Wu wei (pronounced “woo-way”) is an important principle in Taoism. Wu wei is the process by which we can come closer to the Tao, or Way.

It has been described as “action through inaction” or “creative quietude.” It does not mean that we do nothing and wait for things to fall into our laps. Rather, it means studying life so that we can accomplish things through minimal action.

We can see this in action in martial arts such as judo, where defence consists of using an attacker’s own force against him or her, rather than fighting against it.


Water is often described as having the virtues of wu wei. Think about water in different forms: as a stead drip, as a river, as a waterfall. How does it show the virtues of “action through inaction”?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Skip to toolbar