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A guide for achieving an enlightened mind through the art of non-doing
• Details meditation practices, focused on stillness of the mind, along with Patanjali’s yoga methods to maintain a consciousness referred to as “being in the zone”
• Builds on Taoist, Confucian, and Hindu principles along with scientific findings to support wu-wei–the art of non-doing, non-forcing–as a way of life
• Explains how wu-wei practitioners cultivate intelligent spontaneity and effortless action to allow the natural harmony of the cosmos to prevail
The practice of non-doing, non-forcing is an essential aspect of Taoism known as wu-wei. Attributed to the great sage Lao-tzu, the philosophy of wu-wei teaches you how to develop a natural state of consciousness not bound by thought or preconceived limitations. Experienced by the greatest artists, athletes, musicians, and writers, this heightened state of consciousness, referred to as “being in the zone,” is where intelligent spontaneity and effortless action flourish via a practice rooted in permitting the natural harmony of the cosmos to prevail.
Merging Taoist philosophy, Hindu principles, and Confucianism along with scientific findings, Jason Gregory outlines the practice of wu-wei as a vehicle to realize our innate freedom, revealing that when we release our ego and allow life to unfold as it will, we align ourselves more closely with our goals and cultivate skill and mastery along the way. Equating “being in the zone” with a stillness of the mind, Gregory shares meditation practices coupled with yoga exercises from Patanjali that allow you to approach life with a mastery of acceptance, releasing deluded beliefs of how to achieve success that make your mind “sticky” and poised for conflict. The author shows how practicing wu-wei paradoxically empowers you to accomplish all that you desire by having no intention to do so, as well as allowing you to become receptive to nature’s blueprint for expressing beauty.
Revealing wisdom utilized by renowned sages, artists, and athletes who have adapted “being in the zone” as a way of life, the author shows that wu-wei can yield a renewed sense of trust in many aspects of your daily life, making each day more effortless. As an avid wu-wei practitioner, he provides keen insight on how you, too, can experience the beauty of achieving an enlightened, effortless mind while reveling in the process of life’s unfolding.
PRAISE FOR EFFORTLESS LIVING
“Immersing yourself in the origins and underpinnings of this ancient way of thinking and being will definitely help usher you into the Intuition Age with its interconnected, holographic perception. This book is brimming over with gems and overall wisdom. It’s a comprehensive weaving of many threads that makes for a fascinating–and useful–read.”
Penney Peirce, author of Leap of Perception and Frequency
“In the West, people say, ‘where there’s a will there’s a way,’ by imposing your will over nature. More often than not this backfires. In ancient China, the wise ones discovered that the best way is wu-wei, ‘doing nothing,’ and thereby getting everything done by letting nature take its course. In this book you’ll learn how that’s not-done.”
Daniel Reid, author of The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity and The Tao of Detox
“In Effortless Living, Jason Gregory explains in clear and simple terms the Taoist concept of wu-wei and reintroduces a model of contemplation much needed in the world today. He describes how wu-wei (literally ‘not forcing’ or ‘allowing’) can facilitate communion with the Tao—the timeless flow from which everything else we perceive is but a reflection. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I learned so much from it. My humble thanks to Jason Gregory for facilitating my own understanding of the Tao and, in doing so, allowing me to apprehend the inner silence and to listen to its wordless wisdom.”
Anthony Peake, author of The Infinite Mindfield and Opening the Doors of Perception
“Jason Gregory has tapped into a living stream of wisdom to bring us an antidote to our cultural numbness. By learning how to let things be, rather than interfere and intervene in an unnatural order of life, Gregory forces us to love the world again, by trusting it. This is essential and practical wisdom for a modern social world at its best.”
Kingsley L. Dennis, author of The Phoenix Generation
“Effortless Living is a timely book. In a time where absolutist and rigid views are proving to be outmoded if not dangerous, Jason Gregory uses his heart and critical thinking skills to lay bare the essential, irreducible teachings of Lao-tzu. He deconstructs the myths, formulaic thinking, and the business of ritual of Taoism as it is practiced today that obscure and often hinder our innate abilities to have a direct experience of that from which we are never separate.”
Robert Sachs, author of The Passionate Buddha
“In Effortless Living, Jason Gregory reminds us that a magic still dwells in our world despite the external forces, and psychological habits, that increasingly steer us toward cynicism. Gregory gives not only clear explanations of Taoism and reconciliations of it with Confucianism, but also guidelines for getting in touch with the Tao at the heart of all things. Furthermore, he makes clear why the root of world peace is the inner peace of the individual, which is why—socially and environmentally—this book is so deeply valuable. This is the best book on Taoism as a spiritual path since Alan Watts wrote Tao: The Watercourse Way nearly fifty years ago, and so I say, it’s about time.”
Dana Sawyer, professor of religion and philosophy at the Maine College of Art
“In this work the Tao is alive, expressing through itself, as itself! The words propel us through the labyrinth of mind to point us directly at the profound truths of our being, that mysterious Way which transcends the intellect and filters of the human mind. The book reverberates with the perennial truth that the great saints and sages of antiquity have taught. With clarity and insight we come to see the place of techniques and practices as well as their limitations. The dismantling of mind is palpable as we are pointed over and over again to the limits of the words themselves and a possibility of an opening, a dawning of that which we always already are but have forgotten.”
Daniel Schmidt, documentary filmmaker of Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds and Samadhi
“In Effortless Living, Gregory portrays beautifully the ideas of hard-and-fast belief colliding with the natural harmony of true living with the flow of our natural state of being. This book also wonderfully explains how our need to control is more of an illusion that creates the very struggles that we see in our modern world; control interrupts the natural flow of life.”
Steven L. Hairfield, PhD, author of A Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible
“Jason Gregory has produced a sustained meditation on the meaning of the Tao Te Ching based on his personal insights and life experiences, aimed at understanding the text as a guide for the modern world.”
Philip J. Ivanhoe, PhD, Chair Professor at City University of Hong Kong
“Wu-wei in the Tao Te Ching has always been a difficult concept to interpret. Jason Gregory has expressed his way of understanding in a clear and insightful manner to share with the world.”
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, PhD, author, scholar, and teacher of tai chi chuan
“Effortless Living is a well-written and cogent exposition of the ancient Tao in modern terms.”
Red Pine (Bill Porter), author and translator of Lao-tzu’s Taoteching
“Gregory’s book gives us the gift and the freedom of no striving and no struggle, and teaches us that often nondoing–seeking the stillness of nonaction–is the better way.”
Clare Goldsberry, Quest Spring 2019 Clare Goldsberry, Quest Spring 2019
Published by Inner Traditions, March 13, 2018.
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