古琴、梵唄與茶寵 Guqin, Chanting and Tea Pet

去跟古琴老師拜年。雖然半年多沒上課,不過一日為師,終生為父,禮數不能缺,何況鄭老師從杭州來到上海過年!師尊都來至家門口,就更得去拜見。

喝茶、聽老師彈《梅花三弄》(難為他大過年的,聽我們那折騰半年還殘缺不全的梅花,最後只得親自撫琴……),還叨擾老師親自下廚為我們炸春捲!師父、師父,真的覺得老師把學生都當自家人一般。於是下午點心吃得飽飽,晚餐都略去。

It was a beautiful day. We went to visit our Guqin teacher to say Happy New Year. As always, a great pleasure to see the teacher. Though I heard that he was not well because of teaching too many students at the age of over 70, but he appeared quite alright. We drank tea, chatted a bit and then he even cooked some spring rolls for us as snacks. Of course, the best part is to hear him playing.

(能親身聽到這樣的琴音,太幸福了
Just imagine I can hear this in person…what a blessing…http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/i2kHt04Q6Q0/  )

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從師宅出來,因為自我感歎現在真的生活愈趨簡樸,以往可以日日按摩院報到,現在從印度回來後,還不曾在上海按摩過,所以決定和琴友一起去按摩。

按摩時,放上我在尼泊爾時所錯過的梵唄古琴音樂會錄影,太精彩了!身體放鬆,心靈受到滋養。

Then we went to have massage while playing a DVD of a concert that I missed while being in Nepal. It was a duet of Choying Dolma and another Guqin master, Mr. Cheng Gong Liang. Such an amazing performance! Massage for the body; this music for the mind!
( Skip the introduction. The solo chanting starts at 03’30’’, following by Guqin solo, and then the duet)

成公亮老师与琼英卓玛:《心与灵——梵呗与古琴音乐会》

(跳過介紹,從3:30秒開始演出。先是瓊英卓瑪的演唱,接著是古琴,最後是合奏。)

http://player.youku.com/player.php/sid/XMzQxNzYwODc2/v.swf
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzQxNzYwODc2.html?firsttime=218 

跟朋友歎到,終於第一次聽見成老師彈琴。唐琴“秋籟”的音色韻味,圓潤綿長,果然極其不凡。早上另一友人攜兒來訪,才跟他們解釋說放在我茶盤上的奇怪東西是我的茶寵。小孩子還指著那張迷你紫砂“秋籟”問,這個也是茶寵嗎?沒想到晚上就聽到“秋籟”之音。

朋友馬上白我一眼。

“那哪是茶寵!人家紫砂師父做那小秋籟,是做紙鎮用,就你拿去做茶寵!”

當場愕然。怎麽完全不記得拿到這個小寶貝時,師兄有說是拿來做紙鎮的?……

I was exclaiming what a day! Just in the morning, another friend came for a visit with her kid. They were asking what are those funny things on my tea tray and I explained those are my tea pets (made of pottery clay, the texture can grow smooth and develop shimmer and tea fragrance when nourished with tea). The kid actually asked whether the mini Guqin QiuLai is really a tea pet, and now in the evening, finally, for the first time, I heard Mr. Cheng playing QiuLai (the name of one Guqin instrument dated back to the Tang dynasty. These precious Guqins usually have their own individual names).

Immediately my friend rolled her eyes. “That miniature Qiulai (limited edition, of course) was not made as a tea pet. The pottery master made it as a paper weight…”

Oops, I honestly can not recall anyone telling me it should be a paper weight when receiving this gift. Anyway, I am not doing big calligraphy or painting nowadays so will keep my mini Qiulai as tea pet for the time being.

