published October 15th, 1989
Cover Image from Ryojin-hisho
The music I play is called honkyoku. That means “original music.” It is the music that comes out of the Fuke legend and the Kinko tradition. When I blow shakuhachi, I blow with ritual and with posture. And I bow because it puts me in the proper relationship to that tradition and the spirit of that music. There is something more than tradition, culture and rituals passed down over a long period of time that is going to help us out in the end. My particular interest is in the stuff that underlies or cuts through culture, that connects us all as a species, as human beings.
—Monty Levinson, Blowing Shakuhachi
“If you think you would like to become a Zen master, the minimum time for a Japanese man would be at least 10 years. And after you leave the monastery, you have a training in which you become a resident priest of a small temple, and this too is a process that will take at least 10 years. It’s aimed at furthering your enlightenment process after you leave the monastery. For a Japanese monk, therefore, the minimum amount of time needed to become a Zen master would be 20 years. For an American monk, it would take at least 25 to 30 years. It is a long path.”
— Fukushima-Roshi, quoted by Pico Iyer, Be a Fool