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Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation

 
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2014-11-17, 16:26    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

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Dear all

Here is a recent paper in progress about shakuhachi and meditation. It is by no means a finished paper and the conclusion is open.
It is first person research, that means it is my own experiences that is the main object in this paper. There will be millions of ways of experiencing meditation while playing shakuhachi... so this is just my best for now on this topic.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/c14yqx
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Eugene
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PostPosted: 2014-11-17, 19:27    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing!
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Peter Schreiber
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PostPosted: 2014-11-17, 20:33    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Thank you for this; good stuff for the weekend! Smile
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ichionjobutsu
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PostPosted: 2014-11-19, 11:58    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

…this are very interesting personal experiences and conclusions….thanks for sharing!

It puts all on the edge of a knife:

“appreciate the now as it is – in case of sound/art: appreciate it as it is as kind of a passive reflection of yourself, don’t judge and try to manipulate the sound – Shakuhachi as a Hoki”.

versus…

“express yourself in front of listeners – in case of sound/art: express your being in the shape of your personal emotions regarding the particular score with active reflection –Shakuhachi as Gaki”.

Here only new words are inserted regarding “reflection”: “passive” and “active”, but words at end can lead nowhere. What is being “active” and controlling the sound in the latter case?

Some artists would say regarding the latter: if you go on stage play for yourself – don’t worry about the audience. Sounds egoistic – and in this case it is a bit of course and has to be for sure. You can hear great music from great Egos.

It is why the ancestors make a difference between Hoki and Gaki and it is why some individualists make huge differences between ji-nashi and ji-ari too – not because of the difference in sound but because of using instruments not perfectly in tune or not easy to play in musical context. This seems to be the same when mostly normal 1.8 are used in Gaki and greater ones more in Hoki context. So it seems the “tool” deliberately is not made perfect to give the “user” a chance of inner development and not for outer presentation. It exactly reflects the “users” likes and “dislikes” and causes reactions to learn from whereas in musical context he reacts consciously or unconsciously to come from “dislike” to “like” using the Ego of course.

“Don’t miss the beauty of learning while sticking on goals” – as another wise man told. Transmission of music to an audience has goals anyway.

It is said that Yamguchi Goro performs with flutes not to be played as easy as possible. On the other side great musicians tend to use perfect instruments to optimize musical expression. One may think: “in the hands of a master all sounds good” – is it not a Ego based sentence too? A wise man would respond: “why do you call me a master?”

So it comes to the question:

Could such an intimate “doing” like meditation honestly be done I front of an audience? And the next question: what makes an audience an audience and a performer a performer?

In my view an audience is an “expectation cloud” which will be satisfied. Zen on the other side deals with zero expectations. There was just such an situation told about a Zen master coming in front of his students doing nothing and went away without a single word – would there be any audience appreciating this as an act of art?

There is another type of spiritual meetings called Satsang: “being together in truth”. One might be referencing on that kind of “playing in front of an audience” as an alternative. Unfortunately even in this case the audience is expecting a lot from the master. And expectation leads to disappointment more or less.

So for me currently seems not to be any way to put “Hoki” and “Gaki” together in one act of art or meditation – it stays separated. It may come together when both will change: the performer with no expectations and the audience with no expectations.

Even if one will use the term “bestowing” as a desirable intention on side of the performer it will maintain a “will” which is not “unintentional” so to say.

One often will hear from a delinquent after harming others: “I wanted the best in doing so”….

What is the best for others?

Hope I am not frustrating with my reflections on the article, but…..my hope again already assumes some expectations out there…..

To quote another wise at the end:

“to respect is not to expect!”

Going this way the article is deeply respected by me.
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Rick Riekert
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PostPosted: 2014-11-19, 16:10    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Ichionjobutsu wrote:
There was [a] situation told about a Zen master coming in front of his students doing nothing and went away without a single word – would there be any audience appreciating this as an act of art?


In John Cage’s Zen influenced 4’33” the players appear on stage with their instruments but do not play them. There is only ambient sound for the duration of the “composition”. Cage was no fool and held 4’ 33” in high esteem. His work continues to engage performers and listeners alike, the latter “expectation cloud”, whatever their motivation, usually dishing out good money for the privilege.
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Mastery does not lay in the mastery of technique, but in penetrating the heart of the music. However, he who has not mastered the technique will not penetrate the heart of the music.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2014-11-21, 18:52    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Oups! I didn't see your long reply, Ichionjobutsu. Apology for not replying to it.
Bit ill again and off to Paris for research technique course. I hope to be able to pay the attention your post deserves in not too long.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2014-11-22, 18:21    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Hello Ichionjobutsu

I have answered some of the points you raise below.

ichionjobutsu wrote:

It is why the ancestors make a difference between Hoki and Gaki and it is why some individualists make huge differences between ji-nashi and ji-ari too – not because of the difference in sound but because of using instruments not perfectly in tune or not easy to play in musical context. This seems to be the same when mostly normal 1.8 are used in Gaki and greater ones more in Hoki context. So it seems the “tool” deliberately is not made perfect to give the “user” a chance of inner development and not for outer presentation. It exactly reflects the “users” likes and “dislikes” and causes reactions to learn from whereas in musical context he reacts consciously or unconsciously to come from “dislike” to “like” using the Ego of course.


