Wu Wei

Julia Chi Pafos

Wu Wei, is a term familiar to anyone who has studied Taoism, the Chinese philosophy connected with Lao Tzu… 

It is the principle of non action, but rather than this necessarily meaning ‘doing nothing’, it is more about stillness and presence within action.

It is about being at ease and silent within movement, of not forcing and striving too hard towards an outcome.

It’s ‘enjoying the journey’, staying in the step, knowing the next will take care of itself…

Running has always been my teacher and has lead me back to this principle again and again.

The joy of training and racing is a delight for me,

A meditation on the move.

This doesn’t mean that every run feels amazing!

But it’s accepting – the state of the body, the weather, the ‘not feeling much like it, but going anyway’ – accepting all that is…

But when it feels forced, when there is push and struggle rather than acceptance and authentic flow, then I have always known the time has come for reflection

What am I ‘doing’ when the ‘being’ in the step is lost…

I have been appreciating my body’s return to running form in recent months, and loving running races… 

My enthusiasm lead me to enter a marathon again!

I ran many marathons in the 80’s into the early 90’s and sporadically thereafter … Having not run one for 12 years, the idea appealed, the training appealed – it all felt fun…

Until recently!

When I questioned what I was doing… ! 

Lao Tzu spoke about simplicity, patience and compassion as being the three principles that can allow us to return to the source of being and so know ourselves,

And Wu wei encompasses these three completely

Simplicity, patience, compassion within all our actions and endeavours.

It’s about flow and allowing…

And it came to me recently that showing compassion to myself would be to change my plans;

to keep it more simple…

To have patience with my body’s request for less!

To listen and learn and love

To do unto myself what I would suggest to another if they expressed to me what I felt within…

‘You don’t ‘have’ to do it you know’

We are all on our own journey, and it is only we who know what is truly right for us…

For some the experience of Wu Wei is there whilst running a five day ultra, for some it will be sitting quietly watching the world go by whilst having a coffee in the square …

We’re here to know ourselves…
‘At the centre of your being
You have the answer
You know who you are
and you know what you want’ 
Lao Tzu

Parkrun Pals

Parkrun Pals Julia Chi and Rosy

I love meeting up with my Parkrun Pal, my little sister Rosy.

As is often the way with rituals and rhythms, I am not quite sure how our regular Parkrun journeying began.

But it did!

And it has continued now for well over a year…

‘Where to now’? We say, after the run is done… And so the months have gone by, travelling to a venue, running the laps and then enjoying the aftermath of coffee and brunch.

We’ve extended our sister running rituals to meeting up for 10k’s and half marathons too… 

In truth the ritual began many years ago when Rosy would accompany me to my X country races in the 70’s… 

We would clamber into my car – A Triumph Spitfire! Madness at nineteen years old, but I just went out and bought it one day! – And off we would journey to a remote muddy field, somewhere in the UK, where hundreds of girls and women would gather to race.

She was there when I was selected to represent England in my first international race…

The year was 1979.

A few years later in 1981 – the face of running was to change… The first London marathon brought with it the awareness that we can all run.

Running – so simple and natural – just one foot in front of the other.

Our ancestors ran to survive, to catch food, to run from predators.

We were all born to run

And Chris Brasher’s intention in creating the race was to provide ‘some happiness and sense of achievement in a troubled world’.

There’s no question that the simple act of running has done just that.

It has been incredible to see the sport I have always loved, become a bigger part of life, bringing community spirit, friendship, accomplishment and joy to so many… 

And so it is, that over forty years later, Rosy and I find ourselves meeting in fields and parks all around the UK still…

But the wonderful thing now, is that Rosy is running in the races too…


Julia Chi Taylor

Anadi and I spent our New Year on a mini break within our Christmas break!

We had taken the whole week off to play and be together

And then – to see the New year in – we ‘journeyed’ for just twenty five minutes on the tube – to Richmond…!

Transported in a flash to a completely new land… It was as if we were seeing it for the first time…

The building we stayed overlooking a river across a road – a vast tranquil vista – with parkland just two minutes walk away.

A lovely room to relax in, with sumptuous bed – and a spa to return to after we’d circled the beauteous wooded grassy sandy trails on the first morning of 2022…

The weather like spring – we jogged and talked our way around the landscape we know so well

And yet each step ever new – treading the pathways with others on foot, on bikes – and we waited awhile to cross a trail – as little people on little ponies went by…

All of us were taking our first steps into a new year, a new day, a new hour, minute, second – a new moment…

Creating our lives with each footfall, with each breath

From the source of all creation – all we know and don’t know emerging and ever expanding

We the light of our own lives

Creating and shaping

The energy limitless

When we allow its magic

And forget everything we ever thought we were…

Who we are cannot be thought.

And yet thought is how we create our experiences here…

So it is worth becoming conscious of what we are thinking!

Conscious that we are thinking…! And take time to experience the silence in the gaps between thoughts. 

And then when we witness from this place of stillness

We can watch our lives unfolding

In each step.

This step when we live it fully – wholly – always takes care of the next…

However many times I have run around Richmond park – and I have been doing so for over forty years now – it is always different…. 

New, fresh, magic, holding the promise of the fresh, without end or beginning.

Life shimmering in every breath we take.  

What a gift we have, this wonderful opportunity

To be here, now


Dear Diary; Who is Me?

Once again today has brought me here, to the blank page…

We journey each day to a new beginning;

A new blank canvas.

Journeying intrinsic to my being.

