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9ways

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Reply with quote  #16 
Nice feedback Rich, and everyone should note this. Keep your story out of this, in regards to Group work. In fact, keep your story out of private work as well. When asked by students how best to work, I advise them to be in a non conceptual state when they are playing. What you do before and after you play, is part of your story. But when involved in the Soundscape itself, try and work in a non conceptual manner, unless something is agreed in advance between you and the person you are working with. In some cases you may be asked to work a 'certain way', do your best to assess this, and to assess your ability in dealing with it. Explain the protocol, and make them aware of what their responsibility in this is. It is they that is doing the work, you can't do it for them.
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sonarasoundtherapy

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Reply with quote  #17 

"My teacher Saruah Benson always made a point of declaring (silently) to the universe, or God or Spirit or however one sees it, "let me be an instrument for the highest good of all involved", just before beginning. I also declare that I let go of all agenda, all thought toward "doing" anything for anyone, and that I am now in this moment showing up free and clear as a servant of Spirit through the Sound." ~ Rich

Thought this was very powerful and well written, one of my guides invites us to work on personal prayers that state our mission. I totally have an awesome sound healing prayer written.

Micheal Bettine wrote on his blog recently:

"It's difficult to work with Gongs & Singing Bowls without feeling some sort of spiritual aspect or dimension to them. Face it, the sounds are transcendent. But the problem is that there are a million different versions of this spirituality. And everyone believes what they believe to be true."

I have to agree that no matter how you define it, it is impossible (for me) not to feel the deep resonance and sacredness of our work.

My jobs have been increasing, i am getting alot of positive response and interest. I generally find working with smaller groups to be more mangeable and intimate and I can play more closely to what I feel the group needs. With larger groups there is alot more going on energetically and I have to play to suit the group conglomerate.

I love this work and I am improving my skill and thank you all for sharing stories from your personal path !

 


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Shari

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Throatsinger

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Reply with quote  #18 

Interesting discussion with many good points. A few I'd like to offer:


As Rich mentioned, you can't please everyone. Since these tools and instruments are not, in fact, nor are their sounds inherently healing or soothing or whatever, regardless of intention or agendas or protocols they will necessarily affect people in that manner. And some folks just don't like particular instruments or sounds, and I'd hazard a guess that in western cultures more listeners will find gongs unpleasing, for example, than more familiar instruments and musics.

Personally, I dislike crystal bowls and Peruvian Whistling Vessels, rather intensely. And I'm rather confident that it's not, as I've often been told because I need 'em all the moreso. And while I enjoy playing singing bowls and gongs, and sometimes listening to them, I have little interest in doing so for an entire evening, in a performance setting. Tastes vary, and it can be a bit of a task understanding that if people believe that "these are good and more is better."

While I agree with Mitch that it's good to get away from (over) conceptualizing, I suspect that rarely happens. Like so many things, in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. And of course getting away from conceptualizing is itself a conceptualized action. Musicians often say that one needs to learn, study theory, practice, etc., but at showtime one needs to put that all away and PLAY, to act more as conduit for the muse or "spirit." But one still remembers the context one is operating within, or one is in trouble.

Shari quoted Michael Bettine's astute observation regarding beliefs and "truth," which is spot on. I'd like to expand on that to suggest that if one REALLY wants to learn and explore, it is most beneficial to give up preconceived notions, existing beliefs, emotional investments and our teachers' teachings, and really dive in and find what's really there for each of us. It might be scary or otherwise threatening, but the results are more intimately meaningful and instructive than what we can learn from a teacher or a book.


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sonarasoundtherapy

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Reply with quote  #19 

Hi thank you Steve.

I just want to add Mike Tamburo of Crown of Eternity's response to me as we were discussing this one facebook (before it gets lost) He is currently on a month long tour and on a 3 day drive to colorado so im posting this on his behalf:

"I find crying to be a pretty common occurrence with the gong experience. I cry often while playing and while listening. Sometimes it is because the sound is helping me back into my heart space and I am watching/experiencing the release of what was weighing me down, other times I am in awe of the space of the divine that the sound carries me to. Other times the gongs are really doing some balancing work. It is not always easy to be put back into place.

The group session is of course very different than the one on one personal session. I feel like I have learned the most about what a listener is experiencing during the private sessions. They are almost part healing and part research for me. Perhaps it is even because the space to communicate afterwards is built into the session. During the private session I am able to pay more attention to details, What is the body doing? How is the body responding to quiet sounds, how is the body responding to louder sounds? There are micro-movements that are often occurring in the body during a gong experience. I see some of these movements to be where the body is tensing and some to be where the body is releasing. I love what John Beaulieu says about allowing the body to unwind and unravel during a sound experience. If I am seeing all tension during a section of playing then I adjust my playing until I see the body can relax once again. 