無論如何,我先養著,等哪天開始寫大字或畫畫時,再正位來作紙鎮。

我的三隻茶寵 My 3 tea pets:

1. 第一隻是恬然自得的水牛,已經養的金沙閃閃了 / a buffalo, the oldest pet which already grew beautifully shimmering as if some gold sands spilt over it

2. 第二隻就是小“秋籟”,是成老師上面那張琴的縮小版 🙂  去年收到的禮物,現在聽過“秋籟”的聲音後,更愛這小秋籟了。
The mini Qiulai, crafted after the Guqin played in the video above

3. 第三尊是今年新請的小佛頭。逛茶城時,看著面相好,就請回來。原先略微忐忑,擔心放在茶盤上澆茶,是否有些不敬。澆的時候突然聯想到在黃梅五祖寺看方丈帶信眾做一個浴佛法會,於是現在喜滋滋的,每次泡茶前,都先恭敬“浴佛”一番,方再品茶。一切皆可轉為修行。

The 3rd one is new, just got it before the Chinese New Year at the wholesale tea market. A beautifully made Buddha head. At first I was wondering whether it might be disrespectful, but when I poured tea over this Buddha, it reminded me of a Buddha-bathing ritual I saw at the monastery of the 5th Zen Patriarch. Now whenever I make tea, I will “bath the Buddha” respectfully and joyfully, then taste my tea. Indeed you can turn every act into practice.

Happy Chinese New Year from Shanghai

Coming back to Shanghai to spend the Chinese New Year with my beloved dog.

Though it is still cold in Shanghai but somehow not as freezing as the past. Let me just pray the warm weather lasts.

My dog was irritated by the ongoing blasting sounds of firecrackers and fireworks as usual. He must be exhausted from all the barking at those threatening sounds last night so continued to dose off with my cashmere shawl through out the day today.

Happy New Year to all my family, friends and all sentient beings.

回到寒冷的上海跟弟弟一起過新年。

昨晚鞭炮、煙花不斷,它照舊大受刺激,不過終究是老狗了,亂跑狂吠了一會兒,最後也就趴在我身上呼嚕呼嚕的要睡不睡。

今早我們都睡到自然醒,脫掉睡衣後,它繼續抓著我的喀什米爾睡回籠覺,直到中午被我抓來擺姿勢照相。

弟弟就代姊姊跟大家拜年了。

和“阿彌陀佛”的連線訊號品質良好~ Good connection with Amitabha

原來的TP-Link穿牆能力太差,賽博銷售員推薦了一台雜牌的無線路由器,像是押寶似的,竟然解決了書房信號不穩定的問題。

重新設定時想到,原本設的名稱是房號,這樣不是大家都知道我何時在家、不在家,不安全。

於是將新路由器的名稱設為“阿彌陀佛”,每天上網看到“訊號品質:很好”時,都會覺得很爽 🙂

Somehow my old wireless router’s signal became extremely unstable when I got back home this time, so I bought a new one. While doing the setup, I realized that the old network name was not very good – my apartment number was used, which means that people got pretty good sense on me being home or not.

Now the new name is Amitabha. It does feel awesome to see that “Connection to Amitabha: strong”  notice every now and then!

昨天生活中充滿了花 All About Flowers Yesterday

昨天先是去茶城淘了一個荷花杯和佛頭的茶寵,然後在朋友家喝老黑茶、彈琴——桌上兩枝臘梅香得不行,太太太享受了~ 這是上海市中心閙中取靜的極致!

Yesterday is the last holidays for those working in China. I went to the tea wholesale market with a few friends, didn’t buy any tea but a small cup with hand-painted lotus, perfect to serve appetizer.

Then proceeded to a friend’s place to drink more tea and play Qin. She got these 2 branches of plum blossoms with super strong fragrance. Always amazing to have such a quiet corner in the very heart of downtown Shanghai.

喝完茶,走到陝西南路的花市買花,拿了水仙,買了一束很久沒見的小牡丹(這小牡丹總是讓我想到歐洲的野罌粟花),因為過年,選了桃紅色的。

Then I walked to the flower market nearby. Traditionally for the Chinese New Year, my family would always have some narcissus at home. On top of narcissus bulbs, I also got a bouquet of wild peonies which always remind me of the red poppies in Europe.

最後,自從在蘭亭買了蘭花之後,小時候對蘭花的熱愛似乎重新燃起,狠下心來買了觀望多年的大盆蕙蘭,放在書房的窗臺上,每次進房門,都開心的對它呵呵笑。   讓我衷心祈願它在我的手下能活上一個月!

After the Shaoxing trip, my love for orchid re-emerged, so I finally bought these huge orchid flowers I have been eyeing on for years. Let me pray that they would live long with me!

