13 July 2008

Eye of Spirit

Dear Drummers,

I wanted to send you a follow up to last night’s drum. I felt a little discombobulated last night for several reasons, but I hope it didn’t show through too much. The language I was playing with came from a phrase from Meister Eckhart (click here or here): “The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.” The music that inspired me is Hawaiian chants from The Brothers Kanilau. Thanks for being willing to play along. It was admittedly all a bit awkward, but I hope you had fun.

I’ve long been intrigued with the image of the Eye of Spirit ever since a friend and I were driving to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival twenty years ago to perform weird shows, and he said he could never flirt with a woman who was not his wife because then he would feel the eye of God burning a hole in the back of neck for the rest of his life. I thought wow, that’s a powerful guiding force for him. Since then I have asked what my idea of the “eye of God” looks like and acts like, where it burns and where it heals burns. Clearly the Eye of God and Eye of Spirit are two different things. (A few years later my friend and his wife divorced.)

So I often find myself thinking about anything vaguely round as an eye of spirit: the sun, the moon, the arc of the horizon, rocks, fruit, the drum – on and on. This idea helps move me along in the extended meditation I seem to be living: on the divine as present everywhere, whispering, coaching, suggesting, guiding, not just burning my sins out of me from the back of my neck. For me, Eye of Spirit urges us to become open so we can know ourselves better and make decisions out of wisdom rather than fear. I think the eye of God, as my friend experienced it, urges us to become closed. (For an interesting if long winded exploration, see Ken Wilbur’s book The Eye of Spirit).

The poem I read while drumming, so beautifully brought to life by Johnna’s flute playing, is my adaptation of a poem I found in The Gift, Poems of Hafiz (pg 124) here’s my version:

Keep playing your drum, calling, calling.
You have touched something Holy inside
With your spirit body.
And now your heart is blessed and ruined.
Once it has been touched by that divine beauty
It becomes a restless sky hunter,
Circling, searching for more
Sweet kisses
of sunlight.

Thanks for your willingness to play, and to let me explore! I hope we’ll be able to schedule a drum in August. We will let you know.

Jaime

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