Optimally Empty

是以陶鈞文思,貴在虛靜,疏瀹五藏,澡雪精神。 ‘Thus, to use the potter’s wheel of literary thought — treasure empty stillness, cleanse the five viscera and wash clean the vital spirits.’ — Liu Xie, Wenxin Diaolong A few days ago, slightly overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork I have to get through here, I took refuge in my new favourite coffee house, San Kafei 叁咖啡 or 3Coffee, which is just outside of the campus. There are many things to commend San Kafei as a coffee shop. There …

Viable

For the past couple of days here in Chengdu, I’ve been getting acclimatised and doing all the things that are associated with moving to another country: sorting out all kinds of administrative things, getting my bearings, working out where are the good places to eat, and so on. It’s been fairly busy and demanding, but I think I’m getting there. Along they way, I’ve found myself thinking about that most pesky of philosophers, Laozi. Or, more accurately, I’ve been thinking …