Since more than 30 years I work with the elements of Trance, Sound and Ritual to help people to find healing, guidance, clarity and joy. It all started with music. At first my mom “forced” me to play snare in the local marching and, but even though I got the actual drumming right and liked to play, it was too much marching and not at all my kind of music. So after a year I got my first own drum and started banging along to my favorite LP’s. Music was my first step into the world of trance and ecstasy. I was mesmerized and could play for hours without getting tired, completely immersed in my world of sound and rhythm…

The next step was drugs… Nothing heavy, mostly just hash and grass, and it pulled me deeper into the world of trance, without knowing what it was. And then came Osho. When I was introduced to his dynamic meditation approach, again something fell into place. I was so enthusiastic to get such a simple, yet powerful method to bring awareness to my behavior, my fears, my anger! What a great approach to clean up all the dust and garbage of my childhood upbringing. I went on for months, jumping, screaming, roaring! And then: ahhh, silence ­– at least for some precious moments, sometimes even minutes.

I went on exploring in my search for peace and serenity, and felt the call of nature again. Brought up in the beautiful German countryside, I had always a very strong pull to be out and about, talking to birds and trees and ants and the like. I read “Rolling Thunder” and Castaneda again, met Gabrielle Roth and her Five Rhythms concept, and felt pulled to go to the US or Mexico. But there came Frank Natale and he took me into the world of TranceDance and neo-Shamanic rituals. He was a pioneer, bringing back the power of shamanic ritual and ceremony to the western world. Especially, his Soul Hunting ritual blew my mind and I was impressed by the simplicity, yet profound depths of healing that I felt. It is one of the most simple and powerful trauma healing tools I have ever experienced. Also in my TranceDance journeys I went quick and deep into old traumatic experiences from childhood, but now with the support of my new and ancient spiritual guides and alliances I could revisit these traumatic scenes and put them into place.

Since I was a musician I started using live music during my TranceDance apprenticeship. The experiments worked out very well and I soon saw how much easier and deeper people went into trance states with live drumming. I started using the live drums also with other rituals and soon realized that often just one drum, played with intention, would be enough to send people on a journey. Still today I love to play the shaman’s drum; it has an incredible impact on people.
 I discovered more and more, how strong drumming and chanting helps people to reconnect to their inner joy, strength, integrity and vision. Drums are easily accessible to most people, giving them the possibility to express themselves, creating community while playing “in the moment” music together without any previous teaching or training. Arthur Hull, American percussionist, another pioneer, inspired me with his methods of facilitating drumming circles. He co created a sign-language to facilitate drumming together in circles. Meanwhile Drum Circle Facilitation is a huge worldwide movement, and is used in schools and kindergartens, at community festivals, music fairs, corporate events, congresses as well as in healthcare facilities, with elderly people as well as people suffering various mental diseases, all with great success. Another aspect of sound and healing is the pure quality of natural sound waves, not only from drums, but also from specially designed instruments like Tibetan sound bowls and cimbells, tanpura, mono(poly)-chord, swarmandal, gongs, etc. The ancient methods of healing sound treatment are celebrating a revival in the last 30-40 years and becoming more and more prominent in the world of transformational festivals, healing fairs and wellness.

Love, Light and Laughter,

Rishi S. Vlote