WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF DRUMMING? For me,  the drum is me,  it is connected to my soul and being,  bringing me into the highest vibration,  which is God. And I do not mean a face of God, I mean that it encompasses  everything everywhere.   When we think of  the great sages and seers, the one thing that they were all involved with was the study of breath, and how it can be controlled to lead the mind towards the soul and the soul towards the mind to where  the two merge as one.  So this also deals with the intent of w hy and what you are playing for.  I think that it is something that is lacking in  a lot  of the music of today, “the spiritual in art “.There are stages that the drummer or musician will encounter in his or her journey on this path.  Our job  is the one  of a  healer.   We can be the modern doctors of  this day.   We have the  ability to feel an  audience or  a specific individual  and  give them the music they need to bring them in tune  with  us as  we play or perform.  We can put a smile  on their face or make them  feel sad and host  of other emotions.  This is  especially prevalent in Indian music,  where Navras, or  the nine emotions are always interwoven into  the fabric  of  the  music. It is medicine, and has healing qualities to it. It is the food for the soul. That is what  is truly great and spiritual about music. Everybody,  everywhere is listening to music to put their consciousness  into  another space.  In all  drumming folklore, from Africa, India, and Nomadic cultures the drum is always accompanying the song, dance or ritu al.  It has now even taken on  that  responsibility  world wide.  When  you  look  at  eastern medicine,  they were to look at the individual as music. Since we all are composed of music,  with a beating heart and blood and  air running through our bodies, the master physician would diagnose the individual  by reading the music on their face,  and the beat of  their pulse, for starters, along with investigating their environment socially, physically and spiritually.  Then the idea was to add if needed or subtract to bring the mind and body into balance. T his was the main teaching  of the  Yoga sutra by Pantanjali. So as an individual the idea is getting  a  clear mind  and  consciousness free from abstract  and  needless thoughts so that the true essence  of  you being  can shine through.  This is a process, and t takes time and constant work. In the long run, the discipline will bring the freedom. HOW DO DRUMS, YOGA, AND TAI CHI MIX TOGETHER. For me they are all connected to the same idea. They are all involved in keeping me in tune.It has a lot to do with the Chi and Prana, or as it is called “The life force”. The quieter we become the more we can hear.  So for me  Tai Chi and Yoga give me a chance to eliminate the noise of everyday life and let me know that everything is where  it  should be and is OK. Again it is a cleaning of the mind and body, so when I play the drums  and  perform that  I am open to the forces of  nature to take part.  To  let the spirits attend  the concert and take  part  of  the music.   It’s amazing what a smile can do to a person, or a look of everything is OK, and we are here together sharing sacred space.