The Book

This book is about how to live with freedom and ease by feeling more and doing less. It's about learning to align our actions with our real intentions and developing that as an art form. It's about letting go of what doesn't matter.

Drawing on various time-honored spiritual traditions—primarily Buddhism and Taoism, but several others are drawn in their wake—this book explores the effortless engagement with life that lies deep in the heart of these traditions. Such an effortless way of living can be cultivated in our lives, but doing so requires that we forgo the tendency to try forcing things be a certain way, a tendency that is prevalent in modern life. Instead, through learning to feel the nuances of every now, we may align our actions with the natural momentum inherent in each moment, rather than pushing against it. Then our doing can be effortless. This effortlessness, this well-tuned non-resistance to the way things are, I have come to call Divine Laziness (as opposed to sheer laziness, which just doesn't care), and its cultivation in our lives is the art of living effortlessly.

The guiding principles of this living art are sensitivity and effortlessness. These two enhance one another, and both are developed through training. This book paints an outline of such a training, and it also reveals how the art forms we already follow with love are smuggling a heart of Divine Laziness. It describes how training in any true art form can take us right to the freedom and ease that waits at the heart of our lives. As one example I describe my own training within the traditional Chinese martial art of Wing Chun, which I have found to be Divine Laziness in action. This book also explores the training in moral uprightness and stillness of mind and heart that must form the bedrock of a life of freedom and ease.

We practice our art to follow the way that moves in accordance with natural law, and that is art for heart's sake.