By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
Your Subtitle text

Drumming up health is goal of foundation

Drummer Rick Allen of Def Leppard says he believes in the healing power of communicating through percussion.

Rock percussionist to lead drum circle

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen will never forget the support he received after losing his arm in a car crash in 1984.

"Everyone was there for me; I got letters from all over the place, places I couldn't even pronounce," said Allen, 44, who continued drumming with the British rock band after the amputation of his left arm.

His loss and famous subsequent recovery led to the Raven Drum Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower those in crisis through healing arts programs, drumming events and partnerships that support global healing.

"The Raven Drum Foundation is really a way for me to give back," said Allen, a Malibu resident whose accident occurred near Sheffield, England. "If I can give back where I live, somehow it will come back to me."

Hoping to empower individuals using the power of the drum, Allen will facilitate a Raven drum circle starting at 3 p.m. today at the Topanga Community House in Topanga.

It has been demonstrated through studies that drumming decreases stress, boosts the immune system and can aid in reprogramming pain patterns in the body, said Lauren Monroe, Allen's wife and co-founder of the organization.

"By supplementing this ancient form of healing with modalities such as mediation, visualization and breath work, we have seen amazing results," said Monroe, a practitioner and teacher of energy healing whose background includes specialized work with incarcerated teens, hospice care and crisis healing.

Drum circle participants have not only experienced a profound shift in their own hearts and minds, they also feel a more open connection to others, Monroe said.

"Drumming together promotes unity and interconnectedness within the circle and gives to everyone involved specific tools to help reduce stress and anxiety in lives after they leave the circle."

Raven drum circles are unique for being directed and supported with specific intentions of healing and empowerment. There is time for introspection and silence as well as energetic rhythms, and all circles follow a specific format for healing that is supported and directed by the facilitators.

"It is deeply spiritual and emotional and the outcome can range from feelings of profound relief and joy to heartfelt release of tears," Monroe said. "As much as participants put in, they will receive. Much like life itself, the circle will give you as much as you surrender into it. The more negativity we surrender, the more joy we receive."

Drum circles are an ancient form that help us remember the ancient part of ourselves, Allen said.

"It's in our DNA," he said. "If you go back far enough, we're all tribal."

The first sound we ever heard was our mother's heartbeat, the rhythm of life.

"Each and every one of our ancestors came from a tribe of people who all sat around a fire and communicated through percussion, through rattles and drums," Allen said.

"We all healed each other. We all took care of one another. We grieved the dead together and celebrated birth and life together."

A drum circle is a sacred place where we welcome the light and heart of our ancestors through the drum, Monroe said.

"It is where we come together as brothers and sisters, without hatred and mistrust but with respect and compassion," she said. "It is where we use our intention as a whole to heal one another and bring into focus the possibilities and potential of who we truly are."

Allen said: "We ask people to let go of their expectations. When we assume things, that's when we get into trouble; assumption equals lie. The beautiful thing about getting together as a group and celebrating life itself is that it's really about being in the moment and not thinking about what might be or what could have been. If you're ahead of yourself or behind yourself in terms of where you are in the mind, you are definitely not in the moment."

Website Builder