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The Art of Rhythm Meditation: Zen Buddhist Goes Global with TaKeTiNa Rhythm Process

The Buddhist Channel, April 29, 2009

BERKELEY, Calif. (USA) -- This weekend, Americans will experience the stress-reducing effects of a unique process called TaKeTiNa (http://www.taketina.com), a musical meditation that gets diverse groups of people synchronized in rhythm. The event, "Journey into The Heart of Rhythm and Sound," will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 2nd and 3rd, at the Rudramandir center, in Berkeley, California.

"Almost effortlessly, people with no musical experience can quickly fall into rhythm and song," says Zen Buddhist and TaKeTiNa teacher James Word. The secret ingredient is TaKeTiNa. It is a refined process, developed over the past forty years by Austrian master percussionists Reinhard and Cornelia Flatischler. It originated from Reinhard's many years of study and research in Cuba, Brazil, Korea, India, Bali, and other countries.

"The first time I experienced TaKeTiNa, I knew it was about more than rhythm," says James. "After being in rhythm for three days, I felt as clear and relaxed as if I'd just finished a three-month meditation retreat. I recognized its power, and knew I wanted to help others experience it."

Now, nine years after his first experience, James teaches TaKeTiNa around the globe. He recently led a two-day workshop in Bordeaux, France, and plans to teach throughout the United States, beginning in Berkeley.

"Our modern American society desperately needs natural, healthy ways for people to connect," says James. "TaKeTiNa helps communities build natural bonds that go beyond the spoken word."

The TaKeTiNa process is based on scientific principles found in chaos theory, neurological research, and psychology. As the group explores a specific polyrhythm, they work toward a common goal. They experience phases of chaos and order, to arrive at a state of natural organization.

"I call it a collective groove," says James, "because when you're there, it's complex, yet easy. People are moving and singing in rhythms that, at first, seemed impossible. Then, all of a sudden, they experience a profound sense of peace."

James resided at Kanzeon Zen Center and trained with Zen Master Genpo Roshi, founder of the Big Mind process. James obtained a degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he focused on Buddhist psychology, dreamwork, and musical perception. He has lectured for the UC Berkeley course "Perspectives on Internal Happiness," and has developed the "Rhythm and Sound" course for The Sound and Consciousness Institute in San Francisco.

Rhythm in Action is an organization that provides rhythm meditation classes, workshops, and retreats designed to facilitate the natural development of individuals and communities. This weekend, May 2-3, a two-day workshop will be held at Rudramandir, in Berkeley, CA. To register for the event, visit: http://rhythminactionweekend.eventbrite.com

Additional information can be found at: http://www.rhythminaction.com/may2009 or on Rhythm in Action's website: http://www.rhythminaction.com



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