In traditional Daoist lore, the turning of the Chinese New Year can bring about transformations to prevailing energies, both subtle and more sweeping.
In previous years I have written about the Year of the Fire Monkey and the Year of the Fire Rooster – now, as we commence the Year of the Earth Dog, let’s briefly consider – albeit with a light touch – what this might mean for the coming months …
Continue reading 2018: Year of the Earth Dog
World Exclusive Interview
Born in Milan, pianist Emanuel Rimoldi first studied in the Conservatory of his home city with Vincenzo Balzani , and then studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Elissò Virsaladze from 2009-2015. He is presently continuing his doctorate specialisation at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover with Arie Vardi. In addition to his official studies, he has completed a series of master- classes with famous pianists such as Dina Yoffe, Boris Petrushansky and Vladimir Askenazy.
Emanuel has won several international competitions in Italy including the ‘Ettore Pozzoli’ in Seregno and the ‘Città di Cantù’. In 2013, he won the 1st prize at the “Top of the World” international piano competition held in Tromso (Norway), and in 2016 he won the Grand Prix and the ‘Ivo Pogorelich Prize’ at the first Manhattan International Music Competition.
Emanuel’s performances have lit up stages from the Carnegie Hall in New York to London’s Wigmore Hall, and from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow.
Prior to his last performing trip to the UK, Emanuel very kindly wrote an insightful guest post for Pianodao, following on from which we got chatting and I found that he is a keen practitioner of taichi, an interest which coincides with my own interest in ‘piano qigong’.
I am delighted that Emanuel agreed to talk about the impact his taichi practice has had on his development as a pianist in this world exclusive interview for Pianodao.
Continue reading Emanuel Rimoldi on Qigong
Around this time last year I wrote a post welcoming the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Fire Monkey, in which I considered what might lie ahead according to the Daoist Astrological traditions of ancient China.
It proved to be prescient in many ways – and also ended up being one of the most popular posts of the whole year! For a general introduction to Chinese astrology before reading on, it is worth looking back.
Continue reading Year of the Fire Rooster
Regular readers will have seen that I sometimes quote from the contemporary Daoist (Taoist) author Deng Ming-Dao, and as we rapidly approach the Chinese New Year it gives me pleasure to recommend his most recent book “The Lunar Tao”, published by Harper-Collins in 2013.
According to the publishers:
“The lunar calendar is a main pillar of Chinese culture, encompassing many stories and festivals. Deng Ming-Dao looks to the lunar calendar and highlights where these festivals and stories coincide with Taoism, giving readers a renewed and original way into this ancient philosophy.
Each day of the lunar year is represented with a reading meditation, original translations, illustrations and illuminating facts about festivals and traditions, providing readers with the context that gives Taoism such depth and resonance.”
Continue reading “The Lunar Tao”
My battered copy of Deng Ming-Dao’s classic ‘365 Tao Daily Mediations’ has been a remarkable gift over the years, but even now I find myself reading passages as if they are brand new.
I was recently struck by the personal relevance of its very simple, practical advice in the following passage, which deals with the reasons we sometimes feel “out of sorts”.
From a Daoist (Taoist) perspective this has to do with being disconnected from “Dao” – which we might take in this instance to mean our basic path, or the substance of our lives.
I thought it worth sharing, so here’s the passage:
Continue reading 3 Basic Lifestyle Questions
The Chinese New Year officially starts on February 8th 2016, marking the start of the Year of the Fire Monkey. So what is the background to this ancient tradition, and what (if anything) might it mean for the year ahead?
Continue reading Year of the Fire Monkey
“What is Dao?”
It’s a question that has preoccupied people for millennia. And it is right that we should address it again at regular intervals.
As we enter a new month, and as autumn takes hold in the northern hemisphere and spring returns to the southern, what better time to consider again the eternal question?
Continue reading Dao: a meditation
“Humanity grows more and more intelligent, yet there is clearly more trouble and less happiness daily.
How can this be so?
It is because intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom.”
Lao Tzu: Hua Hu Ching
translated Brian Walker
The big question for us all is this: what do we do with our knowledge?
Do we accumulate knowledge simply to “fight back”, to be “better” and more “successful” than the next person?
Or does our own self-improvement and development go hand in hand with generosity towards other people?
There are many possible responses, but it’s important to recognise the priority of wisdom over knowledge, because this leads to happiness and peace.