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Blowing Zen: By Ray Brooks

Hi Guys,

I just finished reading a very inspiring book about one man's personal journey with the Japanese shakuhachi. The book is titled, Blowing Zen: Finding an Authentic Life. The author, Ray Brooks, shares his own compelling experiences studying traditional shakuhachi music, while he and is wife were living in Japan. It is both, easy to read and filled with wonderfully touching stories about the author's infatuation and ensuing education with the shakuhachi.

He presents a very human perspective about learning this unique lineage of music. It reads from the first person, sharing significant events from Rays' own life, with his reader. It is quite charming and a most intimate biography. I felt like I was right there, as the tale unfolded. A truly wonderful read. It's one of those books you just don't want to end.

I recommend it wholeheartedly to any flutist but especially to those drawn to the mysterious and sublime voice of the Japanese shakuhachi. My wife started reading it today and she already loves it. She does not play any musical instrument but immediately felt a warm bond with the frank humility and unpretentious openness of the author. A very honest, inclusive book and an inspiring one at that! It's a must read for anyone who loves the captivating sound of the bamboo flute.

You can order it from Amazon.com or as I did, from Monty Levinson's website: http://www.shakuhachi.com/PG-Brooks.html

Be well and practice often, Jon Palombi