17 November 2011

Dear Drummers,

Welcome one and all to the joyous jumble of groovelicious rhythmocity known as Drumming The Soul Awake, this Friday in Minneapolis and Saturday in St. Paul. (See the sidebar at right for.) This will be the last two drums before the winter solstice extravaganza at the Minnesota Opera Center, December 16, 17, & 18.

Welcome one and all! Welcome tender tappers and welcome happy-whappers. Welcome to all of you who have made the drum a spiritual tool and those of you who sense that drumming might be a fun thing to try. Welcome to you who always want to get to our drumming evenings and never quite seem to. No drumming or mystical experience needed. Bring your own drums or borrow one of mine from the great “Mound ‘O Glee” that is part of all of our drums.

We’ve had extraordinary experiences together recently. There is a power and beauty arising from this community that I’ve never felt or seen before. Thank you all for helping confirm to me and each other that reality is made of layers, some seen, many unseen.

This week’s drumming will focus on an important issue for all of us: protection. We all need protection in this world, for all sorts of personal reasons. Plus, we are heading into a dangerous time: the holidays. Since I won’t see you until the solstice, I want to offer you some protections to help you to keep your head on straight, live with more joy, and feel less holiday depression as we enter the holly jolly jingle dingle best time of the year.

December in modern America is ruled by certain energy. Islam has a word for these energies: the Al-Nafs Al Amara. There are various translations for this, like "the lower soul" but the one I like best is "The Wanting Creature" - that creature in us that wants more, more MORE. Somewhere along the line, December transformed from a month-long celebration of the "One Who Brings Forgiveness" to a 50-day invocation and feeding of the "Wanting Creature."

The Nafs, are not only about wanting with all your heart the IPad, the recliner with cupholders, the diamond encrusted bauble, and the radio controlled Rhumba. The Nafs convince us to never stop wanting more and more of everything for ourselves - including more praise, more sex, more fun, more spiritual experiences, more status, more market share, more zeros in the bank account, and on and on. When we become wrapped in the power of the wanting creature, we forget about everything else but us, we break our connection to everything – each other, nature, Mystery, love, wisdom.

Our culture calls this energy drive and healthy ambition. Certainly, as every wise person from the ancients to today affirm, there is a balance between wanting for yourself, wanting for others, and wanting not at all. For the next month, we will be battered with the power of "the holly jolly happiest time of the year" which is our name for the NAFs, which fill us with wild eyed wanting, and which also arise in us as holiday depression. So with some humor and some help from Spirit, we will try to strengthen our soul so that we may enter the holiday season with a calm joy.

See you soon, Jaime