Applying Wei-Wu-Wei To The Game
At this point, you should understand that the non-action (Wu-Wei) part of Wei-Wu-Wei is an effortless process that is occurring within the unconscious dimension of the mind. The process is thoughtless, yet the unconscious mind has harnessed the positive information from the conscious and subconscious mind and from the heart to deliver energy.
Once your mind is able to operate in the “non-action” state meaning you can play with no significant attachment to outcomes, you are ready to apply the “action” part of Wei-Wu-Wei. You are ready to play.
By now, you should understand that this means to just play. If you dribble off your foot, just play. If you hit an awesome behind the back shot, just play. If you make a great, unbelievable pass, just play. If you get your shot blocked, just play. If you just play and don’t think while you play, then you’ll continue to play better and better.
As this pertains to basketball, Wei-Wu-Wei suggests that you to just play basketball. In other words, you should just be “playing-without-playing” just like “riding-without-riding” as in the bicycle example. You should accept disruptions as they occur and immediately put them behind you. Subconsciously, you will learn from past obstacles and improve naturally and you will not cloud your game with struggling thoughts. Therefore, as you are playing, you should not be playing (or thinking).
For example, when you are dribbling between 2 defenders and going between your legs, DO NOT think about dribbling between 2 defenders and going between your legs. The mere thought of doing that is a struggling force and you’ll surely lose the ball. Just dribble (and don’t think) and see where it takes you. If it happens that you do dribble between your legs, then you dribble between your legs. If you do not, then at that moment in time, it simply was not meant to be.
As you continue “playing-without-playing, you will eventually get into the “Jan Zu”1 zone which we briefly mentioned earlier. While in “Jan Zu”1, the act of dribbling will be an “act-that-does-itself”. “Jan Zu”1 is state where complete action takes over and all thought processes are removed. This is when the unconscious mind is totally released. There is true harmony between the total mind, the heart and the body. It’s absolute Wei-Wu-Wei! There is absolutely no thinking, just playing.
You have seen athletes, professional and amateur, get into the “zone”. They shoot the lights out. Nothing can stop them, not even a foul. Eight, nine, ten shots in a row from way outside. They’re truly unstoppable. They’re unstoppable because they are in absolute Wei-Wu-Wei. They may not realize it, but they are shooting-without-shooting. They don’t think: they just shoot. At that moment in time they are in “Jan Zu”.1 Shooting has turned into an “act-that-does-itself”.
Sometimes you hear stories about athletes who have been in the zone an entire game and claim that they have little memory of the game itself. You hear of running backs who make amazing runs, breaking tackles and flying by defenders, only to claim that they did not even remember the run. They were so focused that all that mattered was that moment in time. They did not think about fumbling or getting tackled. They “just played”. They were in such a deep state of Wei-Wu-Wei that total thought was eliminated. Situations like this are rare, but when they happen, the unconscious mind produces unbelievable results.
Wei-Wu-Wei is “acting-without-acting”. It is the zone. Make sure that you clearly develop a positive image about yourself and about your game. This occurs in the conscious dimension of your mind. Pull information from your subconscious and learn from and harness that energy. Develop heart and passion and play hard and have fun. Train your body and prepare it for competition. Once you can consistently mix these 3 ingredients together as one and once you can eliminate stressful thought, your unconscious mind will unleash itself. Then will rise to a unconscious playing level that few people experience. You will rise to the zone.
The zone is real.
The zone is Wei-Wu-Wei.
Clear your head and just play.