Gong Summit Wrap Up

A Final Overview

It's now a month since the end of the Gong Summit. I can still feel the experience resonating through my body/mind/spirit. I've only really started to process everything. 

For me, it was both life changing and life affirming. 

Life changing in that I met so many wonderful people. We shared time, meals, conversations, ideas, and of course the Gongs. I learned so much, not only from the other Masterclass presenters, but from my fellow attendees. I watched all of you play Gongs, testing them out in the various rooms and hallways. I listened, I learned, I absorbed what everyone did. I'm sorry that I didn't have a chance to meet and personally talk with everyone there, but maybe next time. 

It was life affirming for me to be accepted so lovingly by everyone. I was initially worried that my Masterclass subject might be too out there or technical, but by the response and comments, it helped a lot of people out and reaffirmed many people's own thoughts and ideas on time. I cannot thank everyone enough for the response I received. I am both honored and humbled. This affirms that what I am doing is the right path, and to continue further down that path. Thank you.

One of the biggest takeaways from the Summit was the idea of community. My wife and I came there having not met anyone in person before, except for me meeting Mike Tamburo last October, and we have come away with a whole group of new friends who feel much more like family that we have known all of our lives. We found our tribe. This sense of family, of community cannot be understated, as it comes at a very important time in history, when so many people are trying to divide us and pit us against each other.

One of the important aspects of Awakening is to realize that we truly are all one, and that we all come from the same source. If everyone really understood that, the world would immediately change into something completely beautiful. The 90 of us at the Summit have experienced this and need to keep it alive in ourselves as we return to our own communities, hopefully to plant seeds and keep the sound of the Gong resonating. 

Hanging Out

One of the best things with the Summit was being able to just hang out with people. Talking Gongs, talking life, just being in the moment. I loved meeting so many new people. I also loved helping people choose their new Gongs. Having worked in music stores for many years, it's in my blood to help people find the right sounds. I had so much fun doing it. I loved being able to help wherever I could, whether helping unload trucks, setting things up, helping choose Gongs, and packing and loading everything at the end.

The Gong Tribe

One important aspect of being together was the sharing of ideas and information. I learned so much from just talking to people and watching how they approached and played the Gong. Believe me, the learning never ends, and we all have something unique to offer. So I want to thank all my teachers at the Summit, which was everyone.

Yes, just hanging out and connecting with other like minded humans was so wonderful.

Final Impressions

Mitch Nur

I admire Mitch for his integrity and search for the truth. His very detailed and scholarly approach has enriched us all. He is so generous with his knowledge, but he also knows the value of pointing people towards the knowledge, so they can discover it for themselves.

It's also important to acknowledge his vision and the risk he took to make all of this happen. When you launch a project of this magnitude, you are never sure if it will be embraced by enough people to make it happen. And then if it does happen, you aren't sure if the whole thing will come together. I think for all of us attending, it became much more than we ever expected it would be. Thank you Mitch for having the vision!

Sheila Wittaker

Such a gentle soul. Her calm demeanor just made you feel so at ease around her. Her presentation was just like her, and demonstrated how we can bring a calm, nurturing energy to our practice. And we all witnessed the very dynamic effect her playing had on people during her 3 demonstrations. Sound doesn't always have to be loud to engage with people. Sometimes the most subtle sounds reach the deepest.

Sheila also inspired me in other ways. When we first met, I asked her about her books and she said to me, “When is your book coming out Michael?” I have been threatening to write my book for many years, I now have the kick in the pants I needed. Thank you Sheila!

Jens Zygar

Jens, Jens, Jens—we have communicated for many years, exchanging ideas and thoughts. To finally meet him in person was such a beautiful moment. We were checking in when I turned around to see Jens. He spotted me and we embraced like long lost family members. He is truly my Gong brother.

And Jens' presentation showed his deep passion for sharing his knowledge and helping people to find a true understanding of the Cosmic Octave and the Gong. And what a sense of humor! Just when everything seems so serious, he would interject a word, phrase, or action that would catch you off guard and make you smile. Yes, this is serious business, but it is also playful. Thank you Jens!

Mike Tamburo

Mike was the only person there that I had met in person. He was traveling in my area last October and asked if we could get together and play. I booked the large room at a local Yoga studio I play at, and we both brought our set ups. We probably played for close to 2 hours, just Mike & I alone in the room. It was a wonderful experience. We sounded like we had played together for years. One of these days I'll edit down the video and post it.

Mike's presentation was really a joy. His opening composition knocked me out. It was so moving and musical. Then his teaching part, having people play and explore the melodic aspects of Gongs, really seemed to open people up to different ideas and aspects of the Gongs. Mike is such a generous soul. I'm stealing all his good ideas! Thank you Mike!

Thomas Orr Anderson

A constant ball of energy. Thomas brought a lot of practical scientific knowledge to the proceedings. He was able to bridge the science vs mystical gap with grounded observations from both sides. His own wide experience enriched all of us.

Shawn Aceto, Madhava Carrara, Margherita Cioffi, Jim Doble, and Ryan Shelledy

How fantastic was it that these wonderful instrument makers not only were there, but they brought literally tons of instruments to try, and to buy! What could be better than being able to talk to the maker about their creations? I want to thank them for being so open and helpful. I learned a lot from being around them and talking with them. Thank you everyone!

Steve Weiss Music

I have bought a lot of instruments from Steve Weiss over the past 20 years. They are great to deal with and very helpful. They are also very supportive of the Gong community. I always visit their booth at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) and have brought home a lot of great instruments over the years. I'd like to thank them for sending all the Gongs, bells, mallets, etc. to the Summit. I bought way too many! (Well, there's really no such thing as too many)

Frank DiCristina & Ed Cleveland

Frank did a great job running the sound for the masterclasses. It was a tough  and thankless job at times. Everyone should thank him, not only for running the sound, but for recording it too. He's got a lot of work ahead to edit everything into a usable form.

Ed, along with Shawn Aceto, moved more Gongs around from room to room, place to place. If you needed a Gong put up on a stand to try, he was there to do it. And whenever I saw Ed, he had a smile. 

The Gongs

The reason we all came together. So many amazing instruments were at the summit, and many of them found new homes around the world.

All Good Things…

I'm sure that I've left out people. I must apologize for that. So much happened in the course of 5 days that it all blurs together. Thank you everyone who was involved in the Gong Summit, especially behind the scenes. 

The Summit was a once in a lifetime event. I'm sure there will be others (Italy 2020), but there will only ever be one first Summit. 

Until next time…

~ MB

Chop Wood/ Carry Water / Play Gongs™


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