The last blog I posted was from Eva Wong's Excerpts from Lieh-Tzu, A Taoist Guide to Practical Living. Here is the second excerpt that I copied by hand while I was there, to share with you all on my arrival home:
Po-ya and Chung Tzu-ch'i were good friends. Po-ya was a good lute player and his friend was an intuitive listener.
When Po-ya had his mind on the high mountains while he played, Chung Tzu-ch'i said, "I can feel the grandeur of the Great Mountains!"
When Po-ya thought about flowing waters while he played, his friend said, "How deep and wide are the Yellow River and the Yang-tze!"
It seemed no matter what was on Po-ya's mind which he expressed in his music, his friend shared the feelings right away.
One time the two friends were wandering around in the north slopes of the Great Mountains when a rainstorm hit. They found shelter in a cave, and, waiting for the rains to subside, Po-ya took up his lute and played. Seeing the mist and rain hiding in the mountains, Po-Ya had a feeling of sadness and composed a piece about the unending rain and rising mist. Then he changed his mood and improvised a song that painted the splendor of an avalanche crashing down the mountains. In every piece he played, Chung Tzu-ch'i could grasp Po-ya's feel of the music without fail. His mood and state of mind were identical to those of the player.
Po-ya put down his lute and sighed, "This is more than my wildest expectations. You can read my mind by listening to my music. From now on, how can I hide anything from you?"
Po-ya and Chung Tzu-ch'i were not only good friends but kindred spirits. They could reach into each other's minds not just because one of them was a good player and the other an intuitive listener. It was because they had dissolved the barriers that separated them from each other and the music was simply a bridge that allowed them to communicate their hearts and minds.
I particularly enjoyed how this excerpt ended, as I believe that music has the power to dissolve barriers between people, making wordless communication possible, connecting the inner worlds of all those who partake in it.
If you're curious about the Chinese Lute (or Pipa), check out this cool video performance I found on YouTube!
If you're interested in learning how to play and express yourself better through music, contact us today to set up your first free guitar or piano lesson!