--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Smart" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

Wu-wei is a Chinese term for a concept central to Taoism.  It is usually
translated as 'doing by non-doing', or 'acting by non-action'.
Understanding this concept is not important in zen practice.

Hi Bill,

For those who like to "frame" their practice historically, I think there is a 
more to "wu-wei" than what you so rightly pointed out above.  In the Chinese 
Buddhist context, "wu-wei" was also used to translate the Sanskrit term 
"asamskrta' - a somewhat contested term in Buddhism. Asamskrta has been 
translated variously into Enlgish as "unconditioned", "unproduced", "pure", 
etc. In  Mahayana Buddhism, there are several equivalent terms for 
asamskrta: nirvana, tathata, bodhi, tathagata-garbha, buddha-dhatu (-->
Buddha Nature), etc .  The term "wu-wei" appears quite a lot in Chinese Ch'an 
(Zen) writings - not in the "Taoist" sense (as you pointed out) but very much 
the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist meaning of asamskrta.

In Japanese, "wu-wei" is pronounced "mui".  If you look through a Japanese 
Zen dictionary, you'll find a long entry with quite a few textual references. 
example, in the Kuge  (Flower of Emptiness) chapter of the Shobogenzo, 
Dogen equated kuge and mui... My point being that for some Zen 
practitioners, wu-wei/mui seemed to have served as an important "marker".


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