I had the honor of having an article that I wrote on "inentional" drum circle facilitation in the Oct 2013 Drum Circle Facilitators Guild News Letter. Check out the link to read the article:
Forging a New World with an Ancient Instrument
By Stephanie K. Kusmer
Earth Rhythms Healing
I know that one thing we all have in common is that we love the drum and that we want to help others experience the fun, excitement, power and communicative qualities that drumming together has to offer. Drums are the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instrument, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years.
Why is the drum so powerful and why does it move us to want to share it? Here is my perspective. I believe the drum circle is a micro representation of the macrocosm. We come together with our different backgrounds and world views and we open ourselves to the rhythm. The sound frequencies and the energy raising abilities that are presented when everyone is immersed in rhythm together offers some powerful potential for healing the group mind and for helping us come together in cooperation and peace.
Anthropologist Michael Harner, founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, did pioneering work in the 1960’s and 70’s in studying the effects of drumming. In his studies he concludes that “the beat of the drum, as used to transport native people into shamanic states of consciousness, closely approximates the base resonant frequency of the Earth, which can be measured scientifically.” This brings me to the notion that when we all drum together we connect ourselves to the energy of the planet and to our connection with nature. This gives us opportunity to use this energy raising vehicle to come together with a purpose.
As we play this ancient instrument that has been used through the ages to heal people, to help tribes see into the future and to bring people together to celebrate rights of passage we have the ability to utilize our drum circles to help make our world a better place to live.
As facilitators, the first question we have to ask ourselves when we enter the drum circle space is what is our mental, emotional and physical state? Maybe we’re doing a circle in an environment that we feel uncomfortable in or that the conditions are not quite what we expected. Since most of us facilitate in so many different types of situations this idea is something to consider. Once we are in touch with our state of being before the drum circle comes together it is then that we have an opportunity to set an intention for the drum session that is about to begin.
My personal preparation and practice is to walk around, acknowledge and feel the space where the event is to be held. What is the space normally used for and who are the people that will be attending? Once I have done that I meditate on clearing my mind from my everyday concerns and I focus on my breath while stating in the space that the energy that we will raise here today is to be used for the highest good of the participants that will be involved. With this intention set and clearly stated in my mind I am able to share this intention while facilitating the circle.
As we “intentionally” share rhythm with others, we come to realize that our state of mind does affect the group and that when we come to the circle with positive intentions towards peace, love, healing and acceptance that we can raise the energy through the rhythm towards these goals. This ultimately helps us spread cooperation, peace and harmony amongst the participants of our circles and it ripples out into the communities that we live in. We are leaders of change through rhythm and our vehicle is our drum. I’m grateful to be one of these leaders and appreciate and thank you all for your efforts in helping to make peaceful change in our world. Drum On!