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Spiritual Reflection

 

I am a very thankful kidney recipient. A donor from my Ontario community gave me and my family this wonderful life sustaining gift back in the year 2000. Thanks to my donor and their family.


Whole Person Therapy

 

In December of 2003, I suddenly became very ill. In February of 2004 I was flown to London, Ontario. From January to Easter I still do not remember the struggles and the operation on my brain. The doctors (a team of more than 10) consulted and decided brain surgery was needed for a diagnosis of a cyst growing in my brain. For the operation, they had to remove a small piece of bone from the left side of my skull, a reminder I will have for life of my illness. Not to worry though, this illness is very rare. I want to thank our outstanding Canadian health care system. We are very lucky to be Canadian.


 

It was a traumatic event to be forced out of my loving Sudbury community. I felt lost, confused, helpless and scattered. I came to feel like I had become a different person. I did not know who I was and continued to always question myself. The first memory that I had after my operation occurred at Easter and it was when I took my first steps to a new life. Thanks to Tom for helping me take my first steps, to Denise my devoted physiotherapist at the London University Hospital and my loving wife Anna who patiently continued to help me regain my health. I remember asking Denise and my wife when I would be able to practice walking up and down the stairs. I was determined to prepare myself for my return to my love of teaching, and the school where I work has three flights of stairs. Why was I concerned with walking the stairs, when my first focus should have been to relearn to walk? Now that I reflect on this, I felt lost. Who was I? Jeff? I did not feel like a whole person.


Rhythm of Rehab

 

Towards the spring of 2004, I was finally transferred back to my home community of Sudbury to Laurentian Rehab centre. My loving community organized a fundraising concert for my benefit. I was not well enough to attend. I want to take this moment to thank everyone who attended, organized and performed at my benefit concert. Thank you to my family and friends especially Joey Adetuyi for being my closest friend and a spiritual brother.


 

This period of rehab was very difficult and confusing. There were many times when I had breakdowns and disagreements with my therapists. My motor skills, memory and speech were very slow. This was a period of confusion. My therapists were devoted in helping me become a whole person again. Sue, who was my recreation therapist, had the key to open the proper door for me to become a whole person; she recognized the love I have for teaching and playing music. She encouraged me to have my wife bring in not just one drum but two so that I could play and by teaching Sue to play to rediscover my love of drumming and music. Playing and teaching my doumbek drum helped me to get organized and to foster my sequencing skills. It helped me get into the rhythm of rehab. Drumming “grounded me”. Sue set up a room in the rehab center where I could practice drumming. Every night with the encouragement of my nurses, I practiced for 2 to 3 hours. After three weeks of drumming and teaching Sue, my therapists, doctors, family and friends noticed a big improvement in my capabilities. I felt that I had become a whole person again. Before I was released from the centre, my speech language pathologist Catherine had each patient choose a topic to prepare for a presentation. My topic was drum circle. Drumming was my spiritual rejuvenation experience. I have personally experienced the health benefits of letting my DRUMS heal my physical and spiritual being. Drumming has helped me look at life and how I can give back to my community in a positive way. I have come to realize my love of facilitating drum circles in my community. I think of the entire World as my community.


A Suggestion

 

If you feel down or you’re suffering from any health related problems, pick up your drum, close your eyes and spiritually let your heart lead you to play your drum(s). Let go and let your natural sense of rhythm come out from you to create a joyful/spiritual musical environment for yourself. Experiment with textures, tempo(s) and playing techniques.