Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
By Rayoflight
Thanks and peace be unto you.

Infinite possibility is where it is at.
variation with constancy and compeling melodic interaction.
but what about spiritual ideas, as in evoking the spirits and such.
this is part of my practice and I use my djembe
to call one divine energies for healing and joy.
The djembe is a physical vessal for divine grace.
I understand many people are very secular but the djembe
is a spiritual being not some thing you use to
make solos or such.
Why is this so often left out of teaching about the djembe.
It is powerful and not owned by any culture.
the djembe brought itself to me and has taken my life over.
this is djembe this is what should be taught as well.
to much technique.
I meet djembe players of renown and they are just musicains.
no true power, no spiritual meaning.
they do not anihalate untruth they get people to buy cd's and take lessons
but where is the spiritual meat.
teach more about this and if you don't know these things then go learn them.
politics philosiphy are all garbage
the rhythm is God.
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By bops
Hi there. Thanks for sharing your views.

I agree that jembe is a very spiritual instrument. This is not only a part of the culture and tradition of the jembe, it has also affected me personally in a spiritual way. It also "brought itself to me and has taken my life over," as you put it. I love jembe and feel very strongly about it. I also feel that other instruments can be channels for spiritual power, depending of course, on who's playing it. John Coltrane would be one good example.

I must say that, for someone who claims to be in touch with the spirituality of jembe, your first post on this board is very negative, even offensive. The term "soapbox" comes immediately to mind.
Rayoflight wrote:I meet djembe players of renown and they are just musicains.
no true power, no spiritual meaning.
they do not anihalate untruth they get people to buy cd's and take lessons
but where is the spiritual meat.
Who are you to get down on a jembe teacher who is trying to make a buck to make ends meet? Try walking a mile in the proverbial shoes of an African living in poverty, then come back and tell me that they shouldn't try to teach lessons and sell CDs.

Sorry dude, it really bothers me when people try to force spirituality of any kind on others, especially using insults and criticism. Take a step back and look at yourself. You're not holier than anyone else around you.
By johnc
Rayoflight wrote:
the djembe brought itself to me and has taken my life over.


the djembe is West African Mande.

Cultures, landscapes etc shape things and I think specific roots should be protected intellectually, spritually and in this case, in the actuality of the drum and the music.

I woulds argue that people have allowed the djembe into their lives and allowed it to take over. I dont think the drum has a mind of its own!

It would probably play itself if it did :smokin: :lol:

Semantics maybe, but language often develops false notions that become taken as "granted"

Sunset and sunrise are of course false notions, as the sun does not move, but not many consider this when imploying the terms. :idea:

If we become so susceptible to outside influences( an object takes us over), this runs, in general, counter to notions of spiritual strength. Of course most of us and particulaly me, are very susceptible :oops: :roll:

I understand your joy but not the attempt to rob or relieve, as the above have said, Africans of their culturally permated creation for a more globalised spiritual ideal. Or the chance to be employed in the area that brings them joy. How many work in the field they love?

My teachers have shown mw a path to joy. My Tibetan teachers I make offerings to. My West african drum teachers I pay.

all debates welcome :lol:
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By e2c
Rayoflight, with all due respect... The instrument (and related instruments) already have a cultural background, extensive repertoire, and much, much more. We can ignore all that, but I personally think it's a bad idea.

Your view seems to be what I would call revisionist. But all the revisionism in the world cannot - will not - erase the actual history and cultural context of the djembe - and, most importantly - those West African people and cultures where the instrument and its music have been developed and nourished.

African teachers are doing the rest of the world a huge favor by giving us access to what they know. It's a gift, not a given. Perhaps you might want to take a deeper look into all this. I think you'll find it will give a lot back to you - but only if you're willing to invest your time, energy and attention in it.

I've seen other people try to make the djembe into a "spiritual" - even ceremonial - instrument, without ever acknowledging where it comes from, who invented it (and why). They're missing out on so much... so please, don't make that mistake.

My take is also that to ignore all of the things I've mentioned is deeply disrespectful to West African people, in the here and now. It's as if "Your history, your knowledge, your music, your ideas aren't good enough for me. I'll invent my own." A far more respectful approach would be to acknowledge that you (well, "we," since I'm a Westerner, too) have a great deal to learn, and that you want to learn it from the people who know it. Then you can go forward with experimentation - with an understanding of what you/we owe to those whose creation it is in the first place.

I'm afraid we (Americans) have a tendency to take what we want from many cultures without asking, or showing any interest in those cultures. More fools us.
By Paul
Has anyone else seen the rise of 'Shamanic Djembe Circles'.

There are now people picking the drum and saying thats great and I can make a fortune too.
These guys teach nothing, charge way more than african teachers and leave people with the belief that you can do what you like on the drum, no knowledge required.