Just to clarify: I have only played jinashi shakuhachi and never jinuri or jiari shakuhachi. My teacher Okuda Atsuya only teaches on jinashi - not that he doesn't accept students with jinuri shakuhachi only. But I started all my training with him on jinashi. My first jinashi shakuhachi was a 2.3. I play up to 3.2. I have owned a jinuri a short time. Someone told me I could not play contemporary music on jinashi shakuhachi... so I bought a jinuri... but I had to admit the fact that I am a jinashi shakuhachi player and that is it. So I sold it to a student.
I actually don't think the instrument matters so much... but then again... the reason for I, personally, will only play jinashi is that the complexity of sound from a natural bore jinashi shakuhachi appeals so much more to me than the loud and clear jinuri shakuhachi sound. But that is a whole different discussion, and it is my personal preference. I am not stating one is more adequate to meditation or better than the other!

ichionjobutsu wrote:

Could such an intimate “doing” like meditation honestly be done I front of an audience?


I think you can. And that is whether the audience expect something particular from you or not. I think you can. I also think that this must have been the case of the komusō. Thus whether you play a hōki or gakki, doesn't render one more suitable for meditation than the other. You can play a hōki as a musical instrument. A sacred tool? What does that mean anyway? Who are to decide which shakuhachi is a hōki and which is a gakki? Not me - at least. I can have an attitude towards my instruments either as gakki or hōki. And sometimes depending what I play I can it can change for me. But the instrument stays the same - a jinashi shakuhachi.

ichionjobutsu wrote:

What is the best for others?


I must admit... I do not expect to know what is best for others as such. And not as a large audience group anyway. However, I try my best to feel what my fellow human beings need if there is something I can do.


Last edited by Kiku Day on 2014-12-16, 20:09; edited 1 time in total
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ichionjobutsu
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PostPosted: 2014-11-22, 21:23    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

.... nothing to apologize....nothing to justify..
as I said: I fully respect your article..
and more: I agree in most parts:
it is only the attitude of playing regardless
the type of instrument... and I share
your love for the jinashi as well...

..go ahead...
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ichionjobutsu
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PostPosted: 2014-12-02, 12:15    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

...I found another interesting article from Stan Richardson in that regard (I met Stan first in 1998 at Boulder/Colorado World Shakuhachi Fesival):

http://www.stanrichardson.com/article_2.html

Okay
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JL Peilhon
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PostPosted: 2014-12-10, 19:55    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Hi Kiku thanks for that!
i'ved just notice some mistake in the first page : you'ved scrivered : shauhachi. and just follow The shakuhchi
it's funny time Mr. Green

i hope so will discuss about your approch soon
Respectually
Jean-luc P
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2015-01-14, 10:17    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation Reply with quote

Thanks, Jean-luc, I am a horrible editor! Smile
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Nick Bellando
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PostPosted: 2016-12-06, 08:07    Post subject: About the hoki / gakki distinction Reply with quote

I wasn't able to access the article, but the discussion here was interesting...
Here are some thoughts on what makes the shakuhachi a hoki or a gakki...

First, I think that the two are not really two. It seems to just depend on what you emphasize.
Like Kiku Day, for the first 15 years of my shakuhachi life, I only knew jinashi shakuhachi.
Recently, I felt myself being critical of shakuhachi as a gakki, so I decided to learn a little more about
it from Ryuho Miura. Learning "gakki" shakuhachi from him really drove the differences home to me.

One difference is in what you emphasize.
Suiko-sensei and Barry-sensei teach Myoan shakuhachi. It's not music. So when you learn, musicality
is not emphasized. You play together. You don't worry about the details so much. Whatever your sound,
it's just fine, even if sound doesn't come out. This is /your/ sound. Playing together is like meditating
together. It's generally more enjoyable than doing it alone, but doing it alone is just as valuable.

With Miura-sensei, I found a totally different world. You're learning /music./ There is a specific expression
that you're looking for, so you have to pay attention to details. You have to produce enough volume for
the audience, so you need a jiari shakuhachi that you can blast with air. You have to adapt your sound / pitch
to other instruments, so it needs to be tuned precisely, and you have to have a good musical sense in
order to do this.

Old-style jinashi flutes are well-suited to meditation. They are more quiet, and their hole
spacing is more ergonomic than it is musical. They are more... introverted. They hold more air in, and do more work
on the inside, just like introverted people do. They work well alone, or with other likewise "introverted" shakuhachi.

Jiari flutes can be used for meditation, but their personality is decidedly extraverted. They like to
be around other instruments (i.e., they are often tuned to a western musical scale, or at the very
least so as to be able to be played in ensembles with koto, shamisen, etc.). They are loud and
clear, producing enough volume to move listeners.

Older jinashi flutes' energy moves inward; modern jiari flutes' energy moves outward.
Introversion and extraversion don't have any necessary connection to spirituality, but
as meditation generally tends to be a more introverted activity, for introverted people who
enjoy "alone" time, an old-style jinashi shakuhachi will probably fit them better.
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PostPosted: Today at 12:35    Post subject: Paper in progress on shakuhachi playing and meditation

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