You often hear athletes and other artists discussing those singular moments when they find themselves "in the zone". It's a state of being where you are at one with your surroundings and purposeful in your intentions. Achieving this level of synergy with the world around you requires a deep understanding of your mind and body, and of the mini universe that exists within you. Effortless Action: The Art of Spontaneity outlines the principles of the Wu wei concept that can help us all achieve this plateau of elevated consciousness and being.
The martial arts embrace these principles in their truest iteration, though they have been frequently muddied by concepts of victory and accomplishment. The ultimate goal is to achieve the art of living effortlessly without ego. It isn't about a flagrant display of power, physical strength, and brute force. Instead, it is concerned with the blunting of one's sharpness; that is, the softening of a personality in order to achieve humility, compassion, respect and honor.
The film focuses primarily on the imbalances between our yin and yang. Yin deficiencies lead us on a path of stress and anxiety in our constant need to prove ourselves. The film urges us all to overcome our intellect, rethink our criteria for personal success, and eliminate our foolish desires to control life and time. Discussions of diet come into play, especially the role that sugar plays in squandering our innermost spiritual energies.
Filmmaker Jason Gregory advocates for a kind of psychic detoxification - a starving of one's mind from all internal and external stimulation - as found in his book Fasting the Mind. We must learn to embrace the power of inertia.
Essentially, the film argues that the act of "being in the zone" should not be considered a momentary pursuit; it is, in fact, our natural state. The film attempts to teach us the methods for destroying the intellectual and societal vices that keep us from achieving this state of being.
A sequel to the similarly intriguing The Art of Effortless Living, Effortless Action: The Art of Spontaneity makes complicated concepts digestible for a general audience, and offers a series of lessons and practices that can greatly enhance our quality of life.
Directed by: Jason Gregory