Thursday, September 30, 2010


Last night we did something I've always wanted to do – we attended a drumming circle. It's officially called the Shuunka Drumming Circle and it meets once a month at Oakwoods Nature Preserve.

It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.

There were about fifteen or so in attendance, both men and women, young and "more experienced." This group has been meeting in Findlay for 14 years and talk freely about the spirit of unity and diversity that they have helped birth into being in our community. We went there expecting just to watch and listen but they were so welcoming and embracing of newness that we were quickly handed drums, smudged with sage smoke to purify us and told that we could participate as much or as little as we felt comfortable with.

We participated fully. And it was amazing.

Not really knowing what to expect, it was equal parts meditation, music, spirituality, relaxation and energy-giving. We talked about sickness and healing, life and death, humanity and nature and open spirits of change. The words were significant but the actual drumming was transformational.

It's difficult to explain and I've been thinking about it all day. There is something about sitting in a circle, being in community and engaging in simultaneous activity that seems not only to send energy into the world – even more than that – it's like the reverberations of the drumming itself somehow send energy into your own body and soul and complete some kind of spiritual circuit. That doesn't really do the experience justice, but it's the best description I can come up with.

I didn't know much about Native American spirituality before I went there. I know a tiny bit more now and I imagine that there is probably no end to the depth of what there is to learn.

I wanted to take pictures but I didn't want to be disrespectful of what was going on around me. Most people in the room had drums of their own creation and they were truly works of art. Made from the skins of buffalo, horse and other animals, each has it's own specific power they believe can be given to the person playing the particular drum. I played one that the creator had painted with a tree of life containing a labyrinth of life painted inside of it.

I'm excited to attend again next month and see new friends who fully embrace life, in all it's complexities.

Anyone want to join me?

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