shinzenshakuhachi.com is developing into the web headquarters for the dojo aspect of my shakuhachi and Taimu offerings, check in there for more info and things.
Are you haunted by the sound of this ancient bamboo nature flute?
Congratulations! This means that with a good flute and a good teacher, you are well-qualified to experience this meditation-based musical instrument for yourself, directly. If you don’t know what a shakuhachi is, go to the bottom of this page. If the sound has drawn you in, then you just might need to explore this mysterious, expressive sound more and more. And more.
Lessons with Cornelius Shinzen Boots provide:
• Free information and guidance in flute selection
• Qualified, patient instruction from a shihan (professional teacher) level Zen shakuhachi master
• Solid yet flexible curriculum, adapted to your main goals: music, meditation, breath, health, mental clarity, relaxation, nature-playing, etc.
• Clear communication and consistent scheduling
• Focus on sound, aliveness and clarity
• Affordable tuition
• In-person or Skype
Email me for a free PDF (titled “Roots, Marrow and Blood”) about the three streams of shakuhachi music. Set up a free consultation if you are ready to begin lessons or need to find a flute. I have good relationships with several excellent shakuhachi makers.
“I owe you a deep level of thanks and gratitude. You are a true Master of far more than the Shakuhachi.” – R.J. student since 2014
“Cornelius has been a great inspiration and guide through the world of shakuhachi, Taimu, and deep breathing. I’d recommend him to anyone interested in learning about these flutes, and themselves, from the ground up.” – E.C. student since 2011
“It was immediately clear to me that Cornelius’ approach to studying a non-western instrument such as the shakuhachi encompassed a wide spectrum. He has shown complete respect for the tradition with commitment and dedication. I have witnessed him explore the roots of shakuhachi with thoroughness and attention to detail.” – Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould
Video One: me playing Tamuke, a classic of Zen Honkyoku on Taimu (bass) Shakuhachi
Video Two: someone else playing Tamuke
Notice that individual shakuhachi styles are similar to singing styles: the reasons why we like certain players more than others are very personal and subjective: follow your nose, go with your gut.
Shakuhachi is Zen breath music through a robust nature flute. It’s history involves samurai spies and Buddhist monks, and the core repertoire is chant-like nature hymns (honkyoku). It is hand-made from thicker, root-end bamboo, has five finger holes and no mouthpiece. Shakuhachi can be difficult to play, but getting just one sound can truly transport you.
I have explored and practiced Zen, shakuhachi and qi gong since 2001. Before that, I was pursuing maximal musical expression on other woodwind instruments. I hold two Bachelors and a Master’s degree in music from Indiana University (1997 and 1999), and have won competitions and received commissions and grants for progressive, heavy chamber music compositions (2004 to present).
In November 2013, I earned a Shihan (master teacher) ranking from my teacher, Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould, and was given the shakuhachi name 深禅 “Shinzen” (depth Zen or deep Zen). This ranking is within the dokyoku lineage, one of the most demanding and virtuosic sects of shakuhachi study. (Dokyoku includes Watazumido, Katsuya Yokoyama, Yoshinobu Taniguchi, and others.)
Because of gravity, there is more blood in the lower part of your lungs. This means, by breathing IN as low as possible, as often as possible, your brain gets more oxygen, your thinking is clearer and your moods can stabilize easier. Extending your exhale completes this healthier breathing style.
Check your shakuhachi ambitions and desires for at least one or more of the following:
• Engage with the sound
• Play the Buddhist chant and nature pieces
• Collaborate with the bamboo
• Play outside–by the trees, creeks, meadows, rivers or oceans
• Deepen your breathing
• Sharpen your clarity
• Master your mind
Fascinated by the shakuhachi but don’t want to take it up? Contact me about private or group Zen sound meditation sessions featuring bass bamboo flutes and Zen meditation instruction.