The unifying force of rhythm
‘If you have pendulum clocks on the wall and start them all at different times, after a while the pendulums will all swing in synchronicity. The same thing happens with heart cells in a Petri dish: They start beating in rhythm even when they’re not touching one another.’ Bruce Lipton
Some years ago on retreat my fellow retreaters and I took part in a ‘drumming’ exercise – using large cushions and our shoes. What started as a cacophony of random beating (of the ears as well as the cushions) morphed subtly, and over time, into an extraordinary rhythm.
You see we slowly shed our inhibited, self-conscious selves and connected in an entirely different way, fully present, in the moment, creating a natural rhythm that was way beyond the day to day ‘skills’ or thinking of the people in the room. From a disparate group we became a single, harmonious entity.
Everything in nature is connected into the natural rhythm of the system – the rising and falling of the sun, waxing and waning of the moon, the lifecycle of plants, the migration of geese, the hibernation of a whole host of animal species as the seasons flow and ebb.
As humans we’re part of the system and its natural rhythm too. Yet too often the demands of life take us out of rhythm – whether that’s disharmony internally or with our external environment.
Finding our way back, staying connected takes patience and consistent practice through reflection, through meditation, through a stilling of the mind and reconnecting with the heart and the in and out of our life-sustaining breath.
When we’re in rhythm we are able to operate at a whole other level, listening and connecting through the heart, giving our full attention to the moment and open to insights coming in. It is in this state that we can do our best work in service of others and the greater good.