31 December 2008

Happy New Year!

Joan Miro, Bathing Woman

Dear Drummers,

I look forward to gathering this Friday, January 2 for warm laughs and cool rhythms. For those of you new to this email list, we meet at from 7-9:30 PM at First Universalist Church in uptown, Minneapolis: 34th street and Dupont Avenue South. Click here for a map. The easiest parking is on the south end of the building. We drum for about 90 minutes, then we take a break for tea and cookies and we come back together in “hour two” for a meditative or ceremonial element. The suggested donation for the evening is $15 but please don’t stay away because money is an issue. If the drum is calling you, answer. Pay with joy, and with abandon and with love of Spirit.

It is lovely, oh lovely
We turn our eyes to the North:
The frozen earth, the defense against the dark,
the silence between the dreams.
Arise in me, and pour forth from me
Thou silence of the North.

By the time Friday rolls around, the whirlwind of the holidays will be over. Now we can turn our attention to the energies of winter: rest and silence and what I like to call instasy. This is a similar energy to ecstasy (a rapturous delight arising from moving outside of your accepted boundaries) except that its direction is inward.

I have never liked the phrase “New Year’s resolutions.” I like to replace it with: “New Year’s dissolutions and evolutions.” I think the reason so many New Year’s resolutions fail is twofold. First, we don’t do the “dissolution” part. Like painting a wall, if you do the quick, easy (lazy) work of slapping a new coat on without scraping the old paint off first, the paint does not stick for long; it bubbles and peels quickly and you find yourself back where you started (and even more depressed). Ceremonially speaking, we need to do the dissolution alongside the evolution.

Second, our resolutions tend to be mandated by society, not by the gods. Our resolutions are so often attempts to fit better into society’s norms, by getting thinner or prettier or more muscular or richer or less hairy or happier. I think the way around this is to ask not ourselves (our ego) what we want or should try to become, but ask the Spirit(s) what they want from us. They may not want us to exercise more—they may want us to forgive more. And by forgiving more we may find that we stop eating compulsively.

So Friday, we will find a way to create dissolution and evolution, and hopefully along the way experience a little (or a lot) of instasy.

See you soon!


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