SHENMO MOTTO: Virtue & Wisdom


The Ultimate State of abacus mental math

2017-07-17 丨

The writer is from the Ministry of culture development

I personally have seven years of experience in abacus training, with at least 3 hours spent on it on a daily basis. The tediousness almost make me give up at some point but I managed to stick to it somehow. Until one day, I finally realized that the abacus training is not like what it looks, it actually means much more.

The rationale of mental math:
Frequent abacus training--visualization of abacus training in mind--visualization of abacus beads in mind--visualization of solid dots in mind--solid dots turn into light dots--light dots turn into formless light--automatic calculation (quick process of load-in, calculating and clearing)--establishment of number sense as human instinct (getting the answer without even calculating).

Some scholars have claimed that, the highest level of mental math will reach a process of automatic calculation based on human instinct, similar to Zen.

Zen is part of the core Chinese culture and its highest manifestation is something we call ‘getting without searching’ or ‘achieving without hesitating’. The highest level in mental math training can reach the similar state as Zen, which is ‘getting the answer without calculating’. Thus it is practically a process towards Zen state for the ones who are trained for mental math, a way towards the deepest tranquility and the ultimate goal of knowing without thinking in Zen.

When I started working and eventually became an entrepreneur, I found myself having the capability of dealing with things without hesitation, and making decision with intuition, that is, figuring things out without even thinking about them. And this kind of intuition in decision-making always leads my action and thus saving me time and energy, that is, the 3 steps from awareness, thinking to action could be almost finished simultaneously. This problem solving mechanism considerably improved my work efficiency and has been widely testified by people around me including my colleagues and friends.

What most people probably don't know is it all thanks to “Zen of calculation”.

Mental math training can enable people to find out the very optimal way to figure things out in very complex and difficult situation. It's like finding the only golden matchstick among a stack of a mess.

When I talked about mental math and Zen in a few speeches that I gave to professors and college students in the United States, I got great attention from the entire audience and one professor claimed that was the best lecture he had ever attended for over last ten years, as the students were highly focused and the Zen philosophy combined with calculation inspired their interests in math and thinking in other fields.

This is the power of mental math, this is the power of Zen and this is the power of Chinese culture.


Into the Chinese abacus culture On Aug 19, 2016 >

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