Reflections of the Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage

Our Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage was a pilgrimage, yes, but of many sorts of explorations:
1.  Of shakuhachi origins in ancient Zen monasteries, and temples, visits with shakuhachi historians, makers and virtuosos;
2. Of Japanese countrysides, ocean island tori gates, high mountain castles and temples, cemeteries among ancient cedar trees, bamboo groves for harvesting;
3. Of traditional culture, delicious meals of rice, fish, algae, communal bathing in onsens, tradition dress, sleeping on tatami floors, waking to the gong of prayer;
4. Of opportunities to purchase flutes directly from their makers;
5. Of shakuhachi sounds through frequent Robuki practice, expert lessons and concerts;
6. Of inner spiritual grow through meditation and chanting with Zen Buddhist  and Shinto priests;
7. Of contemporary Japan, bullet trains, skyscrapers, international cell phones and more; and
8. Of deepening friendships with our fellow pilgrims who provided emotional and physical support, who allowed us to share our excitement, joy, and at times frustrations. We explored Japan in multiple layers from beautiful country sides, to open and generous hospitality, to sacred corners of monasteries and our own inner selves.
–Eric B. Wuersten

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