Through Zen, martial arts, aikido, and guitar, I have very clear understanding about the importance of having a teacher. A teacher does not just demonstrate technique, but they recognize the process that the student is going through. Having navigated that path before, and seen the challenges, the teacher can help the student steer their way. Sometimes they prodding, sometimes they demonstrate, sometimes they just step back and let the expreience unfold.
Studying anything, without a teacher is difficult. Studying the shakuhachi seems doubly so. With so many technical details, both gross and subtle, it is hard to know where to focus.
Although I am making good use of the Taniguchi book "How to Play the Shakuhachi", I know it is not the same. There are questions I just can't answer in this method.
I know that the my breath needs work, as does my embrochure.
In the end I am going to have to make a priority of having a teacher. Unfortunately, given the nature of life right now, that means saving up. For the moment, I am appreciative of what I have, and I am learning.