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It's been a long while since I last posted here. I really miss this place! Unfortunately, priorities sometimes get rearranged when work and school start getting in the way of enlightenment
The good news, however, is that I am taking a Buddhism course (a bit of a conflict there... ) this semester. As a final project, I have agreed to present to the class a 40 minute lecture on Shakuhachi and Zen. This is where I would love to get some input from all of you practitioners out there. 40 minutes isn't much time to talk about anything, let alone the shakuhachi and Zen, so I would like to ensure that the topics I discuss are as valuable as possible.
So what topics do you all feel are most vital to offering a clear as possible understanding of the connection between shakuhachi and Zen to students with little or no interest or knowledge of the practice? Any discussion is welcome and greatly appreciated!!
Last edited by Travis Winegar (2006-10-06 07:58:54)
You have 40 minutes? Blow the class 40 minutes of ro buki. That will say everything that needs to be said about the Zen of it all.
Kidding aside... sound needs to be part of your lecture, I'm sure you'll agree. So engaging them as listeners might be useful. Perhaps distinguish between sound as performance/entertainment and sound as a tool. This is important, I think, to contrast shakuhachi folk or ensemble pieces or movie soundtracks with pieces or practices reputed to be tools of enlightenment.
I think 40 minutes is enough time to talk about almost anything...
I like Darren's suggestion of Ro-buki for 40 minutes, but since the enjoyment there is an acquired taste, I suggest that you
allude only briefly the the 'Komuso history' items and spend most of your time playing recordings of snippets or complete
pieces of shakuhachi music, ranging from Honkyoku, to Minyo, to Sankyoku, interspersed with some short commentary.
To talk for 40 minutes about shakuhachi history to anyone but enthusiasts would probably induce a state of somnolence...
Thanks for the replies....
I fully agree that the most important part of the presentation is the sounds. I intend to bring a couple of flutes and blow on them some as well as play some recordings by people that actually know what they are doing
I intend to include a very brief history of the komuso and the flute itself. I think it is important to understand where the practice did (or didn't) come from. Additionally, I plan on spending a few minutes talking about flute construction (very basic here -- this is an utaguchi; this is the root end; this is how finger holes are measured; etc) in the hopes of impressing the class with its "simplicity."
All of your ideas are great -- thanks! I'll take these and play around with scheduling my time. If you have any more I am certainly interested!