Tag Archives: Japanese bamboo flute

The Benefits of Shakuhachi on Stress

Stress and Shakuhachi – Part 4

Deep breathing

Whenever I give live online meditation sessions on the meditation app Insight Timer, I invite the participants to practice deep breathing meditation with me. I often tell them that if they practice regularly in a safe situation like at home or during the sessions, they will create a habit, a power they can tap in whenever they find themselves in a more challenging situation.
The day after my last live session in February and the following weeks, I could experience how right I was!

How can shakuhachi help to go through stressful situations?

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A Shakuhachi Trip to Japan!

Happy 2023 and Happy New Year of the Rabbit!

Hope you’re having a good start of the New Year. Did you make good resolutions? Do you have a new motto?

My motto for this year is one I took from the online yoga teacher Kassandra Reinhardt, whose videos I’m practicing daily.

🎶 I’m worthy of good things 🎉

Joy, Shakuhachi music in tree pose.

So what is my big project for 2023?

Continue reading A Shakuhachi Trip to Japan!

Shakuhachi Blog – 6 years!!

Since I started this blog 6 years ago, I’ve published more than 150 posts and pages … only about the Japanese Bamboo flute shakuhachi! Which is not really a popular topic according to Google trends, algorithms and all the bunch of digital numbers rating our lives. But this is my life journey with my shakuhachi flute and I’m happy to share it. I’m even more happy if it inspires others – shakuhachi players, flutists, musicians, non-musicians, anyone.

So what happened on my blog in 2022, according to the analytics? What did you, readers, read and like most? Which of my posts written in 2022 became the most popular?

Continue reading Shakuhachi Blog – 6 years!!

Online Shakuhachi Performances

The Covid-19 pandemic has initiated new activities in my life as a professional shakuhachi player, which is to perform online. I had some resistance at the beginning of the pandemic and it took me time to surrender to the situation… and start performing online.

And now, I’m really liking it. It is very different from physical performances of course and I do miss the direct interaction with the audience, but it feels special to be connected at the same time to people sitting in different places in the world. And there is sometimes even a more personal interaction with the audience through the chat than during a real concert.

This keeps me going. I’m not waiting anymore for the “old situation” to come back, I don’t believe it ever will. So I’m building up with what is possible for me here and now.

So I’m very happy to announce my next online performances!

Continue reading Online Shakuhachi Performances

6 Shakuhachi Practice Tips for Busy People

When you have little time to practice shakuhachi, what should you do to make progress and be happy with your practice?

Here are some tips to help you. Let me know which one you find the most useful!

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The Sound of Nature and Shakuhachi

A Shakuhachi Podcast

In July, my student Christof Zürn, creator of Music Thinking, interviewed me for a podcast about shakuhachi. You can listen to it here .

Earlier this year, we prepared the interview with having an improvisation session in nature, that we recorded.  Christof mixed some moments of it in the podcast and I published a short video on my YouTube Channel.
We had fun with the geese flowing by, pieces of trees falling on us… We also played Kyorei together. Watch it here:

Shakuhachi belongs to nature

A few days after the podcast was released, I found a very interesting paper about Japanese music, written by Akikazu Nakamura. I already had the deep conviction that honkyoku music takes another dimension when played outside. This paper confirms my experience and gives some very interesting insights about Japanese music, that are important to know in order to improve one’s understanding of playing Japanese music. Here is a short summary and analysis of Nakamura’s paper.

Continue reading The Sound of Nature and Shakuhachi

New Music for Flute & Shakuhachi

What an honour to play music composed especially for you!

Duo Satsuzen
© Pierre-Alain Balmer

We (Duo Satsuzen) have been waiting for more than a year (because of cancelled concerts due to to the Covid-19 pandemic) to perform the two new compositions we received in 2021!!

Ellipse, by Elizabeth BROWN (commissioned by the Hijiri Shakuhachi Foundation for Duo Satsuzen) and Ginyo, by Atsuki SUMI (dedicated to Duo Satsuzen).

Two compositions using different lengths of flute (C-flute, G-flute, shakuhachi 1.8 en shakuhachi 2.4), opening the possibilities of subtle variations in tone colours and volume.

It was such a special experience to share this beautiful music “live” with the audience of the “Temple de la Servette” in Geneva (Switzerland) in April.

Watch them back here:

Continue reading New Music for Flute & Shakuhachi

Deep Breathing Meditation

What is your relationship with your breathing? Do you ignore it, train it, observe it?… Has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your awareness about your breathing in any way?

Blowing the shakuhachi is a deep breathing training. Over the years, I notice that my breathing’s awareness and quality have improved, and as a result, the connection with my breathing has increased my inner peace, my ability to manage my emotions, and more generally, my feeling of happiness.

Since February 2022, I give live meditation sessions of the app Insight Timer. I share with the participants the deep breathing meditation training in relation to the musical tradition of shakuhachi, which combines the unique sounds of the flute with inspiring music.
Being connected with people from all over the world at the same time is really special.

These sessions are FREE, so don’t hesitate to follow me and attend my sessions!

You can also train by yourself anytime, listening to my audio meditations on the app. Keep reading to discover how.

Subscribe to my blog here and don’t miss any post:

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Let’s Celebrate Milestones!

When comes the end of the year, let’s take a moment to look back, reflect and celebrate accomplishments!

Shakuhachi Milestones

What milestones did you reach this year? What new pieces, techniques, did you learn? Can you be grateful to yourself for your efforts? (and your teacher’s?)
Even holding on to your practice is already an accomplishment. More, (more pieces, techniques, etc.) is not always necessary.
Or was it blowing RO? Gaining in awareness? Listening to yourself? Releasing excess tensions?
Is there anything related to shakuhachi, even small, that can you celebrate?

Other milestones

Think about your work, your personal life, your social life,…, what milestones can you celebrate?

Do Less

Doing less can also be an accomplishment: what things, thoughts, did you let go of that didn’t serve you anymore?
Did you make space for new things, or just made space for… more space in your life?

Five Milestones

Could you pick up (up to) five milestones and celebrate them? What were the five most important things for you this year?

Allow me to celebrate with you my top 5 shakuhachi milestones!

Continue reading Let’s Celebrate Milestones!