From slowing the decline in fatal brain disease, to generating a sense of oneness with one another and the universe, drumming’s physical and spiritual health benefits may be as old as time itself.
Drumming is as fundamental a form of human expression as speaking, and likely emerged long before humans even developed the capability of using the lips, tongue and vocal organs as instruments of communication.
To understand the transformative power of drumming you really must experience it, which is something I have had the great pleasure of doing now for twenty years.
It’s often believed that awakening will make us strong and confident, somehow immune to the vulnerabilities of being human. It’s believed that in awakening we are made “perfect”, that every word we say is a reflection of the utmost clarity, that every action is aligned with the highest frequency, that we have somehow transcended the fragility of human expression. But this is not so. What is more accurate, is that awakening has nothing to do with strength or confidence or perfection. It has everything to do with openness and honesty and innocence.
The personality vehicle is always “flawed” in some way, it is bent into shape – and out of shape – by the particular storm that passes through our lives, the circumstances of our specific karma and conditioning. For some, this so-called storm is more like a gentle breeze, for others it is a hurricane of immense proportions. The expression of awakeness is inevitably filtered through this vehicle. What matters is not the vehicle itself, not even the perfection of the words spoken, but the capacity to be meet every nuance of the human experience in open discovery, in beginner’s mind and beginner’s heart .. and to be OK with this.
Awakening brings an often excruciating sensitivity to all movement of energies, both inner and outer. This sensitivity is both a blessing and a burden. There is a sense of rawness, of nakedness, nowhere to hide, no defenses, no running away from the depths of what is. It’s also a transparency, a permeability, in which the personality becomes more fluid, unattached to opinions or ideas of how things should be. It is not the words that matter, but the emanation of light or presence that reveals itself through the spaces between words. Stability comes from inner silence, from the open emptiness of being. It’s like free-falling into the unknown. And it’s unavoidable once the flower of awakeness has revealed itself!