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Ideas

Chinese Inspired 國學啟發 #1

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Calligraphy

Imagine a bow stroke as if it were a brush stroke in Chinese calligraphy:
Both require calm, controlled breathing.
Both must be perfected first in the mind, before the body acts.
Both demand follow through once they have begun.
Both require graceful flow.
Neither can be corrected once finished.

Is your bow stroke like a brush stroke?

書法

倘若我們把拉琴時的運弓和寫書法的運筆作個聯想:

二者皆要求緩而自在的呼吸,
二者皆講求由心牽動身體,
二者皆需行雲流水、一氣呵成,
一但下手,便不可逆。

您說,這是否有異曲同工之妙呢?

Chinese Inspired 國學啟發 #2

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Laozi on nothingness

“Nothingness is emptiness.
Without an empty axlehole in the center, a wheel cannot turn.
If a vessel is not empty, it cannot be filled.
If doors and windows do not contain empty space, they cannot be entered.
If a house does not have empty space, no one can live there.”
Similarly, if you do not consciously maintain space within your left hand, the result will be poor action. If you do not consciously maintain space within your right hand, the result will be pressed sound and a rigid bow. If your mind is not open and receptive to learning and possessing new information, the result will be sadness and fear.

老子論無

「三十輻,共一轂,當其無,有車之用。挻埴以為器,當其無,有器之用。鑿戶牖以為室,當其無,有室之用。故有之以為利,無之以為用。」(道德經十一章)
無即是虛空,老子舉例車輪若無中間的圓泂,便不能轉動。器皿若無空處,便不能裝物事。門戶若沒有空洞,就不能出入。房屋裡若沒有空處,便不能容人。
以此類推,如果拉琴時我們的左手心沒有維持空間,會導致動作不順暢;如果右手心沒有保持中空,便會奏出有壓迫感的聲音,讓運弓變得僵硬、死板;倘若不敞開心胸和不願意吸收嶄新的資訊,將會活在恐懼之下,多麼令人惋惜。

Chinese Inspired 國學啟發 #3

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Kongzi (Confucius) on learning and knowledge:

Learning without thought is labor wasted. Thought without learning is dangerous.
Do you think through your lessons, and learn more through reflection? Do you make the effort to think further, to read, and to listen to what you do not yet know?

孔子論知識

學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。

Running Inspired

 

Living in Manhattan means needing to find outlets for the sake of a balance between mind and soul.

One of my favorite jogging routes takes me to the 79th Street Boat Basin on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As I walk onto the short pier, I’m stunned by the expansive view. The contrast of south to north overwhelms me: To the south, I see the Financial Center, busy Midtown, tall skyscrapers in competition with one another; to the north, I see the green that allows me to breathe, an ambiguity of all the “what if”, and the indistinguishable blur between river and sky.

While living in the middle of this busy town, do we choose to build within all the high-rise? Or take courage to carve something out of the unknown territory?

Could the same mindset perhaps be applied to phrasing, fingering, and everything in between? Be an explorer, be adventurous, be courageous and be yourself.