RELI 448N Discussion Chinese Religion
RELI 448N Discussion Chinese Religion
In the article of Wuwei, it states “One of Taoism’s most important concepts is wu wei, which is sometimes translated as “non-doing” or “non-action” (Reninger 2020). This ideal can be translated as effortless action. How do we cultivate Wu Wei? When cultivating Wuwei, a person can relax the body and the mind, rest and take off from work when needed, let go of the anything negative, do not act on impulse but know when to respond and how. Those examples are way of how Wuwei is practiced. Daoist ideal of Wuwei contributes to harmony with heaven because it promotes peace with the inner nature and external movements. When practicing Daoist the idea is based on belief in nature and life in the natural manner; However, when speaking about Confucian, this ideal is based on how a person conducts themselves. (Sungmoon 2020). When practicing Confucian, one should be intentional, meditate, write to release their thoughts, explore the world, keep your health first, and love yourself are just a few on how one should live. Living in Wuwei, it is important not to hold onto the past but to look forward to the future without begging for a better future. Another example of living in the world of practicing Wuwei, is going with the flow, if the flow of things is off, stop go and relax to avoid difficult situations. Also, not forcing yourself to love something that you do not love, is living by Wuwei. All the examples are how one should follow Wuwei. In my profession as a nurse, I feel Confucius is an approach that I might try in my practice. You are asked to release and let go, relax, meditate, yoga, keep your health first which are all things that one should do in order to avoid being overwhelmed as a nurse. As a nurse, depending upon how fast paced or slow paced your job may be, this approach can definitely assist with burnout in nurses; our job can become too much for us on a day to day basis.
Reninger, Elizabeth. “Wu Wei: The Taoist Principle of Action in Non-Action.” Learn Religions, Aug. 29, 2020, learnreligions.com/wu-wei-the-action-of-non-action-3183209.
By: Kim, Sungmoon. American Journal of Economics & Sociology. Jan2015, Vol. 74 Issue 1, p149-185. 37p. DOI: 10.1111/ajes.12084.
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Wu Wei or “the alignment with the rhythms of the elements both within and outside our bodies. It is a kind of ebb and flow, an effortless surrender to natural cycles of the world.” (Stead, 2018) I liked that you were able to give examples of how to incorporate wu wei into the practice of nursing. During this pandemic I have definitely noticed that more nurses are experiencing ‘burnout’ and are quitting their jobs. I too believe that if we were able to incorporate wu wei and be able to leave the stress of our jobs at work rather than letting that stress follow us home and into our personal lives then we would be much happier and less likely to feel burned out.
Stead, H. J. (2018, May 14). The Principle Of Wu Wei And How It Can Improve Your Life. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-principle-of-wu-wei-and-how-it-can-improve-your-life-d6ce45d623b9
It is true that the wuwei concept can be considered a good ideal as it works on clearing one’s vision and can relieve the stress by learning when and what needs a response, an action, a reflection, and what does not. However, this concept might be interpreted as an invitation to adapt a negative position towards one’s surroundings all the time as deciding when to act and when to take the passive action is a tricky task. Furthermore, reaching the inner and outer harmony demands receding from all the stress and pressure the current life produces which is also considered infeasible.
“Forcing yourself to love something that you do not ” I often think about this concept when it comes to religious studies. There are many things that we love that may be good, yet, there are many things that are bad. I admit that there are moments throughout the day I act in selfishness because I “love” something more for myself than others. I also argue that perhaps we are to do things we don’t love. For example, I hate walking far from a parking spot, but the right thing is to let someone who needs the spot take it first. There was an interesting thing where some malls were putting pictures of pregnant women, elderly, and handicapped people by parking spots to deter people from parking close to the entrance. I wonder how well it worked.
Within the beliefs of Confucianism are ren, li, yi, zhi, and zin which are the five virtues. The virtue of ren is to consider others in your actions and exhibiting sympathy and empathy. To align your actions in life with the ‘proper’ behavior is the virtue of li (Molloy, 2018, pp. 225 ). The virtue of yi is to be able to differentiate what is good and what is bad, and to act in the way that is good. To be not only knowledgeable but to have the wisdom to use that knowledge to make the right choices is the virtue of zhi. And xin is the virtue of living your life honestly and being trustworthy (Takigami, 2019).
