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Exasperation, Wu Wei, and Meditation



“Perfectionism is exhausting and underachieving absolutely murders my self-esteem so, after watching quite a few you tube videos, I decided to give Wu Wei a try. But the Tao Te Ching is a bit scant on rules-of-thumb and is utterly lacking in formula that one might find the middle ground between being too attached and too detached.”


Her tale told, and her disposition exasperated, Barbara slouched back in her chair, all rag-doll-like, and sighed hard and upward, through pursed lips and a forced under bite, pushing her bangs to dance about her forehead.


“You’ve tried learning,” observed the Roshi, “why not try unlearning?”


“Why not trying fucking off!” Barbara helpfully suggested.


“It’s not difficult,” Roshi continued, “as you sit in meditation inhale, as you silently and mentally recite ‘Notice this…’ your sympathetic nervous system could empower you to notice vulnerably, passively, viscerally, and spontaneously. You could randomly notice

the external or the internal, the physical or the mental, the pleasurable or the painful, the interesting or the boring, the glorious or the grotesque.”


“That sounds exhausting,” Barbara interrupted, “what am I gonna to do with all that shit?”


“Smart question,” Roshi reassured, “for as you silently and mentally recite ‘relaxing!’ during your exhalation your parasympathetic nervous system could empower your body to relax and your mind to release. Do this for two or three hundred rounds and not only could you process life’s bumps but it could also help you to practice the Wu Wei of effortless action by lovingly flowing from centered spontaneity.”


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