Action and Inaction
(from the Breathe Deep Qigong eNewsletter, August 2005)
...With hurricane Katrina keeping us acutely aware of nature’s awesome power, many people are homeless, facing devastating challenges, and some have lost their loved ones. May we all hold healing intention for those who are in these situations. Understanding Qigong’s principles helps us remember the power of our thoughts, our intentions. I see so many intensely watching the news and caught up in the imagery… forgetting the role we play in the process of holding a compassionate space for those who most need it, and how we can take the best “action” through a quiet moment of inner peace and holding the space for resources to get to those who need it… and if you feel compelled to help in other ways, follow your heart.
Action and inaction… a curious paradox, yet at the essence of energy work (which is the category of healing/personal growth where Qigong resides) action and inaction are not really at odds. We discover through Qigong practice that all intention is in fact “action”. There is no place for void in the world of energy, so there is no place for inaction… Our real work is to understand the quality of our action, to trust that what appears to be strenuous physical work may get less done than deep, intentional work. Though the latter may appear to be non-action, we learn that intention can many times do more “work” than inefficient effort.
The ancient Chinese philosophical concept of “wu wei” (sounds like ‘woo-way’) can be translated into “effortless action” and this principle lies at the very heart of Qigong. Learning to move with the depth of presence is what can change the very way we live our lives. How many times do we “waste” our Qi… how many times do we “spin our wheels” and not get anywhere. Our Qigong work is the core of trust-building… to move beyond the way action “appears” and start to pay more attention to what lies behind the actions we take… This is the path of the sage…
Francesco Garri Garripoli