Thursday, December 8, 2011
Last night I experienced the spiritual practice of drumming for the first time. What an amazing experience it was! The context for the drumming was a Wednesday evening Advent service at the church where I serve as interim pastor.
Our drumming leader, Jenifer, has been practicing spiritual drumming for 20 years. She explained how drumming can focus our thoughts and prayers in a rhythmic way. Drumming can be a form of meditation where the beating of drums shuts out all distractions.
In preparation for our drum circle we heard excerpts from a reading by Layne Redmond: "Handheld drums are among the oldest known musical instruments... The rituals of the earliest known religions evolved around the beat of the drum... It remained a powerful tool for communal bonding and individual transformation..."
Jenifer started playing her drum in a heartbeat-type rhythm and the rest of us joined in. After a few minutes I was lost in the beating of the drums as they blended together in a kind of melody and harmony at the same time. We played for a little over 10 minutes and it felt like just a few seconds had passed.
It's good to be open to new spiritual practices and I'm so glad I was able to experience sacred drumming. Life has its own hidden rhythms and drumming is a way of connected with those rhythms deep within our souls. When we are able to connect with these, we are more able to follow the drumbeat of God's spirit.