Listening to the Universal Heart Beat: Native American Practice of Drumming

Flag of the Navajo Nation
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Tony Showa is a Navajo drum maker and drum circle leader whose wisdom is profound and simple. He sees all as one – the five-fingered nation as well at the four-legged nation, the trees and nature. He speaks without borders or prejudice and he invites people from all walks of life into his wise ways. I first met Tony a few years ago while exploring Native American practices for a European magazine. Europeans and other cultures outside of the US often have a greater sense of the value of American Indian teachings than we do.

At the drum circle on Saturday at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis, participants included people from a variety of races and ethnic backgrounds. The sound of the drum beat helped to connect us with the one sound we all know and share — our own heart beat. Tony teaches us to connect the head and heart and the vibrations of the drum help. “It connects us to Mother Earth,” he says. He says his mother refused to teach him Navajo growing up as a way to protect him from the harassment she faced at boarding school. He learned it later in life. His words flow seemingly without borders and edges, reflecting his expansive view and acceptance of people. He’s at the Indianapolis museum twice a month. If it coincides with a summer trip, go visit him and listen. It will expand your heart.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at


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