The Taoist Concept to Stop Trying

Be an empty vessel - Santa Barbara Mission Pot.

How we can improve our lives is by stop trying to improve. 

Humans tend to act in ways that are counterproductive.

Trying to alter the stream of life is like swiming against the stream; it gets us nowhere.

The Dao or Tao is incomprehensible but is an invisible force that underlies everything.

We limit ourselves by making rules because the world is ever changing.

Even though intentions are good, we sometimes build our own prisons.

We should become the act and be in the flow state, or in Wu wei, effortless action which is smooth and painless. 

The universe is in a state of flux and we trust that there is a natural progression as problems seem to solve themselves. If we try to improve things we waste our lives in acts that are unnatural. 

We try to better the world but our results are questionable.

How does this apply to our modern world? 

Trying to improve the world – the goodie goodies of the world are the biggest troublemakers, according to Alan Watts. One example is communism.

Chasing happiness is a blind alley.

Nature has created with its own attributes. Nothing is better than the other. Only judgment makes it so.

We try to change ourselves to fit in. Why can’t we just be who we are the way Nature intended? 

Take the middle path. Unlearn something new every day. Instead of limiting ourselves to a belief system we let it go. Keep an open mind. Give the Universe room to show itself as it is. Instead of adding to knowledge, we let go of knowledge. 

In a state of emptiness we feel content and content is true happiness. The Taoist arrives at the art of nonaction, or nontrying. Nothing will be left undone. Let go and be empty. Surrender.

Once, when interviewed by Oprah, Eckhart Tolle was asked what he believed in and he said, “Nothing, really.” This is the freedom of having truly let go of belief systems.

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