Having once again traversed the length of the Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi), I am struck initially by this sense of peace and calm that is required to facilitate the connection, or as I often think, the channel between us as self described mystics. There was a phrase I caught while watching TV last night “To build on improvision in a perfect way.” For me it simply means to be able to improvise in a knowing way. Every day as I sit, read, write, watch something on TV or peruse the internet is done as improvisation. I am free, I am in wu wei, to be without forethought, or my own perfect harmony. As such there can be no right or wrong thought or action, or feelings of happiness or unhappiness, as everything that occurs is in perfect sync with my perfect nature. As if I am internally quiet, in tune and listening to the ebb and flow of the universe, while that which is present in the outer world flows around and about me.
What is considered as meditation is not time set aside for this connection, but a way of living 24/7 everyday in an inner silence, or quiet, regardless of the events of the outer world that swirl around me. In perusing the internet I found the paragraph below by Scott “Bao Pu” Barnwell that helps to define this feeling.
Quietism, as I use the term, refers to the practice(s) of achieving and maintaining a tranquil, serene and unperturbed mind, possibly accompanied with a relaxed body. In such a state, the Divine, however construed, takes the lead in, or becomes the agent of one’s actions. Arthur Waley seems to have been the first to use it with regards to ancient China and the Taoists in particular. Many of the “knack-stories” in the Zhuangzi fit with this conception of quietism, as when the butcher Ding quiets his senses, empties his mind, and allows his spirit (shen 神) to guide him through the natural inherent patterns in the oxen he works with. Further, the notions of spontaneous response/adaptation often appear to be examples of quietism insofar as the person, after clearing and quieting his or her mind, finds himself/herself spontaneously adapting to situations with a perfect fit, as if something divine were guiding him/her. As A.C. Graham put it, “The Taoist’s motions derive not from himself as man, but from Heaven working through him.” Describing this as “quietism” (a form of religious mysticism requiring extinction of the will, withdrawal from worldly interests, and passive meditation on God, Tao, and divine things) to refer to practices that consist of emptying and quieting of the mind, such as meditation, despite lacking explicit claims of “divine” inspiration or agency. Quietism is closely linked to mysticism, especially Harold Roth’s so-called “bi-modal” mysticism, whereby one’s mode of being is profoundly transformed by the mystic unitive (i.e., something capable of causing unity or serving to unite) experience.