Book Review: The Flying Drum by Bradford P. Keeney

June 23, 2011

The Flying DrumThe Flying Drum by Bradford P. Keeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Keeney is a therapist who used systems theory and cybernetics and had a national reputation with several publications in the 80’s. He was a student of Gregory Bateson and Heinz von Foerster. He has developed a radical approach to therapy which is deeply informed and shaped by shamanism.

If you are interested in this, there is an engaging podcast available that I would recommend with an interview with Keeney by Tami Simon of Sounds True. Here is a link to this podcast.

“The Flying Drum” book is a fast read. He tells his personal story of his own “professional” development and describes his way he met with shamans from all around the world, received initiations and instructions, and brings what he learned to the world. It is literally fantastic, operating in that domain of what seems unbelievable and yet here in direct experience.

While the book has similarities to New Age books like those of Lynn Andrews, etc., it feels to have more substance and is more grounded in ordinary reality while not shy of stories of the seeming impossible. It is also a bit like Carlos Casteneda’s books with many descriptions of encounters and personal experiences but without going into as much of the detail of the stories of his contact with the shamans.

I found this book to be validating and inspiring.

One Response to “Book Review: The Flying Drum by Bradford P. Keeney”

  1. kathleenrea Says:

    I enjoyed reading the Knowing Imagination blog. I see form this post that your blog sometimes reviews arts therapy books. I was wondering if you would like a complimentary copy of my book The Healing Dance: The Life and Practice of an Expressive Arts Therapist. I would be happy to mail one to you for your team to read and possibly cover in one of your blog posts. Please contact me at kathleenrea@rogers.com if you would like a copy.


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