My Bodhrán – Love at First Sound

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I learned to play the guitar when I young. Self-taught, it was an instrument I played on a regular basis until I began healing work. When a person plays the guitar regularly, they build a wonderful set of calluses on the tips of their fingers—wonderful, because they prevent the sensation of pain from either nylon or steel strings. If you’re like me, however, and use your hands and fingers to “read” people’s energy, calluses get in the way.

That’s why I love my bodhrán (pronounced bough-rawn)—a Celtic frame drum that’s held close to the body, resting on my left thigh and tucked snug into my left armpit. In addition to the rich and vibrant sounds that it makes, its curved rosewood frame, ornate brass tacking, and tightly stretched head, all make for a rewarding sensory experience.

The texture comes alive as my left hand inside the open-end moves to control the pitch and timber, while my right hand uses a smooth wood tipper to cast a spell—creating the jovial beat of a celebratory jig or reel, or a deep, insistent, menacing boom that calls to mind ancient warfare.

For thousands of years, rhythm has been a carrier of intention and information; an expression of vibration. Like a pebble thrown into a pond creates ripples that travel outward, so does our personal rhythm. The vibration of everything we think, say, and do affects the people in our lives. Their reaction, in turn, affects others. Our personal rhythm is powerful. With it we have the capacity to change the world in a variety of ways for better or worse.

What’s the ripple effect of your personal rhythm?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

24 thoughts on “My Bodhrán – Love at First Sound

  1. In Shamanism, we let the rhythm of a beating drum take us to the different levels of existence to interact with our spirit guides and power animals. I have a small drum that fits nicely in my lap so I can feel the vibration while I am drumming throughout my body. Other people have the large shamanic frame drums and at some point, I will probably purchase one as well for group drumming circles. I like the one I have now because it produces just a small sound so I can use it indoors when other people are around and won’t disturb them too much. I also just got two rattles, one with my animal totems on it and the other has my Magic cat’s face. The woman who makes them used some pictures of Magic that I sent her and she did a wonderful job. I like your question about the ripple effect of our personal rhythms . . . I think we often forget that we even HAVE a personal rhythm. Thank you for reminding me so that I can pay closer attention to my rhythm and live my life accordingly.

    • Barbara – Your small drum sounds wonderful, as do your rattles. One of the gals in the drumming circle that I belong to has a huge (22-inch) Shaman drum (thunder boomer!) – it can make the windows rattle. You feel the vibration throughout your body with your drum sitting on your lap. I do the same with mine on my thigh, snugged up against my body. As you know, it’s wonderful, therapeutic, and can be metaphysical — depending on the intent. I’m glad you popped in this morning. Have a great weekend!

  2. My rhythm is out of whack! But my goal is to get it back on track. So I’m starting out with a great belly warming snack! Oatmeal

    Laurie I just love love love the drums. It makes me want to belly dance!

    • Beth – At least you know it and you’re taking action steps to get it back on track. We didn’t have oatmeal this morning, but we usually do. I’ve seen you belly dance and I know that you love it. And it’s a FANTASTIC form of exercise. Have yourself a great weekend!

  3. Such a delightful feeling imagining you lost in the rhythm of your drum, the feeling of your fingertips on the skin of that magic instrument. I almost felt you entering a deep space, the space of yourself, and I felt a new knowing of you for a second. What is my rhythm? Today I feel no barriers, no boundaries, everything feels like God. Everything I have tried to get rid of feels like just another expression of God. Everything coming through awareness feels like love. It feels like God was playing us with his special rhythm all along and we thought we were the ones playing. That’s the rhythm coming through this morning.

    • Kathy – I love what you shared, “Everything I have tried to get rid of feels like just another expression of God.” Your rhythm sounds clean, crisp, and filled with awareness. Namaste’

  4. OHHH I can,wait to see these pictures later on my netbook. (No -nternet there)…Just on my cell right now.

    Thanks for the great information! Drumming circles are very new to me, – would like to delve more into this….

    As for the rythym of my life…I need to welcome the loud deep rythym as I already welcome the soft quiet lighter tones…

  5. Laurie what a sexy new wordpress page. ooo-la-la! Look what you have drummed up now! sweet!

    What’s the ripple effect of your personal rhythm?

    Compassion and passion for life, love, nature and being.

    • Terrill – When WordPress announced the release of their new theme, “Spectrum,” I just couldn’t resist — not having just completed the 9-post course, “The Color of Wellness.” And then from my own website I pulled in the chakra “lotus” banner, and voila’ … I’m glad you like it!

      “Compassion and passion for life, love, nature, and being” — I’ve been on the receiving end; I know this to be true.

  6. Wow! When I first read your blog this morning it was your everyday, nice, and ordinary Speaking From The Heart. Now you have this hot, new site with all the colors of the rainbow and chakras to match. My eyes are the size of your drum. I’ve always loved the sound and rhythm of the Bodhran, Celtic music is in my soul. I know that your primary purpose for playing your drum is not for jigging and clogging, it just puts me in mind of it. I would really have to say that my underlying rhythm would have to be the beat of my heart. It is the tune I live by.

    • Sandi – Well, she got into her mother’s makeup and looks all dolled up! Jigs, reels, and clogging are definitely part of what my drum is used for. I check out CD’s from the library (The Chieftains, Gaelic Storm, Woods Tea Co., Leahy, Runrig, etc.) and play along with them on a regular basis. Then, of course, there’s cleansing space, meditation, healing, and distance work that can be done as well. A bodhrán is an extremely versatile percussion instrument.

      You said your rhythm is, “The beat of my heart. It is the tune I live by.” And so it is.

  7. I’ve seen this played at the Aura Jamboree (Hey, Kathy-out-in-/Aura!) and have wondered at it’s name and how it’s played. Thanx! I’m with you and Sandi on the Celtic music – either lively or melancholy – it speaks to me.

    And that is my rhythm during the fall – melancholy peacefulness.

  8. Laurie, the Aura Jamboree is about two miles from our house–held every summer. Wow! What incredible creativity! I love your new look. A rainbow of colors everywhere…

    • Kathy – Only two miles from the Aura Jamboree? Oh man — the energy has to be just great! Do you have any past blog posts with photos that you can point me to? I’d love to read more about it. (I’m glad you like the new look – it was fun and easy to do 🙂

  9. Pingback: Olivier Assayas’s ‘Carlos,’ Off-Broadway Play ‘As Is,’ Aussie ‘Samson and Delilah’ and Ozu on Monday Morning Diary (October 18) « Wonders in the Dark

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