The Tao Does Nothing, Yet Leaves Nothing Undone!

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Author: Lisa78 (25 Articles)

I am a visual artist from Maine. I love skiing and white water rafting. I am currently a watercolor freak.

The sixth century B.C. philosopher Lao Tzu is sometimes called the father of Taoism. In the 37th verse of his text, the Tao Te Ching, he wrote the following:

The Tao does nothing,
yet leaves nothing undone.

If powerful men and women
could center themselves in it,
the whole world would be transformed
by itself, in its natural rhythms.


People would be content
with their simple, everyday lives,
in harmony, and free of desire.
When life is simple,
pretenses fall away;
our essential nature shines through.

When there is no desire,
all things are at peace.
When there is silence,
one finds the anchor of the universe
within oneself.

These words still have a powerful message for us today. Have you ever considered that doing everything you need to do can be enhanced by periods of doing nothing at all? It makes sense that rest and relaxation must be spread out in between periods of intense activity, but I am talking about really doing nothing. Often people mistake doing nothing for watching TV, or sitting and thinking about what they have to get done. How about taking a walk and letting the task be walking only, and not solving problems or making “to do” lists? Sit quietly for an extended period of time, and let your task be to just be. Allow your mind to stop the chatter, and let yourself relax, expand, and allow. If this is hard at first, focus on your breathing, counting breaths and feeling what it feels like to be there in the moment. Don’t feel guilty that you may be wasting time. In your connection you will recharge and be more productive later. In fact, if you can really do this and stop your mind’s chatter, even for fifteen minutes, you will begin to be able to take this calm-centered awareness into other parts of your life. Your life will feel more centered and less dramatic. You will be in the Vortex. Things will unfold more naturally. Law of Attraction will line you up with everything in a perfect order: you will be in the right place at the right time. So go out today and find a time to do nothing. You will “do” more toward being connected through doing nothing than you could ever “do” working all day long. Thanks for reading. Let me know if you liked this post!  Lisa-GP

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  • 6 Comments

    1. Taron says:

      No colitapnms on this end, simply a good piece.

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    2. GP Staff says:

      Hey there! Sorry for not responding sooner. I use WordPress and it works pretty well. You probably have made your choices for your blog. Hope it is going well. Enjoy this day! CHRIS

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    3. testdomain says:

      Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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    4. GP Staff says:

      I like this phrase “Effortless Doing.” Moving through the day with ease and in line with Source sounds like the best way to spend a day! Thanks for the comment. CHRIS

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    5. Even better than simply doing nothing is to engage in the Taoist practice of wu wei: effortless doing. For me, this is the message I gleaned from Laozi’s words in Verse 37.

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    6. Lee says:

      Thanks for the poem Lisa. I think that it’s vitally important to take time to just do nothing and let everything go!

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