And running too, and being in cafes… ( or outside them at the moment!) in front of the Saatchi gallery on the Kings road, my regular ‘outdoor cafe’ haunt …

Training in a gym (virtually for now!) is intrinsic too. It has always been thus, from age fifteen years when I joined a group of men in a garage and lifted weights with them. I found I loved it, I discovered myself to be in my element. 

Journeying, running, ‘gym ing’ and drinking coffee…

And talking healing helping too…

This is my life

A simple life

And the more simple it becomes – the more ordinary – the more expansive it feels; from the inside out.

Freedom from within.

I also love writing and Spanish and being with Anadi (not in the order!)

There is nothing else.

Within this there is nothing else for me to do

Just to Be. Free. Me. Free…

Who is me?

Who am I?

Who am I really?

Dear Diary; Creativity in motion

Yesterday morning I woke early; I cleaned my flat – in my pants…! 

Then put my running kit on, and by 8am, everything was all sparkly clean and I was all ready to run…

At the moment, I have no running  goals, no races that I am aiming for – But I like to run – for fun, for fitness.

My creative expression…

I stepped out of the door, no real plan in mind – not even a route.

I turned up…

In front of my own blank Saturday morning canvas

I also had no real plan for my ‘Conversations with a Bodhisattva’ group.

Where I intend to show up every day for a year – at least – to see what happens…

With my creative flow…

Where will it go?

Me in motion – my canvas….. The roads, the parks, the globe…

The video camera and the blank blog page…

Even when we are not sure – turn up at the page

Even when we are afraid – turn up at the page

Even when we have nothing to say – turn up at the page

Even when we don’t want to – turn up at the page

Because magic can happen in the act off stepping out of the door, up to the easel, to the kitchen to cook; to the piano to sing…

A space of finding out…

If we want to aim for the stars, run a race, create a home, a meal, a symphony, a song, pass an exam, change the shape of our body, learn a language 

We need to turn up…

And in turning up, we can explore what it is we might want… Investigate it more deeply, open the door to our dreams…

And while we are there look for where there are blocks, the incongruencies, the hold ups…

We want to start the day running – but we love to lie in bed

We want to be slimmer, but we so love to eat

We want to pass an exam, but prefer to meet friends than revise…

All of this must be brought from the shadows, into the light

In the light we can we work it all out; integrate it and we are set free

To plan the next stage… 
How do we do this dream? What do we need…?

To reach for our own star….

The plan unfolds… The journey has begun; we must give ourselves time – and relax in each step

Remember to breathe – and find the silence in the breath, stay in each step as we make our way to our goal….

Turn up each day with or without a spring in our step – a space in our heart to find out; to unravel; to turn this way and that …

To discover things we never knew about ourselves, about life, about others.

To uncover latent talents, inner strengths.

To learn new skills..

As our creativity flows…. And then the goal – whether we reach it or not – has served its purpose…

Our creativity spilling out

Us in motion each day

The blank canvas alive – with our energy and light.

Dear Diary; Let Me Become

Let love and light shine from my heart
And as I run
Let me become
More me
More free
So that others can see it
And find it for themselves.

This was a prayer I wrote to myself many years ago; a poem of my dream; my wish to run free. 

The me below that me, ran to express; to paint the picture of my soul in each step

I knew that the only thing that mattered to me was to clear the pain, the places where I had separated from my self – from me; the true me – below the me that identified with being a fast runner, who sought the love and approval ‘out there’, through the chimera of success

To express freedom
To express love

I knew that all that mattered was to keep ‘wiping the mirror until there was no mirror to wipe’.

So that freedom and joy were in every running step.

I also knew that where I was trapped in the cycle of attachment to outcome; to the chimera of winning being important.

I knew this meant that I was not clear of the treadmill I was on.

There was more wiping of the mirror to be done.

I also knew that my running journey shone a light for me on the path ahead, and reflected straight back onto me…

This light guided me to the next step and the next… The joyous expression of my soul in motion; but it shone right onto my pain too.

My running step was both my salvation and my nemesis.

And many years later, I read this poem now; this prayer to the future me.

And I find the future me is here.

She runs, her feet bare, each step an adventure (if sometimes an ouchie one! )

I am more me
I am more free
I have become
As I run.


Dear Diary; Flying on Land

Every morning I open the front door and step outside and go running about, along the roads, in the parks, by the side of the river…

I like running about; with no plan, no where to go or reason to be doing it.

When I was young I liked this too – in fact I liked two things a lot… I liked running as fast as I could on grass, racing along – like the wind…

Flying on land…

And I liked going a long way… Setting off on adventures, walking or running for miles, and often getting lost!

Many years years later, I still like these two things a lot… Running as fast as I can on grass, racing along – like the wind – flying on land; and I like going a long way.

I like to journey for the sake of journeying 

I like  going running for the sake of running

I like living life for the sake of living – Life an adventure

Life as an experience – no where to ‘get to’

So much of a life can be spent trying to ‘get there’… To the end of exams, and then to the end of more exams, and then to get a job and then to get a better one… Always trying to ‘get somewhere’ –  and then off again…

Now there is nothing wrong at all with stretching towards a goal, to accomplish something is wonderful.

But more wonderful and fun than trying to arrive – is to be journeying towards the goal in the moment.

Relaxed and free… One step at a time towards the goal, fully present… The Zen of achievement – a sort of oxymoron!

Being on planet earth lends itself to creating a life, sharing our existence and achieving things and creating a reality that we can enjoy.

Creating experiences…

But it is far more fun to fully experience the experiences; to be here and now in whatever we are doing…


The Zen of exam revision

The Zen of art and music

The Zen of learning a new skill

The Zen of stretching to get fitter stronger

The Zen of making more money

The Zen of building a new home

The Zen of running….

The Zen of life in each moment