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Can Inaction be Active Action?

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A term often used when everything appears as needed on time, or many seeming coincidences, is synchronicity. I bring this up to place it in your conscious awareness. It also has bearing on today’s topic.

Can Inaction be an active action? It sounds like a contradiction. Usually inaction is associated with passive action which is the opposite of action. But there is also a time when Inaction can be active action. How so? Let us see…

While I was reading the Tao Te Ching the other day as I was working on my last Blog post, I came across something that I thought I was going to write about today. When I went back, I came across something else that wants to take precedence. Active Inaction.

You will often hear me talking of Letting Go to Get in the Flow. This Letting Go is actually active inaction. You are actively engaging in no action at all. You are letting go, ceasing to strive, no longer trying to control the outcome or the direction of your desire.

When I went back to re-read the Tao Te Ching on the other topic, I came across The Sayings of Lao-Tzu translated by Lionel Giles in 1905. Lao-Tzu wrote a whole chapter on the Doctrine of Inaction.

There were several things that struck me as I was reading. The first was that all things come to a state of perfection if left alone, no struggle, no striving, all things will flow together to create a perfect state.

“Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually become clear of itself.”

The action of inaction lies in remaining still. To be totally still of the mind and body takes Concentration and an exertion of the Will. We can Will our Mind and Body into a state of stillness. In doing so, we attain a state of peace.

“Attain complete vacuity, and sedulously preserve a state of repose.”

Peace and Joy are two of the highest vibratory states of being. Unfortunately, most people do not experience these emotions on a consistent basis. The world is on information overload. A constant bombardment of messages and noise. Televisions, radios, cell phones, the noise of traffic driving, and often the excess noise in our own heads. How do you clear all the noise in your head?

It is hard to focus or concentrate on a thought consistently when it is constantly interrupted by 100’s of other thoughts. We are taught that for the Law of Attraction to work, we need to clear our minds and focus on what it is we wish to attract into our lives. How successful are you at doing this? It is challenging for many people because there is no stillness in the mind. A still mind leads to a peaceful mind. In Letting Go, we can finally enter into the flow.

A still mind is also an essential component to stress relief. When your mind is constantly turning over 100s of aimless thoughts a day, it is creating stress on you emotionally which eventually leads to physical stress. Example, you’re driving along to work and the thoughts in your head are about all the activities you have to accomplish that day. If you have deadlines to meet, there is already stress manifesting itself. As you are thinking of this, you remember that you got a call last night to find out that a relative was just diagnosed with a terminal illness. Additional emotional stress. And as you are sitting there in your car, the action of just sitting with no physical release of stress is adding even more stress. Your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure goes up, your head starts to vaguely throb which eventually turns into a banging headache. Now your stomach is upset from the pain in your head…and so the cycle goes.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. When you learn to put your mind in a still place and have it remain there, all the stress disappears because it isn’t allowed to take shape in the first place. A peaceful mind, actively practicing active inaction, controls all those thoughts and leaves you to deal with your day calmly and effectively.

“Tao is eternally inactive, and yet it leaves nothing undone.”

Another thing that struck me as I was reading is that when we desire something, we usually strive to get it. We work hard. We make a plan. We set goals. We do all these things to get our desire. But what if we just LET GO?

“The simplicity of the Nameless Tao brings about an absence of desire. The absence of desire gives tranquility.”

In letting go of desire, we enter that place where all things can flow to us effortlessly. It is also the place where we are practicing gratitude for that which we already have and all that which will come to us. Everything we could ever desire already exists. I was reminded of the story of Tantalus, whenever he would reach for the fruit it would recede from his reach and, when he would bend to drink water, the water would recede away. The fruit and water were always within his reach except when he put forth his own effort to attain them. In letting go of desires, we attain a tranquil state of mind, a still mind, a peaceful mind. This is not to say that you can never want anything again. But in the wanting of something, let go of how it is going to come to you. Be still and watch as the universe brings to you all that you truly desire.

The third thing that struck me is related to the following quote,

“The softest things in the world override the hardest. That which has no substance enters where there is no crevice. Hence I know the advantage of inaction.

Conveying lessons without words, reaping profit without action,–there are few in the world who can attain to this!”

This relates directly to energy. There is Yin energy and Yang energy. Yin energy is soft yet it is the more powerful energy in the body. In energy work, we often are taught first about Yang energy, but Yin energy exerts more influence in the body. But this analogy is true in many other ways as well. In martial arts, the art of deflecting an opposing person’s energy is the soft approach rather than attacking head on.

“The softest things in the world override the hardest.” A soft, gentle, or encouraging word spoken yields many times more results than a harsh word. Harsh thoughts and harsh actions lead to stress. Examine your own reactions to situations to test this. Soft thoughts, encouraging thoughts lessen stress and tension and create peace and harmony.

There is a very strong connection between the breath of life within you, your vital life force, and stress which manifests many ways physically, emotionally and mentally. When we learn to let go of stress, we begin to heal ourselves. We also begin to reconnect with our spiritual origins.

So, I would encourage you to begin practicing ACTIVE INACTION. Your health, your mind, and your body will thank you. In addition, all those around you will see how differently you are handling things in your life. You will be more calm, more in control, and they will want to know how you did it.

If you would like help in implementing ACTIVE INACTION feel free to contact me I would be more than happy to show you how to achieve ACTIVE INACTION.


Author: Antonia

A light shining in the dark. Seeking all things spiritual. Everything is ONE.

One thought on “Can Inaction be Active Action?

  1. I came across your blog today and it fits well with my current reading, Pure by the Barefoot Doctor, maybe not everyones ideal Taoist but it suits me. Where I live we have an expression way aye, it means many things but usually just means yes, I often think wu wei aye and that kind of keeps me going, thanks for your words, Mark.

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