This summer’s Advanced Shamanic Training Workshop was about combining the shamanic technique of drumming and journeying with the beautiful nature that was present on the island of Kauai.
First Time Drummer
One afternoon, we went to a beautiful pavilion located right beside the ocean. There were lava rock cliffs just beyond the pavilion that made the drop down to the water take your breath away. We took our drums to the pavilion, called upon the power of the ocean to lead us in the rhythm, and began to play.
What I love about the djembe is that it brings the best out in people. There is something about the magic of the drum that reaches deep inside one’s soul, and brings to the surface the rhythm that is often stored deep within. Some of the people in the class were proficient drummers, while others were just starting. In fact, for some the workshop was their very first experience drumming.
We had two visitors from the United Kingdom: a Scottish couple that were delightful. The husband had never played a drum before, yet when the magic of the djembe touched his soul, he began to drum and kept perfect time with the rhythms that we were doing and engaged deeply in the magic of this powerful instrument. He began to drum, at first tentatively, but soon he began to engage with the drum more vigorously. His rhythm was beautiful: it was strong and powerful. It was beautiful to see the smile on his face . . . and the shock on his wife’s face as the rhythm began to take over!
Dancing with a Movie Star
As we drummed some of the people in the group decided that drumming wasn’t enough. The dancing then started! Tanis put down her drum and started dancing. This movement then began to inspire others, and as the sun set the energy of the drumming increased. Soon Danny joined in on the dance!
Danny had facilitated our hike to Makaleha falls earlier that day. He is a wonderful tour guide for any of you who are heading to the island. He has been a son of Hawaii for many years, born here, raised here, and he happens to be a bit of a movie star! When Danny was 10 years old, he was in the movie Blue Hawaii with the famous Elvis Presley. I actually rented the movie to verify his story.
It goes something like this: when Danny was 10 years old, he and his friend were at the Cocoa Palms Hotel. In it’s day, it was the place the rich and famous stayed during vacation. When Elvis Presley was filming Blue Hawaii, this was one of the primary places where filming took place.
Danny and his friend were playing at the Cocoa Palms and saw the film crews. They got the brilliant idea that they would like to be in the movies, so they ran home and put on their aloha shirts, then snuck into the filming area where they took position right beside the bridge where Elvis Presley was married to his wife in the movie. If you watch the wedding scene, as Elvis walks up to the small arched bridge, on the left side of the bridge you will see a couple of boys: one with a blue shirt on—which is Danny—and one with a red shirt—which is his friend.
So we got to spend time with the movie star!
Inspiring the fun dance done by Tanis and Danny, Elsa drummed her heart out that night. Not having much drumming experience, I was so pleased to listen to her gentle rhythms as she began to allow the power of the drum to resonate through her body. She was such an inspiration on this trip, and really held the space for magic to occur.
We also had the dolphin woman, Charlotte, with us. It was so interesting, because my friend Naoka is really connected to the dolphins. When I met Charlotte a few years ago, she had dolphins tattooed all over her body! Needless to say, she and Naoka hit it off well. Charlotte had a blast that evening drumming to the ocean and holding the inspiring energy connecting the drum to the dance!
Stay tuned to read more about my fantastic Healing Drummer adventures this summer in Kauai!