My stay at hoshinoya Karuizawa was one which encompassed the finest things in life.
Out of the 70+ villas, I was given the one by the hillside, that which faces the greenest of all foliage , that which sees the first tinge of orangy autumn, that which is greeted by the morning sun n the silky white moon goddess.
Moreover, the room overlooks the river n villas below.
It was like going back in time, but with modern creature comforts, minus the tv.
I took my first kaiseki here, a traditional ten course Japanese meal well thought out n expertly balanced in terms of flavours, colours, textures n tastes.
Each was a picture n an art N I managed to get an insight into simplicity n nature n what it means to follow nature’s laws thru the food I had the chance to savour, n the Eco tour I went on.
1.Each of the food was prepared in a way so as to preserve or bring out nature’s work in nurturing that produce.
There was minimal enhancement in terms of adding sauces n flavorings , again this was to pay due respect to nature.
It’s like man being utmost careful not to thwart nature’s gift, offering reverence to nature.
A dish v directly connects one back to nature, sometimes v vividly thru its presentation, like a dish of baked sweet potato tofu on a garden of leaves, with mushrooms, peas n lotus root. Cooked in a pot of spring water n nothing else. The spring water’s taste stays on the outside of vegetables n gives off a light fragrance, bringing to mind the locale u r in. It reminds us of how these produce came, to b thankful of what it has given us , to reduce wastage n to reinforce the idea that man is reliant on nature n that nature is one.
And when u have such produce in ur mouth, there is no effort in slowing down bcos u will want to savor it’s every sweetness in each bite.
2. In the simplest n most minimalist presentation of food, you get an idea of how the Japanese sees things.
N u get the inspiration that u could follow n approach life from this simplistic view. It feels like a ray of light has shown thru the window.
To look at things simply. To simplify things, to sift out, to distill. To c it as it is.
It can b that simple, straightforward n clean.
3.I particularly like the way the dishes r arranged in kaiseki, u progress from a tasty n feisty venison soup then up to a trio of foie gras n wild boar n salmon, then to soup n charcoal grilled then back to rice. The flavors were like bringing u up on an ascent, guiding u to a peak, then just as u were reminiscing the view at the top, u were already being subtly brought back to the simplest taste of life.
Just as if u were climbing a mountain. Just like the way life is.尝试过刺激、浓烈、醉人的、繁华的、喧闹的之后，只求平淡。清淡。那才是真味。
It reminds u of the ups n downs of life n finding the middle path.
4. Nature has it’s way
We had a chance to c the fruit of the walnut tree, chestnut. I have eaten it more than thirty times but have never seen wat it looks like in the thirty years of my life.
A) when the time is ripe
The chestnut is spiky n painful to the touch but within the shell the chestnut is protected. The special thing( fr our perspective) is that once it ripens, the spiky thing juz falls to the ground n releases the nut.
It brings to mind that everything has a time. And nature is the time keeper. We can’t force things, even if we do, even if we let the spiky thing fall, the chestnut wouldn’t b released or even if so, it would ripen nicely.
B) I m writing this in nature, with the stream gushing behind me n I feel refreshed n my thoughts flow . I now realize why poets n philosophers n thinkers like to b here. N have great works from here. In nature, things r happy in their own unadulterated form, things flow. In nature, u juz work.
We chanced upon this tree that had to bend n have it’s posture changed. The guide told us that the tree might have it’s growth course changed by another blocking it’s course. Hence it’s trunk bent drastically midway then shoot upwards to the sky.
But I saw that the tree had good foundation n it was able to continue growing even though it had it’s natural path changed.
It brings to mind the importance of foundation, of strong central important positive thoughts. These will b the guiding force in any changed course.
D) when there’s a will, there’s a way
Many egs we saw. This tree species which had no trunk n had to rely on literally bind itself to another tree to survive.
It finally managed to get up there to the top, the sun after holding on.
It’s also abt holding on together. Holding on to a belief, tightly.
Then there’s the flower which wanted only a particular species of bee to distribute it’s pollen. This autumnal pink small bud grew slightly prodding down, in a way difficult to other species but simple to this bee.
It’s like knowing each other, being meant for each other.
Another jasmine smelling like flower is the opposite. Grown outward longish like a tail, it’s strong smelling scent attracts all at once. Always seen on mountains, this common species wants to attract a lot of animals to spread it’s pollen.
Hoshinoya wants guests to come here, 调身、调息、调心。in short, it’s just to bring people back to nature in this previously protected imagined authentic japan.
the sound of nothingness is loud here
the sound of peace
It is about stillness here
You do some Climbing then aproach/Get in touch with stillness
Be one with the stillness
And be still
I didn’t know what to expect
It was a rocky n rather steep path as far as the eye can see
I was worried abt falling or missing a step or if my body could take it up n down
But I guess down at heart, I wanted to try
So I told myself, n I keep saying, one step at a time.
And tried to keep that voice in me going: I can do it. I can do it. As usual,
Qinzhi daddy egged me on.
And I really did it.
As always, going up is always tougher, like the bus ride up, like when we want to improve. Like when we want to better ourselves.
There is actually ample time in each moment if we take the time to b in the moment.
Which brings me to the next point.
September 23, 2010
Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar.
There is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them. When you fight the ride, resisting what’s happening at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion.
When you go with the ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably arise.
As with so many seemingly simple things in life, it is not always easy to let go, even of the things we know we can’t control. Most of us feel a great discomfort with the givens of this life, one of which is the fact that much of the time we have no control over what happens. Sometimes this awareness comes only when we have a stark encounter with this fact, and all our attempts to be in control are revealed to be unnecessary burdens.
We can also cultivate this awareness in ourselves gently, by simply making surrender a daily practice. At the end of our meditation, we might bow, saying, “I surrender to this life.” This simple mantra can be repeated as necessary throughout the day, when we find ourselves metaphorically gripping the safety bar.
We can give in to our fear and anxiety, or we can surrender to this great mystery with courage. When we see people on a roller coaster, we see that there are those with their faces tight with fear and then there are those that smile broadly, with their hands in the air, carried through the ride on a wave of freedom and joy. This powerful image reminds us that often the only control we have is choosing how we are going to respond to the ride.
just enjoy the rain。
以前和daddy拍拖初期，我们走好长的路，可以从kallang走到indoor stadium再到suntec city，再续程到fullerton bay
然后我告诉自己：one step at a time。就这样，专心一步又一步。