Tag Archives: Yaoshan

Doing Nothing

Master Yaoshan Weiyan (751-834)

One day Yaoshan was sitting on a rock. Master Shitou asked, “What are you doing here?”
Yaoshan replied, “Doing nothing (wu-wei)”
“Then you’re sitting idly.”
“To sit idly would be doing something.”
“You said doing nothing, what is it that you’re not doing?”
“What a thousand sages cannot recognize.”
Master Shitou praised him with a poem,
Always lived together with that which is nameless,
Getting by effortlessly, acting in suchness.
Not even the ancient sages recognize it,
How can a mere mortal understand it?
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