At Home with my Nepali Drum :)

So, as you guys know, we are home now.

The drum currently resides right on top of our Family Altar. 

It now also has a White Swan feather……..

You will find out, why 🙂

The day after getting home we went to our Tree of Life and I took the drum along, to show it, where it lives now. Of course I played it and chanted….

Peter affixed one of our Nepali welcome scarves onto our Tree

DSCN3115 (864 x 1152)

Do not be fooled by the nice sunshine on the picture: it is – 4 centigrade.

I must say, I find it fascinating that a shaman, while in trance still can wield so much control over the rhythms he/she drums…..

My Spirits usually instruct how I drum and that again is dependant on what situation, what patient, what kind of problem they are dealing with – And yes, they are dealing with the problem, not me. I am GONE!!!!! I am not I!! Just some hollow bone – or bony rack …..;)

They do not keep me on a strict drumming schedule, although I know, certain “dealings” or “treatments”call for, go with certain rhythms and chants and that may be similar from patient to patient, but never a set formula.

Now of course I want to try this out!:)

Do the teachings of these rhythms “come through the drum into me, because, this is, how Nepali shamans do it?

But I am not Nepali and the Gods and Spirits i  am bound to are quite different…. what will happen??

Well…. I tell you , what happened….

I tried last night.

As long as I was in OC = ordinary consciousness, no problem drumming the way Bhola taught. Then quickly however the trance comes and to maintain it I drummed  about 180 to 200 beats a minute,. My question was, “How should I handle this drum and use these teachings.??

Crazzzzzzzy but true, I found myself in the courtyard of Swayambhunath!

Talking to the very Monkey, that is seen on our pictures sitting on the large bronze Varya.

Well…. That is probably, because just an hour before my little exercise I had written up that blog post and sorted in the appropriate pictures…. But that is, how it goes. The Monkey, whom back in Nepal I had fed some peanuts, “transmitted” in pictures and voice:

It is all Peanuts to me! (they were dropping onto the drum making the fast rhythmic sound…)

Ask the Goats! (The ones making up the Drum skin )They are happy you are not hanging them on the wall!”

Bhola’s head appeared on the shimmering light behind the Monkey. “Some people perform (being a shaman) some people drum (like a shaman) some people are …?????(a word that I did not understand, but it’s meaning was evident) and they fall of the (viewpoint over Kathmandu ) and fly away…….

The instant that was “transmitted” I felt myself whisked away and on the bushy Yak tail flew sirrrrrrrselllling through fast moving air, high over the city, through fast approaching dusk and night with shimmering lights below and then high across the hills and snowy mountains. I again was accompanied by a Being half a White Swan, half a –  this time young woman….. (One  of the Swan Maidens of my Ada’s culture…)

Eventually I ended up safe and sound on my own Reindeer fur at home…… Yes, and as soon as I was “sort of back there” I tried to remember, what to drum now and how to hold the drum and what not…. My brain was EMPTY!!!

I had to look it up in my notes but could not find them and when I did could not comprehend, what they meant…

Not right away anyway…

THAT however is a typical sign for a full Theta trance… At least for me…..

Sooo, what do you think?

Should I now go practice these specific rhythms and see where that leads? It would be interesting….

Or – should I just “fly”??

Will you now go and “test-drive” these rhythms – and tell us here, what you experienced???????

That would be nice!!!!!

And Yes, Bhola, if you ever read this, can you say, comment on this, add another piece to the puzzle?

Thanks! 🙂

My Nepali Drum:

In our ritual room we discovered, that Bhola had drums for us to choose from 🙂

Nepali shaman's drum

Nepali double sided shaman’s drums. There were several, but not for long….. 2 smaller ones were taken immediately. I held out my left all feeling hand and – there was one that had A LOT of Power.  No, Bhola said, that is my spare drum….

No wonder!

There was another one, that stood out, because it was all black and had a lower tone than toe 2 or 3 others. Actually that means, that the skin is just a little more loose…. In this weather – it had been raining buckets since the last 2 days; the Monsoon just not letting up this year…

but back to the drum: I will take this drum back to Canada, where we have to heat our homes for more than 7 month out of the year and although the humidity in summer sometimes is quite stifling, let’s face it, there is AC….. A very tight drum might not make it in a very dry environment….This one however felt just right and the wood the frame is constructed of was smooth and flawless. The carvings on each side of its phurba show 3 fierce Spirit faces as well as Spirit eyes and  tridents, the symbol for life, death and re-birth and spirals – Spiral of life…

Around the phurba each drum had red and white ribbons – for male and female energy

Each drum came with a beater, bend in a snake-like shape and was adorned with  a red cotton thread – for life.

Each drum also came with a modern bright blue goretex carrying case fit for the air plane home 🙂

Next Bhola talked  about the drums and here are his words:drums 2

Nepalese shaman’s drums (dhyangro) are double headed, and covered by animal hide the drums are made of special wood. The animal hide used nowadays is either mountain goat, deer or a domesticated goat or sheep. They also have a handle in the shape of a ritual dagger (often known in the West by it’s Tibetan name phurba) which has three sides to its blade, which in its three dimensional way represents all the cosmos.

On one side of this triangular bladed handle there is the beak of the regal Eagle, or perhaps an Owl or a Horse or a Thunderbolt or an Elephant. This is the male side of the drum, so when we hold the drum in front of our face, this male side should be facing outside.

The spirits hardly make any difference between a male and a female shaman, as the drum is the universal instrument used by both the sexes it makes no difference.

Some shamans respect the male and female sides of the drum, but some shamans don’t, it depends upon the instructions they have received from their teachers and the spirits. If the shaman works with the male and female sides of the drum differently, the male side is used in the beginning of a shaman’s ceremony to call in the spirits. The female side is used towards the end of the ceremony or ritual to send away the helping spirits.

The shaman starts to drum with a 1/4 beat [O O O O O O], during which they will observe their whole body to look for tensions, performing deep breathing in order to relax, They will then invite their spirits and ancestors in to help them, and make their intentions for the ceremony or healing clear. Suddenly the shaman’s drumming will change rhythm to a 4/4 beat [O o o o O o o o O o o o], during which the shaman starts feeling sensations of heat and cold in their body as the spirits come closer and start inspiring them.

When the body of the shaman starts to move and shake, or they start to dance, the rhythm of the drumming becomes very random.

Towards the end of the session the female side of the drum is used, and then the rhythm becomes a 3/4 beat [O o o O o o O o o]. During this time the shaman starts calming and slowing down, and eventually the beat changes to a 2/4 [O o O o O o O o] and eventually a 1/4 [O O O O O O O] before it comes to a stop.

As a welcome gift I presented my drum with a Peacock feather.

This is however only the first part of  what happened.

Stay tuned 😉