It’s funny… As I work to establish Different Drummers Drum Circle – Santa Fe, I find myself drastically toning down the humor in my email announcements… at least until my new friends and neighbors get to know me and my sense of humor. But thinking about the decades of my email ‘news blurbs’, I’m reminded of my favorite. It was the longest rant of them all. It was the one I was convinced would probably offend some people. And it was the one that got the most positive feedback… even from the people I thought it might offend!
Yes. It was the “Baba Ganoush” email of 2012… repeated here for my friends who were NOT one of the many hundreds of drummers on our email list:
This week I want to talk about New Age Spirituality. I had an interesting conversation recently with someone who was telling me about all sorts of ‘spiritual’ people… People involved in leading everything from spiritual retreats to yoga and kirtan events to all sorts of alternative healing. Consistently, the focus was on the person’s spirituality… their ‘holiness’…their link with the ‘divine’. …So far, so good.
And then I was asked the question, “Why aren’t you charging money for drumming in your drum circle? The energy in your drum circle is so FILLING! People would gladly pay for what you’re doing! You’d make PLENTY! Why do you do it for free??”
I had to ask myself… How can someone who appreciates what’s ‘spiritual’ and ‘divine’ not understand why I run community drum circles for free? At the risk of being cynical, Joe Potatohead calls himself Guru Potatish and recites his spiel or performs music or teaches his slightly modified version of something traditional for 50 bucks a head and he or she is considered spiritual and divine, despite the fact that the poor are excluded. Seriously? This is someone who has transcended something??
I’m reminded of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The more he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”
I’m not against anyone making a living. But, if you’re selling a product or service you’re a salesman, not the reincarnation of Krishna or Buddha. If you’re singing or playing music you’re a performer, not the second coming of Jesus! If you’ve found a new way to market an old idea, so did the guy who sells “ShamWow!”
I give up! I’ve been doing this drum circle thing, trying to allow everyone to have the experience they came for, even when it differed from my own. I have done it for free because I never needed a transfer of wealth as a prerequisite for my ‘showing up’… and because it felt right to be able to draw from the larger community, which included people who couldn’t afford to be part of other more exclusive ‘communities’. Okay. I was wrong.
From this day forward, I’ll be known as “Baba Ganoush”. I’m working on a long, convoluted explanation of the healing properties of group drumming. It won’t include information of any logic or significance, but it will be expressed in a very compelling way, using lots of key words like “Balance, Harmony, Essential, Enhance, Stimulate, Mind-Body, Energy, Natural, Bliss, Ecstatic, Transformation, Love, Spirituality, Heart, Alignment, Development, Nurture, and Holistic”. Studies have proven that these words can coax money out of the barest of pockets.
I’m also working on a new look. I’m thinking about a turban or a fez, some beads and a long, flowing robe. Every American instantly associates these with spirituality. (Anyone who dresses like this MUST be at one with the universe, right?) If used car salesmen dressed like this I bet they’d sell more cars. Also, I’ll be growing facial hair and lots of it for that spooky ‘who’s-really-in-there?’ look.
Also, the humor is history. Finished. Spiritually-attuned beings do not make jokes. It’s a known fact. They know that there is nothing funny about the big topics like Existence or God or fulfilling one’s true purpose. When Oprah skyrocketed the unknown Eckert Tolle to multi-millionaire status, it wasn’t by exploiting his flair for getting laughs. Spirituality is serious business.
And, speaking of business, aside from the shamefully high new admission charge for drum circle participation, I will be offering some new services. For only $25.00* I’ll be happy to drum “healing energy” for any cause or individual you choose. For $50.00 I’ll drum twice as long. (*Sending healing energy over long distances will incur an extra fee of $10.00 per 100 miles.) There will be other services offered too, as soon as I think of other things you might be willing to pay for.
May the Supreme Being anoint your chin with the buttercups of Love and Compassion.
P.S. I’m only kidding. Come and drum. This Friday, 6:30PM. Still free. 😉
1. Curmudgeon’s Corner: If you are on LinkedIn, bless your heart. I’m not. And when you send me an invitation to join LinkedIn and I refuse it (nothing personal) they continue to fill my email with “reminders” for months until I suffer the laborious process of ‘blocking’ the invitation reminders. This must be done with EACH individual invitation!
I’m on Facebook and Quora. Different Drummers, Bluezberry Jam, Different Drummers Joyful Hearts Club Band and even each of my books has its own Facebook page! That’s more than enough social networking. I’m not on LinkedIn. Please stop inviting me.
May the Supreme Being anoint your chin …yada, yada, yada…