Showing posts from September, 2014

Walking The Path

The Myth of the Two Week Master - Part 3 - Walking The Path So you bought a Gong/Singing Bowl/Bell, maybe you go to the Yoga or Pilates studio every week, and you've gotten into chanting and meditation. Where do you start? You start where you are.  Please realize that you don't have to be into Yoga, or Pilates, or religion, or have a guru, or meditate, or chant, or believe in any sort of new age woo woo stuff. You just have to be you and have a desire to both learn and communicate—and you have to realize there is no easy, or short, path to follow. First thing:  Sit in a quiet room and just play your Gong/Bowl/Bell. That's it. No expectations. No agenda. Just p lay it and listen to the sound. Listen to how the sound affects you, both on a physical level, and on a spiritual level. When you play it, what does it do to you? Ask yourself this question. Also listen to how the sound affects the room. Play in one place, then move to another. Play in the corner. Play

The Myth of the Two Week Master - Part 2

The response to my last post has been intense, to say the least. It quickly became the 2nd most read blog post. I seemed to have touched a nerve in some people, or said what others were only thinking. To this I say, GOOD! Dialog is important. Mutual understanding is important. The sharing of ideas is important. That's one reason I write these blogs. But in the ensuing discussion,  with people talking about the use of   titles,  I feel that the original point has been lost. I'm not against titles or designations of some sort. People can call themselves whatever they want. If you want to advertise yourself as "Lord of the Gong," so be it. You are free to call yourself what you want. But again, I want to state my original point: Just because you bought a Gong 2 weeks ago, doesn't mean you should be presenting Gong Sessions to the public!  What I am questioning is people who buy a Gong or Bowl (or take up any sort of Yoga/Massage/Reiki/etc. practice), and 2 o

The Myth of the Two Week Master

There's a lot of discussion about alternative therapies, including sound, on Facebook and other places. The value of such practices is often questioned, with many people calling out various sources of energy healing as bogus, because there is no empirical data, or scientific proof that it really works. It doesn't help that there are a lot of people claiming to be trained in various therapies, who are not really trained at all. Unfortunately, this reflects badly on the people who are genuinely gifted and highly trained. From a friend, Elham Kashefi, in England, who is doing some wonderful work and has a strong background—a PhD in Health Research. She posted this on Facebook: “ This is what's wrong with the 'complementary medicine' field: "I qualified as a crystal therapist in January 2010 and as a Crystal Master Teacher in November 2011." How do you become a Master [of] anything in one year? And how do you 'qualify' as a Master?

Stop and Take A Breath

Monkey Mind. It's something I've written about before. It doesn't just affect us, but it also affects the people we are playing for. Have you ever been ready to start a Gong or Bowl session, and there is a restlessness in the air? As much as the people are there, and want to relax and take in the vibrations, they often carry the day's baggage in with them. The first place to start is to ground and center yourself. You may have some sort of ritual you go through. I like to find a quiet place and just feel the vibe of the room and the arriving people. I also do some hand Mudras to help focus and relax. And most importantly, I will breathe . I'll take some deep breaths to help relax and focus, but most importantly, to release all the baggage and monkey mind that I have brought with me. I didn't always do it, but I now start my sessions with having everyone take a deep breath and slowly release it. I instruct them as they exhale to also release all their t

What We Can Learn From John Cage

The late iconoclast, John Cage, who was perhaps the 20th century's greatest composer, philosopher, writer, thinker, and overall influence on the arts, is probably one of the most misunderstood figures in the arts. His often radical ideas got him labeled as a mad man, poser, pseudo-intellectual, and many other things. Sadly, it's really a matter of both him and his works often being grossly misunderstood, because everything he did seemed to work on multiple levels. Nothing was as plain as it seemed. One thing that Cage loved, was sound, everyday sounds. He was interested in conversations, traffic, life in the city, life in the country—the ordinary sounds that are all around us. I love sounds. Just as they are. And I have no need for them to be anything more than what they are. He was fascinated with the idea that there is really no silence, because there are always sounds going on in the background.  Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, i