I have had people come up while we are playing at a festival pull out a drum and play terrible, and then call me a facist when I tell them to stop.

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By the kid
Ray of lights rant was bad. Self rightous and confused.

I agree with bops, e2c and Johnnc, open minded and interesting opinions

Paul i dont aggree with ya there on 'the rise of''Shamanic Djembe Circles''. whats your beef with it?? it's probably good for some people to reconnect with their souls. Can't people do what they want to do>> You begrudge them making money too,, like who are you to judge? Money helps peoples put food on the table etc. in a culture flooded with cash we still belittle those who make some? i don't understand.. (like yea its the bankers who need to be hung not the little people)

And Can't you teach some one a new rhythm rather than telling them to stop ya fecking Fascist. Ya call your self a teacher so teach god damn it

Kora, your for the birds
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By Marc_M
From 101 Zen stories

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

Who can pass judgement on what is spiritual for someone else?

BTW Koreduga is just being true to clown nature
By johnc

the zen story ( for me a least) both works and does not.

Zen, despite its "Games of Zen Masters" is rooted in a deeply monastic, medatative and studious study of scripture from India via China were it is known as Chan (meditation). There are of course many laymen who were adepts such as P'ang.

Are you defending rayoflight or debating others thoughts on his ideas?

Spirituality by nature (of its antidotal effect against selfish materialism) has a discilpline and its masters. If not, spirituality becomes the working ground of charlatans, which unfortunately is the case at times anway.

Many people mistake spirituality with, dealing with spirits for instance. I think in general spirituality is a training. Thus a persons presentation of their spirituality can indicate much as to its validity.

Many people name their spirituality as their "own" so as to avoid the discipline of a true (tried and tested) practice. Zen master can be quite servere as your story begins to allude to, and many so called seekers do not have the courage to submit their ego/will to a master.

Much like willing to learn and play supporting rhythms whilst the soloist does their thing.

The argument against rayoflight is at heart, that, the Mande are the masters and we should follow with in reason their traditions....but as I mentioned Im not sure where your argument lays

Sure, who can pass judgment...but on the other hand making judgments as to what is truly spiritual in a broad sense or what is true spiritual training is neccessary to avoid allowing "the crow to teach the eagle"

Or at worst to be ripped off emotionally, finacially, sexually :shock: physically etc by a snake.

Sometimes however, the eagle my sit in on the crow's lesson just to be humble :)

from my own side I think the answer will be in our hands rather than "blowing in the wind" when we overcome our own selfishness.
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By the kid
I have to say that the first Zen story i heard put me of it for life. ''If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it does it make a sound'''''''' ???
Of course it makes a sound.. crackin sound, a rip and a roar, ttiiimmmbbbeeerrr, and a crash. Any ways its all very interesting. I'd like to dig it more but i can't get my head around it. Its like, not one thing or the other, go ponder.

Koras definatly able to clown and is intitled to do it, but is he/she initiated to actually represent the Koradugas? I don't know enough about the Koraduga tradition so any more information on this would be appreciated

Heres my thoughts on the initial post by Ray
Rayoflight wrote: djembe
is a spiritual being not some thing you use to
make solos or such.
It is powerful and not owned by any culture.
Djembe Has been traditionally used in west africa for Hundreds maybe thousands of years so is well rooted and legitamatly belongs to the peoples there.. and i don't think it is a being? it talks but has to be beatin first.
Rayoflight wrote: I meet djembe players of renown and they are just musicains.
no true power, no spiritual meaning.
they do not anihalate untruth they get people to buy cd's and take lessons
.. we are all just people/ just musicians whatever. we're all the same so why expect a teacher of drums to be mystical and a spiritual leader. they don't advertise that when conducting a course so why should they teach it??
And yea they're entitled to sell there cd and make some cash from the classes. Thats their business. These cd's are actually important educational aids for people learning West African percussion in its many forms
Rayoflight wrote: politics philosiphy are all garbage
Philosiphy is not Garbage. Peoples philosiphies can be. philosiphy is conscious thought and communication of those thoughts((am i rigth, have never studied it,.. lIKE tHATS oBVIOUS, LLL))
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By Marc_M
I posted the Zen story, to propose that one has to be open-minded.

Once there is an open mind, then we can ask the question,
"Who can pass judgement on what is spiritual for someone else?"

We begin with a Rayoflight
But this Rayoflight casts darkness
On practices hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years old
Rayoflight points a finger of darkness
Three fingers point back

Rayoflight plays the beat of a different drum
Does this djembe play less sweet?
If I point my finger
Three fingers point back

And what of the article?!?
Alas poor James.