Shamanism and the Power of Drum Meditation


This is an interesting thought piece on the transformative power of drum meditation, in particular as it’s used in shamanic practice. The mechanism involved is known as brainwave entrainment or sonic driving – basically, our brains automatically try to sync up with a strong rhythmic frequency in our environment. This occurs with any number of rhythmic stimuli, including rattling, tapping, or pulsing light, but for me the overtones produced by drumming provide an exceptionally enjoyable means of achieving a trance state. (You can read more on entrainment and the trance state at

DrumsDrum meditation facilitates healthy ego-deconstruction through its powerful resonance with the depths, thereby allowing the soul to speak. A healthy drum meditation is like a crowbar leveraging the dark depths of our soul. What we see during our drum meditation journey has the potential to reveal clues to the riddle of our lives as well as give us greater clarity regarding the purpose and meaning of our lives.


But it can also upset us and cause us grief and immense pain. It can break our hearts open, which opens us up that much more to the power and poignancy of the sacred. Either way we are soul-shifted by the vastness and enchantment of our journey through the inner-outer nature of the soul-world dynamic. Our souls become more robust, more adaptable to the impermanence of the world.


Through the art of rhythmic drumming, shamans take the concept of “having a vision” to the next level by revealing exactly the sort of dialectical boundary-crossing logic that is needed to overcome the one-dimensionality of modern day deconstructionism. They employ the drum as a vehicle that facilitates journeys into the mysteries of cosmos and psyche, where deep imagery and soulful connection with our deeper self can take place.


When boundary-crossing with the vibratory rhythm of the drum, the visionary experience tends to blend the senses synesthetically, and we take on the power of existential freedom. Imagine Neo caught in between The Matrix and The Desert of the Real. What’s revealed is the truth of reality: there is no separation; everything is connected; all is a synergy of both cosmos and psyche. As James Hillman maintains, “We live in a world that is neither ‘inner’ nor ‘outer.’”

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