of the work, but the end point.   If you have a goal, you must put in effort and work, until you reach the point of mastery where you can do the most with the least - "effortlessness".

Utilize Inherent Nature
Everything has inherent nature - basically, what it naturally inclines towards.   Utilizing the nature of things means you don't have to work using your own energy, you can let nature take it's course.  (note, understanding nature entails observation and science). 

Focus on the essential
"Sages ignore their senses & look to their stomachs" - cut out the superfluous and focus on the part that actually "feeds" you.

Not too much, not too little
Doing too little rots away ability, doing too much uses up too much energy.  Do such that you still have some (energy) left over, so you can build a reserve.

Develop skillfulness
Skillfulness is doing more with less effort, mastering subtlety, efficiency. 

Non-contest, what is easy with what is easy
There's a story about a butcher who carves perfectly and never wears out his knives because he never "chops" the meat, he finds the spaces between the meat and tendon and separates what is already easy to separate.  He's not contesting with the meat, he does what is easy, and then when he comes to a difficult place, he slows down to find the easiest path through the complicated section.

Together, these 5 things produce the ability to create the necessary effects with the minimal amount of energy or work - "non-action" as the ultimate example.
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November 2012


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