Gong Mastery in a Flying Saucer

11 days to 50.

Gongmaster IMG_3227 Image 1


I spent last night at an all night gong concert at the Integraton by Joshua Tree in California.

My gongmaster does this event a few times a year. The Integraton was built by an engineer in the fifties who believed he was taken by aliens into their spaceship. Allegedly these aliens gave him plans to build his own spaceship in the middle of the desert. He dedicated his life to building this structure. Aside from the obviously flying saucer-like appearance, the acoustics in the dome upstairs are spectacular. Today they use this structure for all kinds of sound therapy sessions.

I went to the last all night gong concert about 4 months ago. This was before I’d graduated from Kundalini Yoga teacher training and before I’d started gong training. I was enchanted. There are always at least 9 or 10 different gongs there, and when they are played in unison it is magical. They are played from 8 pm until 8 am the following morning. Because of the sound currents of the gongs used for Kundlaini Yoga it is difficult for the thinking mind to plan things. This allows the subconscious mind to let go, often without the person listening to them having any idea what is being released. Last time I was buzzing for weeks.

Last time I was a guest. This time I got to play the gongs. Because of the format of the training I’ve played 2 different gongs for 5 minutes each. This puts the sum total of my gong playing experience at 10 minutes. Last night we were allowed to play for 2 hours. To go from 10 minutes to 2 hours seemed like a bit of a stretch to me. There were 3 other players on my shift, the 10 pm to midnight shift. I wondered how I would have the stamina to last 2 hours and whether or not everyone would be able to tell that I didn’t have much of a clue as to what I was doing.

I had the time of my life. 2 hours flew by like 20 minutes. For the first time in a long time (up to and including the Kundalini mediations I do every day) I totally lost myself. While I was playing I was so focused on the experience itself that there wasn’t any room for all the thoughts that ordinarliy popluate my mind. The thoughts about how I need to look for an apartment, or that I haven’t paid my quarterly taxes yet, or that I need to find a party dress for my 50th birthday party.

My only focus, my only concentration was on the experience right in front of me. It was just me and the gongs. I loved it. I can’t wait to go back for more. Yes, the gongmaster came over several times to correct me. Yes, I didn’t play perfectly, as my gongmaster pointed out, I started out playing them like they were drums rather than treating them with the artistry of a painter. But to me it was perfect. 2 hours of bliss.

My friend took the first photo in this post and sent it to me. I wanted to post it here but seriously thought about narrowing my waist in Photoshop first. I mean, I can’t possibly really look this broad from the back. But then I thought about it. How can I write everyday about finding my own truth, about putting my honest self forward to the world and Photoshop an image to make me look thinner than I really am? So I left the image alone. This is me in my element. Absolutely at peace.

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