The virtue of yi, also known as the virtue of righteousness, greatly contributes to social harmony. By following a path of righteousness, you are making ethical choices in your life. This positively impacts not only your life, but the people around you. If you were making unethical choices it could negatively impact several people surrounding you. And living a life composed of ethical choices influences others around you to uphold themselves to the same standards. I do not personally have a religious background to speak on. However, I believe that making ethical choices aligns with my personal beliefs. And I’m sure that many other religions/people feel the same way.
I witness the virtue of yi in action in many different areas in my work. Nurses have access to a variety of medications at work and choose to only give them to their patients when they could potentially take them for themselves. They treat patients who are unkind to them and do not show them respect. And even in these scenarios they provide the same care that they give to patients that are kind and respectful.
Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (pp. 225) (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill
Takigami, N. (2019). Essence of Confucius and Confucianism: “Yi,” “Zhi,” and “Xin”. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://inst-east-and-west.org/en/learning/2019/002725.html
I really enjoyed your discussion and I wish that we all followed the Yi virtue. I believe that a lot of people in this world lack the wisdom of being able to differentiate what is good and what is bad, and if they can differentiate, they somehow choose the bad. Yi would come in very handy right about now with all that is happening in the world. I do agree with Yi actually being in our places of work because you are correct, in 17 years that I have been in the hospital that I work at, we have only had 3 instances of nurses using the drugs that are meant for patients. The care for patients does not change even though some of the patients are cruel, because we have a duty and we took an oath. Ren is probably the best of all because it encompasses both Li and Yi. I definitely like the idea of having consideration for others in our actions while exhibiting sympathy and empathy. This is beautiful. Thank you
For this option, address the following:
- Define each of the following Confucian principles: Ren, Yi, Li, Zhi, and Xin.
- Choose one of these principles and explain how it contributes to social harmony.
- Illustrate with an example of how this principle compares to your own beliefs and/or religious background.
- Have you witnessed your chosen principle in action in your work? How does it relate to what you are called to do as a healthcare professional?
Confucianism is a philosophy and belief system from ancient china that defines much of the Chinese culture(Confucius Biography, 2020). Confucianism shows appreciation of life and the desire to keep the body from untimely or unnecessary death. Among the Confucianism principles are the yen, li, zhi, and the Xin.
According to scholars, Confucianism social philosophy is the yen (loving others) while practicing self-discipline. The yen was primarily adopted. The yen philosophy always often defines the golden rule. It also emphases on politics and education. The ren believes that political figures must always set examples and lead with good intentions for the benefits of others. Confucius’s philosophy of education focus on the six arts that are calligraphy, computation, music, chariot-driving and ritual (Confucius biography, 2020). Confucius asserts that people must educated and live with integrity (Confucius biography, 2020).
Another principle in the Chinese religion is Li. This word simply means “Doing what is appropriate” or Doing what is proper to the situation” (Molloy, 2020). The Li is a principle of gain, order, and benefits. Overall, it guides human actions. The book states,” Originally, Li referred to carrying out rites correctly. More generally, it means knowing and using the proper words and actions for social life. For each situation, there are appropriate words to say, proper ways to dress, and correct things to do (Molloy, 2020. P. 225). Another important concept of Confucius is Yi. It involves a moral disposition to do good and to be competent. This concept tends to question one moral values in society and how one reacts in situation that required a balanced understanding. The next concept is zhi and describes about not only having knowledge but also having the capability to make appropriate judgement and decisions in the right time. Zhi in Confucius means “Wisdom” (Molloy, 2020). Xin on the other hand embraces the ideology of being faithful toward others. It significant in everyday life; most importantly in interpersonal communication and management.
The diverse concepts of Confucius (Ren, Li, Yi, Zhi and Xin) show how they relate to each other’s. As by their definition, one cannot be achieved without the succession of the others. So, they are intertwined. The maintenance of social harmony in Confucius religion may come from the Ren principle. The yen gives a lot of value to human and actions in life. One of the main questions of the philosophical founder of Confucius was how to safeguard social harmony between people. He explained that the secret of social harmony resides in human being interaction. It is about the way people relate to each other, how we live together and understand each other. It is the definition of Ren. So as a result, maintenance of social harmony depends on our society because we’re the people who constitute it. We must show that the idea of Ren is to be an great example for others to look up to. In addition, our positive and mutual behaviors keep us bonded one to each other. One it is interrupted; Social harmony can no longer accomplished.
