It’s a beautiful summer morning, and my mind is occupied with the many paradoxes of modern living. In this world of tremendous privilege and pain existing side by side within individuals, families, and communities, we are all wrestling as best we can to make our lives meaningful. One of the greatest sources of meaning for so many people the world over is music. It has been an intrinsic part of human life ever since we have been human, and offers us the possibility of solace, energy, peaceful calm, celebration and connection.
Brian and I have been exploring various musical paths our whole life together: playing in symphony orchestras and rocking out in drum bands; singing around the campfire and using rhythm as a path of deep inner exploration; drumming to accompany ecstatic dance and quiet singing at the bedsides of those in need of energetic support; leading community drum and circles and spontaneous singing at the beach. Our most recent exploration has been in synthesizing all these approaches to music into a coherent whole. Over the past two years we led a series of twelve RhythmKeepers retreats, an idea which was born out of an online course I took called “U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society and Self”. One of the assignments for the course was to come up with an idea for a business which would be transformative and also iterative, so that it could rapidly evolve as ideas were experimented with and the business model honed. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to try many different approaches to sharing our lifetime of eclectic musical experience and see what had the most uptake with the people who showed up. Thus was born the RhythmKeepers retreat.
We are excited to be offering another series of retreats which we are calling “A Path to Wholeness”. For many years, we have been deeply inspired by the work of anthropologist Angeles Arrien, whose life work was the study of indigenous cultures throughout the world. In her book “The Fourfold Way”, she outlines four basic healing modalities which are consistent practices in all indigenous cultures in all times and places: singing, storytelling, dancing and silence. We have incorporated all of these into our RhythmKeepers retreat framework, with the practice of TaKeTiNa (rhythm meditation) taking the place of dancing. (Dance can mean many different things to different people, and in this case, we are interpreting it as group rhythmic movement.) Each of our retreats, in addition to these basic practices, has a subtheme which we explore throughout the weekend.
The first retreat in this new series is the weekend of July 28 – 30 with the theme “Show Up in Rhythm, Show up in Your Life”. In recognition of how close to the edge of overwhelm many people are these days in our overly busy modern lives, we invite to give yourself the gift of slowing down for a weekend and showing up for your self, whatever that means to you. We look forward to seeing you in the circle.