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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Gong As Teacher

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Here I am, face to face with my Gong. Present. In the moment. Without expectation. I start playing and listen, feel, experience what the Gong is saying. I follow it, letting it lead me on a journey. There is no need to push things. No need to try and take it somewhere else. I just go with it.


Student & listener as teacher
The Gong, as teacher, as resource, as experience. Follow the sound. When I play, I can feel the vibrations. I can feel how the Gong moves under the mallet. I can feel how it reacts to differing pressure. Hard brings out one harmonic. Softer brings out another. Still harder opens up another world of sound. 

Change the mallet and start all over again, observing how the Gong reacts. It talks to me. It shows me how it will respond to different mallets, different pressure. I only need to observe and remember.

The Gong, as teacher…

Are you a student?

~ MB

Chop Wood | Carry Water | Play Gongs

The Gong as Mandala

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Mandala

In Tantric Hinduism and Buddhism, a diagram representing the universe, used in sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation. The mandala serves as a collection point for universal forces. By mentally “entering” the mandala and moving toward its centre, one is guided through the cosmic processes of disintegration and reintegration.
[from: Merriam-Webster dictionary]


The word mandala itself is derived from the root manda, which means essence, to which the suffix la, meaning container, has been added. Thus, one obvious connotation of mandala is that it is a container of essence.

[Taken from: Exotic India]


The above 2 definitions can also be applied to the Gong. What is the Gong but a container of essence? It is a container of energy, of primal life force. Those of you who work with Gongs know this. You also know that by entering it, you become a part of the whole of creation. 


Everything is contained in the Gong. ~ Singal Rinpoche
Even the shape and the colorings/patterns of the Go…

World Observatory

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The Gongs are very much like antennas: they both transmit and receive energy/information. Even when they are not being played, they are receiving vibrations from the world around them. They can also pick up on the intent of the player, be it positive or negative. That is why I always take care as to who can play my Gongs. Out of respect, I also don't just play another's Gongs without knowing them and receiving permission.






Think of them also as portals to other realms. Those of you who play them know what I mean, know how yourself, and others, can be transported to different places. Much like a Shaman's drum, they can take us through the various layers of existence. Time can also be shifted to the point where it does not exist. How many people have remarked at the end of a Meditation or healing session that they thought you had just started!
It is also possible to energize your Gongs with Reiki and other such energy practices. This can change both how they sound, and how they…

Mindful Listening

In our world, traveling at the speed of life, things are often rushed, hurried to get from one thing to another. Communication around the globe is now instananeous, and everything is designed to help us do more, faster. But how much more can we really do? And by moving ever faster, how much of life do we really miss?

This especially goes for musicians. I recently read where speed metal bands are using drum machines to record with because real, human drummers can't play fast enough! What is the point? Where does music just become a blur of unrecognizable sounds passing by at light speed? When does humanity lose touch with everything around it?

This is where Mindful Listening comes in. Mindful Listening can be listening to anything. What it is, is a focused listening where one actually stops all other activities and allows the sounds to be present and experienced fully. Those of us who play Gongs, Singing Bowls, and Ritual Objects know this well. It is striking your instrument and let…