Sacred Spirit Drummer
“Spirit Drumming is like an organic compulsion to translate the emotional fact of being alive into sound, into rhythm and into something you can dance to. This excitement we feel, when we hear it, tells us that the door into the other realms is opening.” Mickey Hart
Dallas Yoga Magazine is so honored to have Ryan Taylor as part of this month’s edition. He is known as the “Spirit Drummer” defined as a rhythmic sound healer, master drummer and drum circle facilitator. He uses the power of drumming to bring ecstatic celebration, enlightenment and pure open bliss to all that experience his music and powerful events. Ryan’s healing music has taken him all over the world, including everything from drumming for indigenous spiritual and healing events to corporate events and workshops. Ryan will be drumming at the Cosmic Yogi Festival so check the schedule.
DYM: Are you originally from Dallas?
Ryan: Yes, I am from Dallas.
DYM: How long have you been drumming?
Ryan: I have been playing with drums since the age of 5. I’ve been in Rock bands throughout the years. I find joy in playing and making people smile and feel good.
DYM: When did you discover your “calling” to become a Sacred Drummer?
Ryan: I always felt there was something more to drumming. In 2004, I went to Haiti to study the indigenous drumming used for community and connect with Spirit. This opened my journey to the “truth” that’s behind the drum. My journey has taken me back to Haiti several times,
Africa, Mexico, Dominian Republic, Belize and the Caribbean to name a few.
DYM: How do people react or what do they say when you tell them you are a Sacred Drummer?
Ryan: Folks react with curiosity and often ask questions.
DYM: Do you have another career?
Ryan: Yes, I’m a Quality Technician in the medical design industry.
DYM: What lead you to doing this?
Ryan: What lead me to be a Drum Healer was the infinite connection to rhythm that nature, spirit and energy have. Not to mention the strength and empowerment it fulfills in every person. It’s extremely powerful!
DYM: You have so much knowledge on this subject. Can you elaborate more on why drumming is such a powerful instrument and what it means to you?
Ryan: All people should have that direct path to Source, God. In this universe, sound and vibration are the means by which prayer and intention are carried from sender to receiver. Hence why we sing, chant and drum to the Heavens. To show honor and to communicate are thanks and praise! Like the songs in the hymnals, the songs of the forgotten language in Africa or the lost Mantras of the Sanskrit, drumming and the rhythms that vary also honor and reflect various Spirits, energies, magnetic or energetic fields. Whatever you choose to call it, rhythm and vibration are the key factors that create and drive our realms around us. This is why we hear so many different styles of drumming and rhythms worldwide. These styles are indigenous people’s connection to their ancestors, and to the ancestors of the stars. These rhythms are messages, codes, stories, prayers, celebrations, requests, and invocations to the stars and our ancestors from the higher realms all the way back to Earth. These rhythms are individually connected to individual spirit and truth. One of the only true sources of connection to the divine, healing, reconstruction of our path, community, balance and love…is thru pure vibration. Our main drum, our heartbeat is that primal truth. I want to express and unlock these realms with all! I want to create rhythms that move all and reflect all, that resonates with all. My goal, my passion is to share with all people that the truth is within us, we must get to our primal core in order to obtain this truth. Drumming has numerous studied medical benefits, but many overlook it’s true and original purpose. To access the Divine within us and around us, to call upon the healing and blessing forces of nature, the Cosmos and the Heavens. Once accessing these aspects and the Universe and the Creator, only then can we begin to heal. Seek truth, seek love, seek peace.
DYM: WOW! What an incredible answer. I understand in drumming you are initiated into various honors.
Ryan: I’ve been initiated into the drumming and spirit world of Haiti as a Hountogi (Master Drummer) and Houngan (Priest). I was also initiated on West African spiritual rites.
DYM: That’s so fascinating. You have a very unique journey. Do you have a preferred style?
Ryan: My preferred style is what I coin “Soul Inspired” rhythm making. Taking the true indigenous spiritual or empowerment rhythms of the ancient lands and building a self expressed rhythm of that foundation. Whatever moves folks is my preference really.
DYM: What is the difference between drumming by yourself and being in a drum circle?
Ryan: Of course, there is power in drumming alone, but that power recombines and multiplies on many simultaneous levels in a group of drummers. The drums draw individual energies together, unifying them into a consolidated force.
DYM: What can someone expect when they go to your class for the first time?
Ryan: People can expect one on one learning, first time rhythm basics, drum technique, fun, connection and empowerment.
DYM: What do you want your students to accomplish or “take away” from your class?
Ryan: My goal is to have folks reach the same kind of “high” I reach when I drum these unlocking and healing rhythms. I want people to walk away with a boost in the confidence and a powerful sense of YES I can and I did!
DYM: Sometimes humorous situations happen during sessions. Can you think of something that you have seen or experienced?
Ryan: Once everyone has warmed up all types of humorous events take place. Everything from group howling like wolves to impromptu hula hoops!
DYM: Sounds like our kind of fun! Do you have other practices you add or incorporate with drumming to enhance your practice?
Ryan: I do incorporate aspects of the west African/Afro Haitian spiritual rites by way of always creating an altar or sacred space during an event, various Mantras that are used to connect with the Divine and the basic drum rhythms.
DYM: What is Reiki Drumming?
Ryan: I utilize Reiki in combination with my drumming in sessions. The drumbeat is one of the oldest and most sacred sounds that we can use to access consciousness and healing. When combining Reiki with sound, the Divine wisdom inherent in the Reiki energy merges with the sound waves and creates a beautifully safe and sacred environment for healing to occur.
DYM: If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Ryan: One describing word for me would Ecstatic! I’m always full of pounding energy!
DYM: Let everyone know where they can find you.
Ryan: I hold various drum events around Dallas every month. First Sunday’s at Unity on Greenville, third Thursday at Unity of Dallas, third Sunday Arlington Unitarian and am always hosting new events around the country.
Go to Ryan Taylor’s website for more information:
Don’t forget Ryan will be drumming at the Summer Cosmic Yogi Festival on June 2, 2018 in Addison.