古琴、梵唄與茶寵 Guqin, Chanting and Tea Pet



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.

Just imagine I can hear this in person…what a blessing…http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/i2kHt04Q6Q0/  )




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)








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.


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.





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



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.


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






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。



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








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……


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。


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.




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

平民的幸福 Shanghai Now and Then


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


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.







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




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…