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I have been living at the Oakwood Retreat Center since 1991. It is my spiritual home, where I share Attunement and it is where I discovered drumming. I love living in community, especially in the spirit this setting offers. We have numerous visitors who come to Oakwood for retreats and group activities from different parts of the United States, so it gives me and everyone else living here an opportunity to meet many different types of people. I really enjoy this sense of larger service.
In the early nineties, five friends and I attended a Robert Bly Mytho-Poetic Men’s Movement gathering in Indianapolis. This movement includes activities where myths and fairy tales are taken from various cultures to serve as a way to interpret challenges facing men in society. At this gathering there were about 100 men in attendance and most had drums. It was quite powerful. I returned home that night so inspired, I began building drums!
I continued to attend the men’s gatherings and I took to really enjoying the drumming aspect. Men took notice of my homemade drums and began to request I build a drum for them. As I learned more about how to make drums, I would occasionally upgrade my own drum focusing on the design and shape of the drum. More and more, when people saw and listened to the newer version of my drum, they began asking me to build similar drums for them.
After making a thousand drums or so, I have created a world class djembe drum that people from around the world come to buy from my drum making business.
A friend and dancer took me to a Drumming Workshop in downtown New York City after I began drumming. In the workshop, we were all transported into what I will call a state of grace during the workshop. I began to realize the drum and the associated dancing is like Attunement; the experience bringing with it a tangible energy of Oneness to those who are participating.
After a few years there were more and more people who purchased my drums which led me to create a “Drum and Dance” festival at Oakwood that ran for 13 years. The festival was a specific way for me to teach drumming and to help interested customers to expand their experience of drumming. People were interested in riding the wave of Oneness that drumming can bring into their experience. Similar drum circles are beginning to appear all around the world. Today, I am an active part of a local Drum Troupe called The Shamaniacs: Drummers of Thunder and Wonder. We have performed througout the state of Indiana, including a performace at Ball State University. I hope to re-initiate the Drum and Dance festival at Oakwood when the Covid-19 situation is resolved.
Attunement and drumming for me opens a spiritual dimension through which I can share with others. In the last IAAP teleconference Donna Jorgensen mentioned various countries where Attunement is being shared and blessing the world. In a similar way, I see drumming and drum circles around the world doing the same thing – bringing the radiance of Love through a spirit of Oneness and amazing Grace into our worlds.
My Business: Shekinah Rhythm instruments