July 2018
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Releasing The Critical Mind

Farewell Vince Martin

My Mind Is Calm My Heart Is At Peace

I Have Everything I Need

Mongolian Shamans


My Toolbox is Full

thank you to departed friend drumming

Everglades Drumming Meditation Shoot

We were shooting a drumming meditation video in the Everglades and a Japanese couple were watching. Finally the woman approached me politely. “Excuse, please…What are you doing? Is it religion?” She asked respectfully but with some level of puzzlement. “Zen” I said simply. She lit up with a big smile and nodded in agreement. “Yes! Zen!” She returned to explain to her husband. When she said Zen, he also lit up, smiled and bowed. “Zen. Yes!” The gators were grooving.

The critical mind has us in a bind.

The critical mind has us in a bind.
And it doesn’t even understand why. As our brain and intellect evolved, the critical mind developed as an organizer of all these things coming into our awareness. As it juggled life’s challenges it developed a belief system to handle the lessons learned from all the input. It also developed a survival belief system. One of the key elements of the survival belief system is the rhythmic tempo in the environment. If tempo speeds up, then we are possibly in danger. The original tempos of the natural world were slower and we entrained to those eternal grooves of the earth moving and changing. The seasons moved us along in a steady very laid back groove that humans grew to understand. With the tacit agreement that when the groove turned to winter, everybody had to prepare. No accident that neurosis was conceived of around 1980. The same time that the world was forced to accept a mechanical rhythm into their consciousness. The steam engine. An unforgiving rhythm creates fear on the arboreal level of our limbic system. We must get into synch with the environmental rhythm or we will die.
So now, we are soaked in pervasive digital rhythmic pollution and our unconscious alarms are going off telling us to entrain to that unforgiving drum machine going on all the time in media feeds. Otherwise we will die. This is a false belief based on fear generated from an inaccurate assumption that we are in a dangerous situation based on the frenetic tempo of advertising. By feeling and playing an “organic groove”, we come back to our senses. Real human rhythms fluctuate. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower than the metronome. I remember before the click was the law in recording studios. There was excitement but not fear. All the soundtracks recorded now obey the timecode, the click track, the drum machine, in an unforgiving relentless demand that “We keep up or die”. This is an inaccurate assumption on the part of the critical mind. By slowing down the tempo of the critical mind, we observe it making snap decisions without our consent, based on the frantic input of useless data. We can sooth the critical mind by slowing down the groove from 120 beats per minute, to less than forty beats a minute. Create a sense of safety with a nurturing groove. We can reason with it when we slow it down. “Please, let me enjoy my life.”

Surfer’s Club with Those Five 1965

Surfer’s Club, Madeira Beach, Florida 1965. “Those Five” An epiphany about the Beat as our tribal ritual. Outside the picture window, gentle gulf waves glowed with phosphorous. (excerpt from “Let the Goddess Dance”)