On Having Direction (往)

Wang - Direction-wht

It’s helpful to have a direction.  Essential perhaps.  A clear direction guides our each & every step.  It’s wonderful to know just want we’re supposed to do in each & every aspect of our life.

One Chinese character for direction, wǎng (往), suggests mastering our stepping – mastering our conduct.  Ensuring that each & every gesture is moving us toward where we want to be.

But I’m afraid wuweidao doesn’t give us some specified direction.  Some special state to attain or goal to work toward.  It does reveal a kind of qi-quality, but that’s about it.

Indeed, we can generate some concept that we’ve “lost it” and need to “return” – that’s a direction.  But that’s not really wuweidao – that’s only relevant if we’re not really in the practice.

Our tradition takes a different tack.  It’s not geared toward people not in the practice.  It’s not “geared” toward anything actually.  This non-gearedness is the great treasure of this path.

So in this spirit, we sit for a while every day without any direction whatsoever, beyond the basics of natural posture.  Sticking with this practice regularly over a period of time, something arises that Laozi observes is inaccessible from any direction-based action or method.

But it’s not the case that wuwei practitioners have no direction.  Anything but.  When hungry, our direction is to eat, if someone is thirsty, our direction is to bring them something to drink.  Correct direction is self-revealing – it doesn’t come from philosophy or religion or doctrine or faith or effort or method or this or that.  Nature brings it forth moment-to-moment.

This is the direction of wuweidao.

Author: Wuming Chuan