Monday, July 20, 2009

Long Island Excursion

A tranquil afternoon,
Live painting of the green garden, Shakuhachi, and An inner ME...

Life in the broad New York area is filled with surprise and joy. Many excursions, like pearls, string up my fabulous New York necklace. Thereinto, long island is the most unforgettable. I'd like to share my pearl with you.

It was a hidden Japanese garden. Getting off the train at Locust Valley after one hour and half from Penn Station, I was almost lost in the neat tiny town. Very few people knew the place. Among those who seemed to get some ideas, each one gave me the different guide. I just couldn't find the garden. She would rather like to play the game of hide-and-seek. Finally, it took me fifty minutes to arrive in the entrance.

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Once you arrived there, all worries and impatience were gone! It immediately evokes the sensation of harmony, the transcendent feeling of a deep, remote mountain hamlet. The garden was very much a spiritual journey and was created in accordance with Zen precepts and aesthetics. In Japanese, the characteristics would be those of yugen (subtle, yet profound), yohaku-no-bi(paucity, a 'less is more' notion where the omitted elements are as important as those included), mitate (seeing anew or given new life or meaning), wabi (subdued), sabi (taste), suki (connoisseur ship). Sorry for so many jargons. But it's all the truth.

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There I heard the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), while strolling along paths in the forest and sitting in the traditional Japanese Teahouse. The picture you saw was taken at the doorsill of Tea House, there I am reading the book of Japanese Garden while enjoying the Shakuhachi. What unique sound! It promotes spiritual growth through meditative breathing. The artist who played Shakuhachi told me:

"... In the asian culture, being strong doesn't mean muscle, but breath. If you feel nervous, you lose already; because you cannot put yourself into the music. Playing Shakuhachi helps your find inner balance and improves your breath..."

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For other pictures of New York City, Click this link for a slideshow: New York City.

Photographed by Jennie Bai.

Copyright ©Jennie Bai. All Rights Reserved.

(This article was initially written in the summer of 2005.)

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