WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF DRUMMING? For me, the drum is me, it is connected to my soul and being, bringing me into the highest vibration, which is God. And I do not mean a face of God, I mean that it encompasses everything everywhere. When we think of the great sages and seers, the one thing that they were all involved with was the study of breath, and how it can be controlled to lead the mind towards the soul and the soul towards the mind to where the two merge as one. So this also deals with the intent of w hy and what you are playing for. I think that it is something that is lacking in a lot of the music of today, “the spiritual in art “.There are stages that the drummer or musician will encounter in his or her journey on this path. Our job is the one of a healer. We can be the modern doctors of this day. We have the ability to feel an audience or a specific individual and give them the music they need to bring them in tune with us as we play or perform. We can put a smile on their face or make them feel sad and host of other emotions. This is especially prevalent in Indian music, where Navras, or the nine emotions are always interwoven into the fabric of the music. It is medicine, and has healing qualities to it. It is the food for the soul. That is what is truly great and spiritual about music. Everybody, everywhere is listening to music to put their consciousness into another space. In all drumming folklore, from Africa, India, and Nomadic cultures the drum is always accompanying the song, dance or ritu al. It has now even taken on that responsibility world wide. When you look at eastern medicine, they were to look at the individual as music. Since we all are composed of music, with a beating heart and blood and air running through our bodies, the master physician would diagnose the individual by reading the music on their face, and the beat of their pulse, for starters, along with investigating their environment socially, physically and spiritually. Then the idea was to add if needed or subtract to bring the mind and body into balance. T his was the main teaching of the Yoga sutra by Pantanjali. So as an individual the idea is getting a clear mind and consciousness free from abstract and needless thoughts so that the true essence of you being can shine through. This is a process, and t takes time and constant work. In the long run, the discipline will bring the freedom. HOW DO DRUMS, YOGA, AND TAI CHI MIX TOGETHER. For me they are all connected to the same idea. They are all involved in keeping me in tune.It has a lot to do with the Chi and Prana, or as it is called “The life force”. The quieter we become the more we can hear. So for me Tai Chi and Yoga give me a chance to eliminate the noise of everyday life and let me know that everything is where it should be and is OK. Again it is a cleaning of the mind and body, so when I play the drums and perform that I am open to the forces of nature to take part. To let the spirits attend the concert and take part of the music. It’s amazing what a smile can do to a person, or a look of everything is OK, and we are here together sharing sacred space.