The tune O Lu Wang Ji was composed during the Qin dynasty. There is another tune "Wang-Ji" which was composed by Liu Zhifang during the Song dynasty (960-1279). These two tunes are different, but both of them were based on a fable from the Lei Zi, Huang Di. The word "Ji" means looking for opportunity or the idea of scheming to take advantage of others. "Wang Ji" means to forget or abandon the idea of trying to put something over on others. "O Lu" refers to "the seagulls" in the following story: There was a young man who likes seagulls. When he went to the ocean, those seagulls were so used to him that they flew so close that he could pet them. Later on, his father noticed this and one day said to him " Why don't you bring one or two seagulls back with you, so that I can also enjoy looking at them?" The next day, the young man went back to the ocean to try to see if he could catch some seagulls. But somehow, as soon as he had this idea, the seagulls all flew too high and never come down to him as before. This story tells us that an opportunistic mind can be sensed by others and that if we do not harbor such thoughts, we can live in harmony with nature and others.
鷗鷺忘機，產生於清代，另有一曲“忘機”為宋代琴家劉志方所作。兩曲是完全不同的曲子，但都是根据【列子】黃帝中的一則故事之寓意作成此兩首琴曲。故事原文如下：海上之人有好鷗鳥者，每旦之海上，從鷗鳥遊，鷗鳥之至者百住而不止。 其父曰：“吾聞鷗鳥皆從汝遊，汝取來，吾玩之“。 明日之海上，鷗鳥舞而不下也。 故曰：至言去言，至為無為; 齊智之所知，則淺矣。