Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin (July 3, 1947 – May 30, 2017)
Ronnie Seldin was born in Brooklyn, New York, He studied theology at the New School for Social Research, then went to Japan where he studied the shakuhachi, receiving the name Nyogetsu in 1975. By 2001 he received his Grand Master’s license at the level of Kyu-Dan. and was given the name Reishin. (“Heart/Mind of the Bell”) He performed on the soundtrack for A Family Gathering (1989) and also appears on the Grammy Award-nominated “The Planet Sleeps.”
He was of the Tenrikyo faith and lives with his wife Brenda in New York City. His wife is a practicing Chan Buddhist.
He was the founder and director of the Ki-Sui-An Shakuhachi Dojo and teaches shakuhachi regularly in New York City, Philadelphia, Syracuse, and Boston, and leads regular intensive shakuhachi retreats at Zen monasteries in upstate New York.
On July 7, 2017, a memorial event was held at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City. Many of his students, friends, and family gathered to share remembrances of this indefatigable proponent of the Japanese bamboo flute—shakuhachi. Ronnie has made a huge difference in the expansion of interest and practice of the shakuhachi in the West.
A group of attendees played the elegiac piece “Banshiki” in remembrance, grattitude, and celebration of his life.