Chinese Philosophy for Self-Improvement

zen Philosophy Self-ImprovementThis is a very short introduction to basic Chinese philosophy and key concepts. You can read more about each of them in their respective Wikipedia pages. Hope you will enjoy & benefit from it.

Wu Wei – Action of Non-Action -“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Wu Wei (chinese, literally “non-doing”) is an important concept of Taoism and means natural action, or in other words, action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort.

Wu wei is the cultivation of a mental state in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life.

This going with the flow, although it may be greatly productive, is characterized by great ease where we spontaneously act perfectly. This means that we do the right thing effortlessly and spontaneously, without trying.

A state of action that doesn’t require conscious effort. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Laozi, the attainment of this natural way of behaving.

Grass does not try to grow, it just grows. Water does not try to flow, it just flows. The only explanation is that everything is done in a naturally perfect way, without resistance and within the flow of life.

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.

Kaizen Japanese for “improvement”, or “change for the better” refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management.

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in China during the 6th century as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan.

The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (dʑjen) (Modern Mandarin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as “absorption” or “meditative state”.

Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
~Lao Tzu