If we focus our attention on the individual chakras while drumming, we can experience each energy center becoming active, balanced, and aligned with the other chakras. The basic steps are as follows:
- First, select a location where you will not be interrupted. It must be a quiet space, at least for the duration of the exercise. Allow yourself fifteen to thirty minutes for this exercise. It is best to dim the lights and sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor, keeping your spine straight.
- Next, you should smudge the space and yourself with the smoke of an herb. Smudging cleanses the mind and environment in preparation for spiritual or inner work. The sacred smoke dispels any stagnant or unwanted energy, opens the energy channels of your body, and raises your personal power or windhorse. According to Mongolian shamanism, windhorse can be increased through smudging, drumming, and other forms of shamanic practice in order to accomplish significant aims. Sage, cedar, and sweetgrass are traditionally used for smudging, but any dried herb is acceptable. Light the herbs in a fire-resistant receptacle and then blow out the flames. Then use a feather or your hands to draw the smoke over your heart, throat, and face to purify the body, mind, and spirit. Next, smudge your drum by passing it through the smoke. Conclude the smudging by thanking the plant whose body made the cleansing possible.
- The next step is to calm and focus your mind by performing a simple concentration exercise. Close your eyes and focus on the breath as it enters the nose and fills your lungs, then gently exhale any tension you might feel. Continue breathing with a series of even inhalations and exhalations until you are calm and relaxed.
- Once you are fully relaxed, begin drumming the steady lub-dub, lub-dub of a heartbeat rhythm pulsed at around 60 beats a minute (or 30 heartbeats per minute since one heartbeat equals two beats). This slow pulse tempo has a calming and centering effect. Sustain this healing rhythm until the end of the exercise.
- Close your eyes and focus your attention on the physical location of each chakra, one at a time, beginning with the first one at the base of the spine. Visualize a red disc of light, about the size of a silver dollar, at the base of your spine. Imagine this energy center pulsating in sync with the heartbeat of your drum. Feel the sound of the drum vibrating at the base of your spine. As the sound resonates this area, experience the base chakra awakening, balancing, and aligning with the other chakras. Hold your attention on this chakra for a minute or two, and then allow the image to fade.
- Move up to the second chakra and repeat the same focus and imagery. It is located about two inches below the navel and is orange in color.
- Move up to the area above the navel in your solar plexus and focus on the third chakra, which is yellow in color.
- Move up to the center of the chest between the two nipples and focus on your heart chakra, which is green in color.
- Move up to the cleft in your throat and focus on the throat chakra, which is blue in color.
- Move up to the area between and slightly above the eyebrows and focus on your brow chakra, which is indigo in color.
- Move up to the top of your head and focus on the crown chakra, which is violet in color.
- End the exercise with four strong beats.
The Rainbow FireThe Rainbow Fire symbolizes illuminated mind, clarity of all aspects of consciousness. Metaphorically, it describes the aura of iridescent light that radiates from a fully activated chakra system. This prismatic illumination within allows us to fully integrate the wisdom of all seven centers of consciousness. It clears the mind of illusions and obstructions, transforming thought patterns of confusion to reveal inherent clear mind. The fire of clear mind is ever present within each of us, and to remove any obstruction of its clarity is the duty of all people, so that each may find the way to unity and harmony. Drumming is one way that we can cultivate the fire of clear mind. The drum's beat ignites the Rainbow Fire within, illuminating the path and showing us the way. With clarity of mind, we can readily perceive what aims are in accord with the cosmos, not wasting energy on discordant pursuits. Through the insight and understanding of illuminated mind, we can bring enlightenment to the world!
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Copyright (c) 2002 by Michael Drake