梧桐茶庄 A Beautiful Day in Shanghai

今天又蹭了一顿饭。

早上九点半就出门,去上海郊区的江桥镇。师兄车上还点着支沉香,高级待遇~

上海真是富,随便一个郊区也有这样雅致的地方。

先喝茶。老板是做城市雕塑起家的,自然品位不俗。

有做陶的地方可以玩,还有让我非常心动的生态系統鱼缸盆景出售。可惜只能算是半生态系統,虽然不用换水、清理,但鱼还是得几天喂一次,像我这般三天两头不在家的人,只好忍住不荼毒生灵了。

A beautiful sunny Sunday spent in a Shanghai suburban tea house. The friend who kindly gave me a ride even had a nice agarwood incense stick burned inside the car…amazing Shanghai.

Then we had some tea and visited the pottery workshop and semi-eco system aquarium business unit belonged to the same owner. Love those aquariums! The bottom half looks like a typical aquarium and the top half above the aquarium  is like a miniature rainforest in Japanese style. No need of changing the water or cleaning, but the fishes still need to be fed at least every few days. Otherwise, I’d definitely get one for myself.

中午同一地方吃创新潮州菜,第一盘就上了我很爱的海参。 那个汤汁还真是像非洲大陆。

最重要的是听见心仪许久的老师稍抚古琴。

虽然吃的脑满肠肥的,回家还是很受激励的把四个月没碰的琴调好音,重温琴曲。还约人明天把钢琴的音也调调。

Then a huge lunch offered to the Guqin master whom I tagged along with. The key impact is that finally I started playing my qin again after nearly four months.

三心二意 My Wandering Thoughts

中饭没吃,到了傍晚觉得肚子饿,就开始煮一锅素的佛跳墙犒赏自己。

煮着煮着,觉得太慢,于是开始削萝卜作凉拌红白萝卜丝。

一边拌萝卜,一边想到昨天有人说香港爆发禽流感,所以这阵子鸡鸭都不能吃。就想到很久没吃烤鸭了,接下来既然都不能吃,就得趁着还没传到上海来前赶快去吃。

想到吃的,行动力就很足,马上打电话约人。正好有朋友听说一家老北京前门烤鸭不错,也想去尝,当下约了过几个小时见。

还剩大半棵萝卜,不马上处理掉,明天再烹调就不新鲜。于是不知怎么又想到很久没吃萝卜糕,就翻出台湾带回来的再来米粉,开始做起港式萝卜糕。

大动干戈一番,还终于拆封了慕尼黑带回来的锅子。萝卜糕刚蒸好,发现到了该出门的时间。

于是出门吃烤鸭前,面对著一锅汤、一碟凉菜、一大份萝卜糕。想想自己也太三心二意了~

Just very typical of me: started by cooking a soup for dinner, then branched out to make a radish/carrot salad in order to have something to eat right away, and then made a huge radish cake to use all the remaining radish. During the process, Beijing roast duck came to my mind and spontaneously made an appointment with friends for dinner. Just as I finished all the cooking, it was also the time for me to rush to the restaurant……

烤鸭店果然不错吃,就在豫园旁,特别是炸酱面、油波面都很地道。

弟弟得了尿道結石 Didi Suffering from Urethral/Kidney Stone

110827 Didi 003我們家可憐的小狗長了尿道/腎結石,他太小隻,又不能動手術取出,現在醫囑只能吃處方狗糧,吃藥,多喝水,而且絕對不能給他吃蔬菜和水果。說是造成狗的腎結石的酸性有兩種,一種是吃藥可以消掉,蔬果造成的是吃藥也去不掉的,現在只能希望是前者,吃一陣子藥後,再去照X光時會消失。

就跟媽媽說了無數次,不要亂餵人吃的東西給他吃,這下好了……是要怎麽教他多喝水和不能憋尿啊??

My mom and sis never listened to our pledge of NOT feeding him human food. Now what? How do we teach him to drink a lot of water and to not hold peeing?

The vet also said we should never feed him vegetables and fruits. There are two types of acid which causes dog to have kidney stone. One type can be treated by meds and the other one derived from vegie and fruits can not. We can only hope his stones are of the former type and will go away after medication for a while.

