not inhibited from acting

brice portolano


Frankly speaking,

you simply must manage

to keep concentrating even in the midst

of clamor and tumult, acting as though there were not

a single thing happening, penetrating all the way through from

the heights to the depths. You must become perfectly complete,

without any shapes or forms at all, without wasting effort,

yet not inhibited from acting. Whether you speak

or stay silent, whether you get up

or lie down, it is never

anyone else.



zen letters


win the world by letting go

hidden treasure


Govern a nation

by following nature.

Fight a war with unexpected

moves. Win the world by

letting go.


How do I know this?

From seeing these things:

The more prohibitions there

are, the poorer people



The more

weapons there are,

the darker things



The more cunning

and cleverness there is,

the crazier things



The more laws there are,

the greater the number

of scoundrels.


Therefore the sage says:

I take no action, and people transform

themselves. I love tranquility, and people

naturally do what is right. I don’t interfere,

and people prosper on their own. I have

no desires, and people return

to simplicity.


Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 57


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the calm light from the spirit

nothing in particular


Do not

do anything (good or bad)

and do not even do this not-doing;

then straightaway one reaches that place where

there is no concern for external affairs, that

vast and peaceful place where there

are absolutely no obstructing




all thoughts of the past

are extinguished, all thoughts of

the future do not arise, and

all present thoughts

are void.



this void-ness is also not

to be maintained. This non-maintenance

(of the void) is also to be forgotten, and this forgetting

is also not to be legitimized; further, free your­self from this

non-legitimizing. At the time when even the idea of

getting free is not preserved, only the alert

yet calm light from the spirit will

appear prominently before



T’aego Pou


remember all is cyclical


The fragrance

of blossoms soon passes;

the ripeness of fruit is gone in a

twinkling. Our time in this world is so

short, better to avoid regret: miss

no opportunity to savor

the ineffable.


Like a golden

beacon signaling on a moonless

night, tao guides our passage through this

transitory realm. In moments of darkness and pain

remember all is cyclical. Sit quietly behind

your wooden door: spring will

come again.


Loy Ching-Yuen

the book of the heart


opening doors and shutters

awakening to the tao

When the doors are open, the air passes through. When the shutters are open, the light shines in. If the doors are closed, there is no circulation between the inside and outside. If the shutters are closed, the energy of the light is kept outside.

What I realize as I observe this is the tao of great use of great potential.

People in the world today who practice taoism go into the twisted byways of sidetracks, some closing their eyes and gazing into emptiness, some staying inactive in isolated and quiet places, some deliberately sitting and thinking of the spirit.

They think they have the tao, but they have not realized that the tao is the tao of creative evolution of yin and yang of heaven and earth. This tao, this Way, fans out everywhere in the universe, but this does not multiply it; it is concentrated in one energy, but this does not make it less.

All beings in the universe, animate and inanimate, the myriads of different beings, all live and develop on the basis of this. Everything and everyone has it. It is just that while people are in the midst of the tao they are not conscious of the tao, as while fish are in water they are not conscious of the water.

If you want to practice this Way, you must do it in the creative evolution of yin and yang of heaven and earth, realize its experience in the midst of all things and all events, and practice and hold it in the presence of all people.

This is work that is alive, effervescent, free, liberated, gloriously enlightened, true, and great. Do you think it can be attained by people who shut the door and sit quietly with blank minds?

If you want to attain the Way by shutting the door and sitting quietly with a blank mind, that is like shutting the doors and shutters and hoping to see the sun. What “way” does that accomplish? It must be the way of dark rooms, I guess. 

Understanding Reality says, “Practice, mixing in with the ordinary people and integrating hyour illumination. When it is time to be round, be round; when it is time to be square, be square. As you appear and disappear, now reversing, now going along, no one can fathom you, since you make people unable to know what you are doing.”

It also says, “You should know that the great recluses live in the cities and towns; why stay still and alone deep in the mountains?”

Only when you mix with the ordinary people, integrating illumination, living in the cities and towns, are you activating great use of great potential. This is the real function of practicing ahd holding the Great Way.

Liu I-Ming