“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.”
― Rabindranath Tagore
I can’t explain what happened to me in Iao Valley yesterday, but I can say that it gave me insight into how people interact.
When I go to Iao, I hike off the well-trodden path to where, hopefully, there are no others. Then, I can casually bathe in the cold, clear waters and then thaw out on the hot rocks, warmed from the midday sun.
Today, inside the sound of the water rushing over and through the rocks, I sensed what sounded like a very distant drumming. It was so faint, that I thought it could have been rocks tumbling slowly through the water, sending off vibrations as they collided with other dense rocks.
Then, I wasn’t so sure if it was even of this time. The thought passed my mind that perhaps this was drumming of times past. Iao is a sacred place, after all. As I tuned in, I found the drumming falling into a rhythm, but the rhythm wouldn’t stop. I tried to back up and be sensitive to what the drumming actually was, but my mind kept this perpetual beat going.
I found my mind wanted to make sense of the drum sound, to determine where it was coming from. Then, my mind sensed a rhythm and kept with that. I tried to be sensitive to what the sound actually was, and my mind kept going with the rhythm it had sensed.
It made me think about people and how our minds are so eager to make sense of something. We experience something new and we process what it is, where it belongs and how it can be useful, and then we tuck it away in those categories.
I think that quite often we assess people and we think that we know them, but we are attuned to the rhythm we tuned in to at some point. Their rhythm could have completely changed, and it could change from minute to minute. It takes extreme presence to be attuned to that.
I am talking about subtle internal rhythms that, once recognized, are not subtle at all. This drum sound was so subtle, it made me wonder if it was all in my head. It can be the same with people and our instinct.
I feel that a good exercise would be to tune out of the rhythm/perceptions we have attuned to so that we can naturally attune with what is in the present moment. I think the more attuned we become to our own rhythm, and the more we honor that, the better we are able to honor those changes in others.