31 December 2007

Dear Drummers,

We don’t have a drum until January 11, but I thought I’d send you a new year’s wish. I hope my email finds you in good health and good spirits. As the sun begins its slow climb back into re-activating the land, this is a good time to contemplate our path, our directions, and our actions in the world.

I read recently that Rumi, the magnificent 13th century Sufi saint, once said that you should make a list of the three things you most want in your life. If any of the three conflict with one another, you’ll have a lot of trouble. This is a wonderful meditation for the New Year. For me it seems so much friendlier than “resolutions” which carry the fragrance of sin, and the heaviness of lawmaking.

So you may ask yourself what are the three things – or perhaps three “energies” – you most want to become active in your daily life as the year makes it way out of this round of darkness. Or you may want to pray for help or strength to bring these three things into your life without conflicting with one another.

For me, I’d like to pray more. I’d like to invite the energy of prayer into my life. I’d like to pray in a classic way, on the knees, in the dark, with words, no drum and no joiking; pray for help and strength for that which is most tender and vulnerable for me in particular.

Last night I prayed for the three things I want most in my life:

  • For my wife and kids to be healthy and curious;
  • For me to not become restless within the small container of my life but to have the courage to uncover the depth and beauty inside this container;
  • For me to wisely expand my skills and abilities as some kind of conduit for Spirit for our drumming community.

William Stafford (1914-1993), wrote a wonderful meditative poem called Ask Me. I pass it on to you, along with my best wishes for a wonder-filled new year.

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We
knowthe current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

See you all soon,


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