Wuji is nothing. It is the gap, non-action, from which anything proceeds. At the moment of dissolution and union of yin and yang, there is perfect balance, no light or dark. In taiji (tai chi) practice, we say that taiji is the play of yin and yang that emerges from wuji and returns to it. To reinforce that idea and maybe feel it a little, we stand still, perfectly still, at the beginning and at the end of our practice. Music, too, emerges from silence. The notes, chords, melodies, rhythms and harmonies only become so because of silence and space. An artist cannot create her work without a blank canvas or sheet of paper. Everything comes from and relies upon nothingness or wuji.
Wuji is essential to a balanced life
Modern life is often stressful because we have forgotten our root, the wuji that underlies and underpins our very existence. All we need to do is listen for the gap between everything. Instead of allowing ourselves to be led incessantly from one thing to another, the prime tactic of social and other media, we can take charge. Just stop and listen. Breathe and feel the earth beneath your feet.
We can suffer the seemingly endless cacophony of today’s world, or we can listen for the silence in which it plays. Allow yourself to return to wuji. When about to begin a new task or to enjoy something new, it can be so much richer if we begin with a slight pause. In coming back to ourselves, our energy comes home before going out again. It’s like starting with a blank sheet rather than one that’s already been scribbled on. Maybe one day we will all bathe in the bliss of the play of yin and yang. In the meantime, let’s at least feel a hint of the richness of silence and space – wuji.
The importance of the experience of nothingness is explored in my book The Art of Not Doing
Information on our taiji classes can be found here.