Infinite Possibilities: A Shakuhachi Retreat, with Ralph Samuelson

New York City  

January 26, 2013
10:00 amto4:00 pm

Zen Center of New York City

The shakuhachi is a Japanese vertical bamboo flute with a notched mouthpiece and five finger holes. Although it is simple in form, its range of sounds and tones is varied and subtle. A shakuhachi master can coax the infinite sounds of the world from a flute: a gentle, whispering rain, a harsh cry of anguish, a swift brook, a heaving sob. All of life, all of our human potential, are suddenly right there.

The shakuhachi has been closely tied to Zen and meditative practices for over four hundred years. Its repertoire includes a rich body of solo music, honkyoku, which was developed by monks of the Fuke sect of Rinzai Zen. These komuso, “priests of nothingness,” practiced sui-zen, or “blowing zen.” This practice and music continues today, offering a rich and powerful means with which to engage the study of the self.

In this retreat, Ralph Samuelson will introduce the basic techniques of shakuhachi and teach honkyoku as we explore the merging of flute, breath and mind. Open to beginners as well as to experienced students. Instruments are available for those who need them.

About the Instructor: Samuelson began his shakuhachi studies in 1969, training in the classical tradition of the Kinko School under the late Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi, as well as with Shudo Yamato and Kodo Araki V. He has performed in the United States, Europe and Asia, in leading concert venues and on radio and television, and has recorded for several prominent labels. Ralph has also worked to facilitate and support international cultural exchange, and served as director of the Asian Cultural Council from 1991 to 2008.

Cost: $75 (MRO Students: $65)

For more information, or to register:
Infinite Possibilities with Ralph Samuelson
Zen Center of New York City
500 State Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 875-8229 •