March 30, 2011

Holy Heartbeat

My friend and I are taking a drumming class. She got two djembes for Christmas and I am borrowing one of them. The experience is quite amazing. There is a group of about 15 women, some with years of practice, others like me, brand new. Somehow we find the rhythm and connect with each other. The teacher guides us, but the rhythm is an organic thing, synchronizing our hands and connecting the sound. No one is counting out loud or directing us; it just happens. And what I find is that all I can focus on is the moment. There is just the beat, like a heart beat, steady and comforting, life-giving. All the cares of the day recede. The drumming does not solve problems or work out troubles, but it somehow makes them fade in importance, even if for just an hour. And I think that this is what the best praying is like: a heartbeat connecting itself with the universe, bringing heart, mind, soul, and body to a single focus, letting go for a moment of the cares and worries of life. And when I pray the Lord’s Prayer in the church of my childhood, that same powerful rhythm is there, joining us together, creating a harmony among us and with creation, surrounding our folded hands with the One whose hands hold us always, the One whose very heart beats in and through and among.

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