The beat starts with your heart.
It is the starting point for everything you wish to accomplish in your music. To musicians, “the beat” is felt as tempo or groove. I tell my students that as musicians, beyond playing in tune, with beautiful tone, and being able to play technically difficult music, their first and foremost job is to express the beat and a steady tempo.
The beat cannot be experienced solely in the mind.
It needs to be felt in your body, most likely in your solar plexus or third chakra. You may consider using a metronome, but its only real function is to verify whether your tempo is steady or not. Being able to play with a steady tempo is absolutely necessary in order to play with other musicians.
The beat is profound.
The beat is a spiritual bridge to your musicianship. When you fully connect with the beat, the music makes sense. Everything else, the rhythm, notes, and phrasing, all fall into place. The beat is your North Star, Pole Star, Polaris, making it possible to fully express yourself in your music.