The zone. Transcendentalism. The Now. The place of No Mind…. These are the things you’ll often hear discussed by Yoga and Transcendentalism Enthusiasts… and Djembe players? How so you ask?
Take a hand drum, start playing it. Keep playing it. Focus only on the patterns you are creating. Keep those patterns going. Notice the tension in your body while you play and try to relax as you exhale. Keep playing. Keep breathing (through your nose if possible – don’t pull the air into your body with your nose – pull from your gut/lungs). Time starts to melt away. Your brain can’t really focus on playing patterns AND worrying about other things. You start to relax. All of a sudden you look up and an hour has gone by in 10 minutes…..
How did it happen? There is an ancient meditation style where one listens to a single prominent noise occurring around you. It could be a hum from a power wire, or a bird chirping, or the sound of the wind/ocean. If you ask your brain to go into “deep single focus mode” it will. When your brain is in that mode it drops focus on everything except your focus, including the perception of time.
It’s almost like a vacation for your brain. That’s why you feel so good after a long trancey drum-circle experience, or a Yoga session, or a bike ride or a run while listening to music.
This isn’t hocus pocus or hippie-talk or white-linen-wearing, spiritual-guru wannabe babel. It’s scientific. Science has been studying Buddhist Monks while they meditate inside Cat-Scan and MRI type equipment so their brain activity can be monitored. Science knows exactly what is happening to the brain and they claim it’s remarkable. Freudian concepts of Super Ego, Ego and Id have been shown to have scientific backing based on the patterns they see in the brain. The worrying part of your brain starts to shut down, and things like dopamine and serotonin transmission tend to increase. As a general reference to this article watch the Science channel or Discovery channel and see how far what used-to-be spiritual concepts have gone to become science-backed realities. It didn’t come at a better time in my opinion.
I interact with many humans I’ve never met before every day. I see stress, death, pain, and suffering weekly. I see the difference in people when they exercise and when they don’t. I see when Zumba addicts can’t get to class and start getting edgy at work. I see it in myself also. Stupid things start to matter and creep into your brain and bother you, like someone taking too long to put creamer in their coffee is going to kill you (that’s me when I’m in dire need of No Mind session).
Other than for the love of the sound and music, this is why I drum… If you haven’t tried it for yourself, I highly recommend it. It might save your life (or relationship, or career, or all of the above).