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Before I was someone normal. A nice guy. I had a normal family with two children and an office work quite normal in a Swiss bank nothing could be more normal.
Then one day I discovered the shakuhachi. Since I can no longer pause to play. And this has still got worse these last days since I received my Perry Yung's new flutes.
In brief, as soon as I return at home the evening after a long day of hard labor, I jump on my shakuhachi and I cannot stop any more playing. As I am a beginner, sometimes I do not play a particular piece but I satisfy simply with blowing RO Buki or Sasa Buki.
I go out of this state of bliss only to the repeated calls by my dear wife and of my adorable toddlers who demand my warm presence with them.
As soon as I stop playing I feel in a state of lack. A bit like a drug addict who is missing her dose. (I say it like that, because in reality I never drugged, except occasionally some Bombay Sapphire martinis In fact, I feel a kind of emptiness in the middle of the chest, a need to continue to blow in the shakuhachi. Lack which may last an hour or two. Insuportable.
As the days are long and endless before returning to my sweet home. I now took at the office my shakuhachi Yuu, which I hid in the drawer of my desk, and during breaks rather than going drinking coffee with my colleagues I take this opportunity to blow some single tones. I think I caught the shakuhachi virus. Is serious Doctor?
As Monty told me a couple of years ago, "You've got a bad case of shakuhachi-itis. There's no cure for that."
There many worse ailments in this life to suffer from. Your comparison to a drug is a perfect example. The big difference between drugs, disease, coffee, alcohol and shakuhachi, is that shakuhachi is good for you.
My suggestion is to make the time for the family, but continue also to blow shakuhachi. If you don't overdo, then the love of this bamboo will last many long and happy years.
In the ideal world, your dear wife and adorable toddlers would also fall in love with shakuhachi and the family could sit down in the evenings a blow RO Buki and Sasa Buki together.
Only time can level the symptoms of shakuhachi-itis, but I don't think it ever truly goes away (I hope).
Amen to that. My quiet time after the rest of the family goes to bed is now spent blowing instead of playing computer games. Also, in order to improve my wind, I have increased my cardiovascular exercise.
My wife tells me that my blowing has revived her interest in the guitars that have been essentially untouched since we had our children.
Thanks to all,
Your words go straight to my heart. My life was always adjusted as a Swiss watch and with the shakuhachi I discovered a new fascinating universe. So, I began to practice and practice for as long as was humanly possible, as if I had to catch up in a short time all these years without shakuhachi. Finally I realized that the goal was unrealistic.
Now I practise short and numerous sessions, what is better adapted to my family life and to my timetable.
Thank you Tairaku, you opened my eyes and mind : Oxygen !
Thought I'd revive this thread even if just temporarily as it has a very strong analogy for many people who do Qigong (including myself). I could rave....on and on and.....however, the combination of enhanced oxygen intake and carbon dioxide expulsion, along with the movement of Qi through the meridians (and I'm convinced this applies in playing Shakuhachi as well), alongside the therapeutic effects upon the entire bodies fascial system by the rising and falling of the body during the exercise (playing Shakuhachi is exercise) due to the breathing process is allowing the body to adapt to a position of 'naturalness' or the way the human body is actually designed to be. We as Westerners (and many Easterners) have mistreated our bodies for so long now that we have kind of got used to being in a state of 'disrepair'. I would go so far as to say that the practice of Qigong, Taiji, Yoga, etc, playing the Shakuhachi (maye wind instruments in general), if done with 'intent' is allowing your body to re-adapt to its natural state to an extent. Essentially it's giving yourself a massage with many of the benefits to go along with it, and one of the known effects of massage is the release of endorphins.
Also an interesting point is that there are known cases where Qigong practitioners have been known to 'go mad' due to their inability to stop performing Qigong. It's actually a documented medical condition. These people purportedly will keep doing Qigong all day long simply because it gives them the biggest buzz of their lives and everything else becomes meaningless and shallow - essentially an endorphin/Qi addiction I'm guessing.
Blimey, I'd better watch out.