Leisure and the Dao

  • Steven Simpson
  • Samuel Cocks


There are no rules about leisure in Dao philosophy. In fact, the word leisure rarely appears in any English translation of Dao texts, but the Dao itself embodies a leisure philosophy. Live in the present, mirror nature, find the Way by leaving the path, and “When the work is done, stop.” Leisure as time spent in nature serves to restore or renew physical and psychological equilibrium. It is a Daoist staple that the common approach to work actively distorts human potential—it carves people up, limits them, and takes them away from what is natural. Conversely, leisure leads to a transformative state that leads to (1) questions of how we define work and leisure and (2) eventually nurtures a relationship between leisure and work that is not dichotomous.


Dao Work and leisure Wu wei Wu yu Non-contrivance Humility 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Simpson
    • 1
  • Samuel Cocks
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-La CrosseLa CrosseUSA

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