Attuned to the Rhythm of Nature
From the beat of the heart to the pulsing light of the stars, life is a rhythm.
When one is attuned to the rhythm, there is harmony and flow, contentment and awareness of the whole of existence.
A few years ago on the Hawaiian islands, a copper hand drum made in Turkey (called a darbuka) came to me when I was seeking my musical instrument.
Never on a drum before, I was delightfully surprised to soon hear a unique rhythm being played through my hands. The same rhythm came through me naturally in later years when I blew on a didgeridoo. I like to think of it as a type of soul signature.
The rhythm inspired a poem, and now it is made into the video on this page. The symbolism of the drumming poem could be interpreted in different ways. It has a certain meaning to me, yet I enjoy when others find their own understanding.
When the poem was first written, it was picked up by a friend who has an online music business. He posted it on his drumming web site, and was asked for permission to use the words at the memorial service of a customer's family member who had been a teacher of drumming to young people.
The store owner contacted me for permission, and I gladly gave it. The symbolism of the poem seemed very fitting to commemorate the life of a man who shared his passion for drumming with others and had made his transition from the body.
My interpretation of the poem's words is also that within their lifetime, a person can transcend limitations of society and the mind. By letting go of stiff habits and fixed ideas, we humans can in moments of 'happening,' experience God.
In God, as I know the term, there is an awareness of the whole of existence and no longer any separation from it in my mind and feeling. There is an expansion of awareness that embraces all. Catching the rhythm of life more and more, and going with it rather than fighting it, I have let go of many of my old values.
For example, the value of 'doing' has been replaced by emphasizing the quality of attention that I bring to whatever I am doing. Earlier, I kept checklists and was satisfied at the end of the day by 'getting so much done.' Now, I am more contented to make daily shifts in my focus from placing importance on production to valuing the process. And what freedom there is when living in the rhythm of the Now!
The term 'live in the moment' has been popularized by authors such as Eckhard Tolle and Ram Dass in their books 'Power of the Now' and 'Be Here Now.' But what does it really mean in daily life?
On the surface, or taken literally, it seems to mean having no memories of the past or plans for the future. One definition of the Now says that it is not a point in time but rather a mystical perspective.
A benefit of living in the now is aliveness. This does not happen through effort to keep my attention on the present moment. It can be helpful, however, to remind myself that I am not my thoughts. Then my energy is not so drawn out by drifting to the past or future and I return to being the observer.
It is the charge of emotion that kicks a person out of the resplendent Now and away from real aliveness. The charged emotion may be attached to a thought, or may come first as a body reaction to stimulus without thinking. Denying or suppressing emotions won't work. The buried emotional energy will disturb the body, resulting in illness, and most likely will eventually burst out.
However, a person can, with practice, feel the emotion and let the thought run through without being influenced by their 'charge.' Acceptance of what is enables change to come fluidly, without leaving the Now.
'The Drummer' video could be called a two-minute meditation on the rhythm, the pulse, of Life. It speaks of being in the same moment in the body, hands rhythmically slapping the drum-head, and slipping into expanded awareness of the greater existence, where the rhythm is the pulse of the source of all.
The river of this flow dances with joy to be returning to its origin. And the drummer, released from her self-made prison, knows that she is free.
The words of the poem:
Beating, beating is the drum,
pumping heart, rhythmic thrum.
Fingers dancing on the skin,
tapping into more within.
Singing life and energy,
drumming in the ecstasy
of oneness with the All,
the Source flowing on its endless course,
river dancing just to be
tumbling over rock to sea,
river joyful in its own,
bird from cage, the drummer's flown.
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Music: Soul Seeker - Origin - Mystic Measures
Images used in the video and article are:
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Klementiev
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / surpasspro
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / surpasspro
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / antony84
© Mel Grant / Gary R. Smith
The heron flying from the heart center of the person in meditation was drawn for me by Mel Grant in 1971. It illustrated the centerfold of Myriad, a magazine I edited, with a quote from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.