Monday, December 27, 2010

Bai Ya and Zhong Zi Qi 伯牙與鍾子期



The story of “Zhi Yin 知音- knowing (my) music” comes from the ancient book Lie Zi 列子:
Bai Ya was skilful in playing the qin 琴. Zhong Zi Qi 鍾子期 excelled in music appreciation. When Bai Ya played the qin with his mind on the lofty mountains, Zhong Zi Qi said, “Wonderful, mountains as lofty as Tai Shan.” When Bai Ya’s mind was at the gurgling waters, Zhong Zi Qi said, “Wonderful, flowing like streams and rivers.” Whatever that was in Bai Ya’s mind, Zhong Zi Qi read it accurately. When Zi Qi died, Bai Ya lamented that no one knew his music in the world anymore. He broke his qin tearing the strings and never played music anymore for the rest of his life.

Today, we use the term "Zhi Yin 知音" to describe a friend who can really understand us and appreciate what we do.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feng Shui Secret Codes 風水秘诀

This term is not unfamiliar in the Feng Shui world. Before we discuss whether or not there are such secret codes, we have to agree on one thing: Feng Shui methods did not come from Extraterestial visitors. They were invented by clever people in the past, are being invented by people today and will be invented in the future. The methods became secret codes because people in the past did not want to share their findings to unrelated outsiders. The excuse is made noble because these methods are very powerful and if fallen into the hands of unethical people, will violate the natural course of our world under Heaven. For example, the rich and immoral people will enjoy good Feng Shui because they can employ a Feng Shui master while the poor people will not have such blessings.

Well, every school of Feng Shui claims to possess some secret codes. Whether or not these so-called secret codes are of value cannot be examined by knowledgeable and unbiased people. Thus they will forever wear a mysterious mask and no one can tell whether the face behind the mask is beautiful or ugly. You can only use your imagination. Such tradition is the culprit to impede the developement of all branches of Chinese metaphysics.

The way Feng Shui and other metaphysical subjects are openly taught today makes it easier for practitioners to examine and verify the validity of various methods. Of course, there are some people who still claim to hold on to the secrets of their lineage and such secrets are sold only to indoor disciples at a very high price. Either they actually have nothing to sell or they are impeding the further development of metaphysics.