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Personal Growth

Are you crazy enough to change the world?

10 Billion Beats is a non-commercial Global Intention Event that will use drumming to send a wave of positive intention around the world. Starting in Central Kansas, it will follow the sun through the time zones at 7:00 PM on Sept. 18, 2009. (Sept. 19 as it crosses the dateline)

The good thing about being an author is that you get the chance to say what you think whether people agree with you or not.  However, if you say it well, you may positively effect someone’s life.  The downside to that is that they may insist you to live up to what you have said.  If you have read The Coyoté Oak: Burgeoning Wisdom you may have expectations about me.  Fiction allows this author the freedom to construct imaginary worlds, surmount unspeakable dangers, and linger in the presence of the divinely absurd.  Yet at the end of the read, a fictional tale must give substance to the readers’ lives and to the world we collectively call our own.  That is the challenge of putting words on a page, a challenge the words must pass along.  I take neither weaving the story, nor summoning its meaning lightly.  I would like to introduce one idea: 10 Billion Beats.  Like the book, it stepped into my imagination with the improbable premise–one person can make a difference–and so I invite you to join me in contributing to the world we collectively call our own….Recently as I walked down the National Mall in Washington D.C., I heard an ancient rhythm from ceremonial drums ricochet through the marble and limestone canyons formed by Government buildings and the monuments of our nation’s memories.  Even here at the zenith of civilization, sound provided a doorway in consciousness, a pathway in to the deep reaches of our being.  Without words, without melody, drums sing a universal language; perhaps it is the language of Spirit for it touches something elemental within us and collectively, we pay attention.  I know that when I listen to the drums it connects me with the deep states of consciousness within; it connects me with the heartbeat of creation itself and draws me into relationship with Earth.This relationship with our planet is more primal than sharing life with our spouse.  Once we approached our Earth with wide eyes, fascinated by every firefly, tadpole, and daisy.  We conversed with passing toads and found unicorns in the clouds above our head.  Our storybooks were adventures shared by fairies, elves, and frogs that turned into a prince.  As children, we drank in our surroundings anxious to learn from–and about–the world we had come here to inhabit, not as observers but as participants.  As children, the world was our lover; we cherished every offering it provided and eagerly traded our wonderment for the blessings of creation.In mass, as adult inhabitants, too many have forgotten this relationship.  Perhaps it was with the rise of Western theologies or during the Industrial Revolution, but somewhere as a species we went to war with our planetary partner.  We assumed that whatever we did had little or no effect on a big ball of dirt, it was our resource.  We forgot she was once our lover, once the source of our wonderment and vitality.  We forgot she had a heartbeat.  Like any relationship, when one partner ignores the other’s heart long enough, things get shaky, stormy, and hot.Andean Q’ero mystics describe the universe as living energy with which we constantly exchange.  Adding to our childlike wonderment, they suggest we form a deliberate, respectful relationship with this energy at large.  Ayni (pronounced I-nee) is a state of reciprocity, a sacred interchange with everything–yes everything.  In Christian terms, it is doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you but to the Q’ero, it means helping the people in your community and respectfully caring for your neighbors who happen to be mountains, forests, plants, animals, or minerals. The energy exchange with everything is constant and we must consciously “give at least as good as we get” without measuring our return.  That’s a formula for success in any relationship.If I have drummed up your interest let me take these ideas a bit further.  Our imbalanced relationship with creation, and our fellow beings, is noticeable to me and probably to you.  We can deny the problems, rationalize that someone else will fix them, or try to respond. Perhaps like me, you sense a shift coming on this planet in your bones.  There’s a lot of talk about it–2012, Earth Changes, Ascension, Rapture, the return of Planet X.  Whether any of these events leave us in a New Heaven, on a New Earth, or walking more miles in the same pair of shoes, perhaps we should be asking, “How can we help create the world we all can live in come 2013?”  More is asked of us than to fearfully wait for deliverance. In the past decades, physicists have peered into the depths of subatomic particles only to discover–much like the Q’ero describe–a world of vibrating energy that interacts with our observation.  Physicists describe the interference patterns of energy at the subatomic level as “nodes of resonance.”  You might call this intervention in the global relationship problem a “node of resonance,” a pattern formed by the interaction of my work with drumming and sound, Peter Russell’s thoughts in “The Global Brain,” and many research studies on the power of human intention.  If energy follows thought then we affect the living energy world.  Why not affect it consciously with positive intent?“The Global Brain” proposes a systems perspective of how life is developing on this planet.  Throughout Earth’s history, each time certain essential elements reached a critical population density, a new property emerged, and the whole became greater than the sum of its parts.  I’ll leave it to that author to explain his full premise, but the key element here is that critical population was about 10 billion.  We are now approaching that population as a species on this planet.  Several studies have shown how applied intention, the subtle energy of directed thought, affects the outcome of illness.  Such works demonstrate that our thoughts–our intention–influence the world from the smallest level to our very human being.  Perhaps we can enhance an intention’s effect by using the sound of the drum to deepen consciousness and reiterate the beat until we approach the critical threshold of 10 billion?We live in an extraordinary time.  On one hand, we see a rise of hope in the world that offers the promise of bonding us together and overcoming a hard time.  In contrast, we see that divisions between nations, political parties, and religious extremes seem unfazed.  Some prophesy that we have come to the end of our days while others say we are about to advance. Here is an idea I invite you to try with me in response to this current paradox: 10 Billion Beats.  Without doctrine or dogma, it has a simple agenda: to foster goodwill within the entire living family on the planet in which we live, move, and have our being.  I know it does not solve all the problems, but as a family relationship therapist with several years of experience, I’ve seen division before.  I’ve learned that before a family can find solutions, they must hear each other’s heartbeat.10 Billion Beats is a Global Intention Event that will use drumming to send a wave of positive intention around the world.  Starting in Central Kansas, it will follow the sun through the time zones at 7:00 PM on Sept. 18, 2009.  (Sept. 19 as it crosses the dateline)  It is to continue the energy exchange giving at least as good as we have received.  This project is for everyone like me who is crazy enough to change the world and everyone else for whom they want to change it.  That includes you and that is always where change begins.  The idea–though admittedly grandiose–is not a commercial event. Really, it’s a simple grassroots idea on a grand scale. If this resonates with you, please visit for more information and to get involved. Join in, and let’s drum up a New World!


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