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I am in the airport now heading home from a long weekend studying with Chikuzen at his home in Cleveland. I certainly do not want to downplay his camps, as I have attended one of those as well and found it very worthwhile. However, if you have the flow to go, I can't think of a better way to enhance abilities than to spend a few days one-on-one with the Living Forum Treasure that we have here. The food was great, the playing space was great, and the instruction was stellar. I noticed a quantum shift (for the better) in my playing during the second day. On the third day, something major clicked and my tone really took off. The challenge now will be to remember everything (be sure to bring a notebook and use it). Chikuzen and his fiance are terribly gracious hosts, and I think there is really something to be said for many consecutive hours of personal instruction face-to-face (I am an internet student). THanks again Chikuzen.
I can't think of a better way to enhance abilities than to spend a few days one-on-one with the Living Forum Treasure that we have here.
"Living Forum Treasure" is a nice phrase, we might have to steal it.
Did he serve any Bombay Sapphire?
Did he serve any Bombay Sapphire?
No. Because of my own proclivity towards alcohol, I had to self-impose a ban on drink during the weekend in order to get the most out of it. Of course, we did go for sushi one evening and enjoyed the obligatory sake that goes with it. Nigori - my favorite.
Some humorous quotes from the weekend to entertain Chikuzen, hopefully:
"I seldom starve."
"Chingetsu ... Moon Over Ruined Penis"
"If you come home with a new flute, it will be up your butt." (text message from my loving wife)
"I have a great idea, let's put some big holes in the side of this boat."
That is all I can recall at the moment, but it was a very fun time ... even without the Bombay ... and Wild Turkey.
Made the pilgrimage to Cleveland again this year. It was a great experience again. The food was great, the accomodations were comfy, and the shakuhachi was delicious. I'd recommend a few days in the Chikuzen Dojo to anyone.
Iíve been studying with Chikuzen sensei for a little over a year now via skype lessons and I have just returned from my first face to face weekend intensive. The trip was well worth it and exceeded my expectations.
First of all let me say that the skype lessons have been great and I honestly didnít know what more to expect from face to face lessons. With the exception of limitations inherent with online lessons discussed elsewhere on this forum, I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from this mode of transmission but it wasnít until my first B & B intensive with Chikuzen sensei that I realized how much more there is to experience as a Shakuhachi student.
The weekend was, without a doubt, an enriching experience on so many levels. Actually being able to play in the same room with Michael and scrutinizing some of the techniques up close and personal (this worked both ways as he was better able to address some of the finer points of my playing) is but the tip of the iceberg. Sharing meals (Michaelís wife Ara made some fantastic eats) , spirits (yes, we did break open a bottle of Bombay Sapphire) , and good conversation about Shakuhachi , Zen and whatever else happened to come up really cemented the teacher/student bond that will likely continue and grow for a lifetime. I believe that this is probably one of the most critical components of the Shakuhachi-do and is the foundation on which everything else is built.
As great as the online lessons are (how else would most of us ever hope to learn without this avenue of digital availability) the face to face intensive is something I will definitely budget for at least annually as I feel that another level of immersion into the Shakuhachi world has been reached via the experience.
Thanks again to Chikuzen and family.