View of the Bund at Flair 黃浦江景

110528 Flair 003Finally managed to drag someone to go to Flair with me, a lounge at 58F Ritz Carlton, recommended by a friend.

終於去了一趟Flair。他們平常傍晚五點半以後才開,很不符合我的生活作息。

周末兩點開始,去懶洋洋的喝個下午茶,還不錯。風不太大,陽光也堪忍受,北外灘景觀好,一百五十元一人的低消。我們佔了最好的位子。

一對新人來照相,沒多久被趕走,酒店員工跟他們説會妨礙到我們,然後一直跟我們道歉。其實我們完全沒覺得被打擾,看人家甜蜜蜜的也很好,只是酒店拿我們做藉口要讓他們走吧。新人走後,其他客人一個接一個的來照相…

110528 Flair 004

外擺渡橋。 My apartment building is somewhere in this picture 🙂 110528 Flair 002

平民的幸福 Shanghai Now and Then

想著要去IFC的Ritz喝茶看外灘風貌,尚未有緣成行。昨天走在上海音樂廳旁的天橋上,恰好夕陽正照在新近整修完的“大世界”上,也是一流景觀。結論是只要時間地點緣分對,不用花錢,平民也能有好景觀,當然花錢後看到好景觀的機率會大很多。

In King’s Speech, Wallace was belittled as “having learned some tricks with men in Shanghai”. That line came to my mind when I walked by this old building, which was built in 1917 and then became THE entertaining place in the 30’s – club, theater, cinema, entertainment for kids…you name it. It just got renovated completely, facing the sunset standing tall as if telling the world that The Great World would always be part of the glory of Shanghai.

110524 Shanghai 002110524 Shanghai 001

另一側是新天地那一帶的高樓大廈,不是工作過,就是以前中午吃飯的地方,看著夕陽美景,幸福感油然而生,不用在辦公室裏賣命實在是太幸福了!

On the other side of the road is all the high rise buildings since the 90’s, also the areas where I spent most of time working. Happy now I get to see the sunsets, walking free instead spending literally endless hours in the office.

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偶爾會很想做那種不花腦子很單調的事情,重覆的動作一直做、一直做,最後完成了會有小小的成就感,而且最重要的是過程中,什麽也不想,雖然算不上對社會有什麼貢獻,不過至少是一段沒有貪嗔痴、太粗重惡念的時光。

摘豆芽菜就是一法。前幾天,叫阿姨買了兩斤荳芽,站在水槽前把過細的根部摘掉,芽不摘,豆子太大的才摘掉……總之,一根一根弄,應該是站了很久很久。

阿姨説她去買菜時,賣菜的人還以為聽錯了,説很少有人一次買那麽多豆芽菜。兩斤是多了點,以後拿一斤來消磨時光應該正好。

父親曾經自豪的説祖輩做菜講究,太奶奶做菜時,玉米是一顆一顆剝下來、篩檢好再烹調。我有點懷疑,也許不完全是為了那份菜餚的精緻,也許她也曾經享受過那份沒有太多念想的寧靜。

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110524 Garden 002

這次回來發現,小區庭園不知是否換公司維護了? 沒有現前那種整齊有序,多了一份隨性盎然的活潑,更合我的胃口。就像是在法國時,楓丹白露花園內的條條框框讓我覺得極端無趣,反而是森林的那些大樹吸引了我們多次去散步。

我要是能說服這家景觀公司夏天弄些蓮花來,連Giverny 都可以不用去了。

閑散的午後於西湖 Sleeping Like A Baby At West Lake

110514 Hangzhou 009110514 Hangzhou 003

今天去杭州上古琴課,到的早了。

飽餐一頓農家菜之後,包了艘小船,在西湖上,就著湖光山色、遮陽雲霧、iTouch播著的琴曲,就這麼泛著…泛著…打盹。

西湖真是好地方。

110514 Hangzhou 006

We arrived at Hangzhou several hours before the qin class.

Very typical thing for Chinese to do is finding a good restaurant and having a good meal. Then,only possible in Hangzhou, we took a walk to the West Lake, hired a boat and simply took a good sweet nap on the boat with the waves and feeble sound of qin from iTouch.

Just floated on the lake, in-between dreams, into nothingness…