Watazumido at Zen Mountain Monastery

Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
It was an amazing and enlightening weekend at Zen Mountain Monastery, to say the least. It’s difficult to put into words what has transpired as the experience touched all aspects of my being. But what I’ll start with is this gift I received when departing. I had seen this photos many times on the internet - Watazumi playing among people sitting in a temple. One of the monks at ZMM gave me this full collection of Watazumi’s music. The text on the picture reads “Watazumi Doso Roshi Zen Mountain Monastery 1983”. I was speechless. My teacher’s teacher’s teacher was here almost 30 years ago as a guest artist.

I’m incredibly swamped right now as I’m back into rehearsals for a new show. But, here’s some more photos of the retreat.

 

Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
At my first arrival, I was told there was a bamboo grove. So, in the morning we went to scope it out.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
My dear friend harvested some Goma pieces, already dead and cured in the ground. Since these are already dried, I used one for the making workshop.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
At the end of the day, we had a mini concert in this beautiful and intimate amphitheater.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
Here is the Goma flute from the bamboo grove! How much closer can one get to the original mendicant monk experience of making flutes that were harvested from bamboo on the grounds of the temple. I was in heav..uh, Nirvana.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
During the recital, I asked the participants from the making workshop to join me in a Ro Buki circle, much like a drum circle.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
I was amazed at the depth and power in the tones the beginners had.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
Additionally, they had an amazing mindfulness on how to come and go with the tone, as if they had been practicing Sasa buki for years. Perhaps it comes from sitting zazen together?
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
Although the flutes were in different lengths, the dissonance mixed with bird calls were quite harmonious to my ears.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
It’s always a joy to play with a friend.
Perry Yung Shakuhachi Image
One of the greatest benefits of this retreat was that I got to stay for a night after the workshop. I was afforded the opportunity to see how the participants took to the flute long after the workshop ended. Scattered through out the Monastery grounds - in the field, along a river and in their rooms, were people immersed in deep breathing and the sound of bamboo.

More to come.

Namaste, Perry

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Zen saying for Perry.