One of the concrete examples that I can provide is how I personally interact with others that have different beliefs or religious perception from me in life. For instance, I work with a multitude of coworkers that practice and believe in the philosophy of Confucism. I respect their opinion as well they do for me. Even though we often disagree upon certain matters, however, with mutual respect, virtue, and kindness we understand at the end that we’re all human being and must accept our differences. Hence, social harmony is reached and with this belief, Ren that synonym of love is shared among us (Molloy, 2020). Moreover, as healthcare professional, we all encounter similar case at work. For instance, when we take care of our sick patients, we show understanding, support, benevolence, humaneness and love. This is in fact, the main purpose of nursing practice. I believe that everyone practices Ren intentionally or not in daily life not to say that Confucianism is part of all of us. It focuses on the morality within personal life and governmental rules. It accentuates on well-organized social relationships and family systems as well as personal dignity such as justice, benevolence and being truthful as human being.
Biography.com Editors, (2020). Confucius Biography.
Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill.
In your post, you note that Confucianism is a philosophy as well as a belief system that describes how people should focus on keeping the body from unnecessary death. At this point, it can be held that Confucianism focuses on the concept of self-care for nurses. In this context, self-care refers to the approaches that different individuals embrace as part of ensuring that they take care of their mental, psychological, and physical well-being. By taking care of themselves, nurse professionals and other health workers ensure that they are in good condition to attend to the needs of other people (Crane & Ward, 2016). You provide an appropriate description of the principle of Li in the Chinese religion, which focuses on ensuring that people do what is proper to a given situation. In my interpretation, this encourages the aspect of critical thinking in the workplace, which ensures that nurse professionals examine various options before they settle for a particular decision.
Crane, P. J., & Ward, S. F. (2016). Self-healing and self-care for nurses. AORN Journal, 104(5), 386-400.
Wu Wei is known in Daoism, “as the ideal of effortlessness and literally means, no action” (Malloy, p. 209). To understand Wu Wei it is important to know what Dao means. To those that practice Daoism, Dao represents everything yet has no actual form. Our textbook explains, “it is the origin of everything and that all individual things are, manifestations of the Dao” (Malloy, p 206). The main religious text of Daoism is known as the Daodejing and it explains how one should live their life in order to be in harmony with Dao. Therefore, in Daoism, if one is to live in harmony one must live and act effortlessly. I understand this to mean, acting in a natural way of doing what is right. According to the article Wu Wei: The Taoist Principle of Action in Non-Action, the writer states, “As we find our alignment with the TaoLinks to an external site.—with the rhythms of the elements within and outside of our bodies—our actions are quite naturally of the highest benefit to all who we contact. At this point, we have gone beyond the need for formal religious or secular moral precepts of any sort. We have become the embodiment of wu wei” (Reninger, 2019). This is the path the Daoist’s believe, one is to follow to heaven. I am not certain if they believe in heaven as a place or more as a state of being at peace with the Dao.
In comparison to Daoism, Confucianism taught that people could be taught how to live a virtuous life, by correcting human relationships and improving social harmony. “a human being becomes a full person only through the assistance of other people and then fulfilling obligations to them” (Malloy, p221). Daoism teachings focus on living with the nature or naturalness of all things. By accepting what is and living in that moment. Confucianism’s focus is that of doing what is right according to correct manners and propriety and the belief that education plays an important role.
I believe that both approaches are always being applied in my nursing profession. It did not take me long as a new nurse to figure out that going with the flow was a lot easier than trying to convince a patient to do something that he or she didn’t want to do. Whether its de-escalating a violent patient or comforting a distraught patient who just learned of a terminal diagnosis, the Daoist way of Wu Wei works in either situation. Meeting a patient where they are emotionally as well as physically in a non-judgmental way and providing care without forcing it or going against their emotional state, is far more productive and easier on the patient and the nurse. In comparison, Confuscism the virtue Li, means, “ propriety, doing what is proper to the situation (Malloy, p227). In nursing, we strive to provide care by the standards of best practice and always having our patient’s best interests at heart. This holds true when we are double and triple checking medications and orders for our patients and speaking up when something is wrong. I believe no matter what your religious affiliation, one could learn a great deal from the philosophies of Daoism and Confusious, and apply it in your everyday life.
Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill
Reninger, Elizabeth (2019) Wu Wei: The Taoist Principle of Action in Non-Action https://www.learnreligions.com/wu-wei-the-action-of-non-action-3183209Links to an external site.Links to an external site.