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Wu Wei: Taoist Perspectives on Balancing Work and Leisure

  • Jun 22, 2013 · 1:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Living in or near New York City offers us so many opportunities for meeting interesting people, participating in amazing events, seeing marvelous sights, and working for a huge variety of employers. And with the economy putting more demands on our incomes, employers squeezing more hours out of fewer employees, and the pressure of being more acutely aware of what your friends are neighbors are doing thanks to social media, we may feel like "free time" is an illusion that we might experience again in our uncertain retirement.

In the digital age, the balance of our relationships has shifted significantly. Studies estimate that where we used to average about 1 or 2 close friends, a dozen friends, and perhaps as many as 100 acquaintances, we now must divide our attention between 0 to 1 close friends, 3 or 4 friends, and 600 acquaintances.

If you are like me since starting work full-time again, on any night after work you do not have any standing commitments, you are too exhausted from 8-, 9-hour, or longer workdays to do anything but veg out. That leaves weekends, of which a minimum of 25% is taken with chores, more if you have a family or even just a partner.

What can a 2,000-year-old tradition from all the way over in China say about our modern dilemmas about time?

Much, actually. In this discussion, you will learn how to carve out more time to do nothing. Spontaneity like that can seem boring or wasteful without the proper perspective. It is the space of nothing-to-do, that we reach what Taoists call _wu_wei._ The art of doing without doing anything. We will talk about how expectations get in the way of practicing wu wei, and how to deal with conflicts that might otherwise upset your balance. For those facing too much leisure time, this philosophical principle is also very helpful.

If the weather is not rainy, we will likely meet in a park somewhere in Manhattan. If it rains, we will find a cafe or atrium.

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  • Sherry

    I found this Meetup to be informative and well-planned.

    April 26, 2014

  • Beth F.

    Very impressive. Thanks so much, Mark.

    June 24, 2013

  • Helen W.

    great

    June 22, 2013

  • Ellen

    I thought it was excellent. It was, for me, an introduction to a way of thinking that is different from what I am accustomed to. Mark did a great job of presenting it in a clear and non-biased fashion. I am sometimes skeptical of non-Western ways of thinking, but this made perfect sense. .

    June 22, 2013

  • Kalin

    Sorry - I got late and miss it.

    June 22, 2013

  • Richard

    Mark, Thanks again. Your presentation and response to questions left me with much to consider and to incorporate.

    June 22, 2013

  • Mark S.

    Thank you to everyone who attended. It was great meeting all of you.

    June 22, 2013

  • Henry W

    still in nj, won't make it in time :(

    June 22, 2013

  • Ina

    Apologies for the last-minute change of plans, I hope someone can take my spot

    June 22, 2013

  • Darren L.

    Sorry cant make it, not feeling well

    June 22, 2013

  • kiamesha

    Sorry for canceling but I just remembered I definitely have a schedule conflict today.

    June 22, 2013

  • ellen r.

    I am new to this. I think I rscp'd. How do I know either way. I didn't want to double RSVP or not. Thanks

    June 21, 2013

    • Mark S.

      You're 4th in the line on the waiting list at present, so it's likely there will be room for you by tonight or tomorrow.

      June 21, 2013

    • Beth F.

      Just discovered I'm in! Terrific- see you tomorrow at 72nd St.

      June 21, 2013

  • ellen r.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    June 21, 2013

  • Helen W.

    Yay got off the waitlist

    June 21, 2013

  • Felice

    I didn't think was getting off the wait list, and I agreed to take my neice for the weekend, so I can't make it. If it is a good talk, would be interested in the future. Hope someone else can take my spot. Enjoy!

    June 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Have to travel at the last minute. Hope someone can take my place!

    June 21, 2013

  • April

    I just found out I have to have a medical test done beginning on Friday. I am very sad about this. I no longer can attend. :-(

    June 18, 2013

  • Helen W.

    I really want to join this discussion! Taoism is one of my main interests. Can I come even if I'm on the waitlist? =(

    June 9, 2013

    • Helen W.

      thank you. i seem to have a hard time finding ppl who are interested in taoism. looking forward to seeing everyone.

      June 10, 2013

    • Richard

      Don't sweat the amplification. I will stand next to you and shout each thing you say at the top of my lungs.

      1 · June 10, 2013

  • Kam

    alas, a recent trip schedule: going to Minnesota. Where I will try to balance family and fun !

    June 2, 2013

  • Mark S.

    We will meet at the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt at 72nd and Riverside and go somewhere close by to talk, depending on the size of the group and the weather.

    June 1, 2013

  • April

    Any closer to having a meet up location? Just wondering... I mean I have a few more weeks b4 I have to plan my trip in advance...

    May 28, 2013

  • Gregg

    Ask attendees

    May 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sounds very interesting.

    May 12, 2013

  • Kam

    Mark !

    May 12, 2013

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