I hope this post finds you well. The situation in the world at the moment is so chaotic, how are you coping with it? I am grateful to be healthy. Where I live, I feel reasonably safe. Of course, there is always a little risk, but we stay at home most of the time, are very careful when going shopping and hardly see anyone from outside. We are not locked down in the Netherlands, and as my husband and I live very close to a nature preserve, we can enjoy the beautiful spring in the early morning and late evening, when it is very quiet. (photo: Wim Scheenen)
As I am used to working a lot at home, I thought that it wouldn’t change too much for me, but actually it does. I think that the main difficulty is the uncertainty. How long will the current situation last? I fully realise now how much time I normally spend planning and organising things on a long term basis, and now, it is week after week… The second difficulty is the social distancing. Luckily we have computers, phones and media. I must say that the daily online Robuki has become a great meeting point to blow together and stay connected. In all these circumstances, the shakuhachi and its wisdom helps me go through these difficult times. What does it bring to me?
In my previous post, I wrote about this awesome Robuki-wave across the planet and the Zoom-Online Robuki group that I started to participate to it. We are starting the 5th week now! You can get an idea of this worldwide event here:
This daily meeting at noon gives structure and energy to my day and keeps me in touch with some of my students as well as other shakuhachi players. Since the beginning on March 23, there has been 20 participants, from 5 countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany. We will continue until the end of this week, April 24, accomplishing one full month!
Blowing together and waving “see you tomorrow” at each other at the end of each session gives so much peace and joy in the heart. We feel connected, supported, we blow for healing, unity and solidarity. When stuck at home and feeling powerless in front of this pandemic, presence is an active way to be part of the daily fight against it.
Long breath is calming. Take your time to inhale. Breath out as long as possible. Don’t worry about your sound quality. Just blow, just be. Your sound is being supported and relayed by the other players.
That is how I experience Robuki. During the Robuki-wave session, I offer a long breath to the people I know (family, friends), to the people I don’t know who are sick and fighting to continue breathing, to everyone helping, healing, working for the community, to everyone struggling with other catastrophes and being quite forgotten at the moment (victims of wars, of violences, migrants, sick people from other diseases,…) I think of the disparity of protection and treatment throughout the world and feel a strong solidarity with everyone, like a shared fate. This is the only thing I can do, offering long breaths, healing thoughts and music.
Online Shakuhachi Meditation Group
After the Robuki-wave and the little break I will take next week, I am planning to continue offering a regular online meeting to build a meditation shakuhachi community, starting in May. If you would be interested to be part of a this group, please drop me a note. Still working on it, more details in the next post!
Performing is sharing, and I miss it. I know that many artists go live online to perform and I am considering it, but at the moment, I am not sure how to do it. I will look into it in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I uploaded a few “Home videos” that I recorded in the last weeks. Mostly some of my new compositions that I intended to perform in March. Here is the link to watch them. Please, let me know if you like them!
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Thank you and stay healthy!