I also have an energetic gauge as to what is happening. I am often doing a bastardized version of Sat Nam Rasayan while I am giving a session - a healing through awareness. I open myself to be a mirror for the entire energetics of the space. This helps in reading the room in the larger group sessions. What do I feel like when a person is having a hard time? What do I feel like when a listener is in bliss having mystical experiences? It gives me a space to read and respond to.

I have had the opportunity to do many one on one private sessions. Enough that I understand the myriad of possibilities of what can come up during a gong/sound session (and perhaps still too few sessions that I am still sometimes surprised!!!). This has informed my work for the group sessions. 

The set up for the session is important - allowing people to know what the experience is going to be, knowing how to listen, how to help a release, how not to become tense, how to go with the sound, etc. I try to make it as inviting of an experience as possible.

The main thing is that I am not playing just for me. This is a combined experience of audience, instruments and performers. I am mutable enough to understand that Sound Therapy is not for everyone. I am also humble enough to realize that sometimes sounds that work for me do not work for others. I am always trying to share sounds from a space of compassion. I am honored to hold space while people are lying down and doing their inner work to the soundspace I am offering."

~ Mike Tamburo 

 


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Shari

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Gongtopia

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Reply with quote  #20 
Yes, lots of crying, flashes of hot & cold, shaking & twitching, and all manner of reported bodily, as well as, mental & spiritual experiences. I alway have a 'sharing/Q&A' time afterwards. I also tell people that these experiences may happen to them over the next few days, as things 'shake loose and settle down.'

Yes, I do my best to 'stay out of the way' while playing. It's not always easy, but I try to be more the conduit/door way/decoder of the sounds/vibrations than actively inserting myself into the proceedings. I've also been talking less and less about myself and my beliefs lately, unless asked a specific question. I've come to realize that my beliefs are pretty esoteric, so best keep them out of things. Besides, any session I do is not really about me.

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sonarasoundtherapy

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thank you Michael and thank you so much EVERYONE. This conversation has been very valuable to me especially as many of you shared stories from your personal work experience !

Thank you to whoever made this forum available on the web

Shari

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Shari

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sonarasoundtherapy

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Reply with quote  #22 

Good news ! Thank you to everyone who said "let the sounds complete" "dont bang away at the gongs", give people lots of heads up to be prepared for things coming up emotionally / mentally / physically and do after care !

I just had a session keeping in mind all the comments on this thread and I feel it was one of my best. One person who has been to my other sessions commented that she prefers it more intense. But we had a first timer who said they started off feeling uncomfortable but they loved it and were really able to relax in the end.

Anyway thank you to each and everyone for sharing and helping me be a better gong player and facilitator of people getting into their healing spaces and having some R&R / "me time"

So much gratitude !

Shari 


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Reply with quote  #23 
Hi I'd like to share my experience as a participator. This is a really intriguing topic for me quite incredible dabbling in 'the unknown' / not easily explained with science yet.

I went along to a meetup group to my first gong meditation and it was pretty awful. The room was crammed full of people and it was the first time I'd met up with the new group. I was pretty relaxed at the start and quite looking forward to the session as I am quite a peaceful and positive person who practises meditation occasionally /interested in spiritual development/Buddhism /quantum physics/new experiences etc. They played wind chimes which I found quite nice but as soon as the gong started I found it very uncomfortable - I find it interesting a teacher's comment on here that hardly any of their participants has found it to be 'unpleasant' but mine sure was. It was quite a strong feeling and so different to other people's it made me obviously question what does it mean and what is wrong with me.... lol. It's actually quite hard to describe other than it made me feel bad very uncomfortable and definitely unpleasant. I couldn't understand how something that was meant to be pleasant could feel so awful I tossed and turned and was fidgeting ended up sitting up and I wanted to leave but pushed through it because I was at this meetup with the new group of people so stuck it out. Afterwards they all said how great it was one girl said she felt quite tired after so it definitely let me wondering why was it so different for me. The teachers did mention in passing at the beginning that some people might not like it but I had no idea it was going to be that uncomfortable and that a mere sound could invoke such strong emotions. It would have been nice if they followed up at some point on what that could mean. I agree with I think the first person's comments that the group scenario definitely can make it challenging. I guess I went into it not really understanding the full extent of its healing power I thought it was just going to be a sunshine and daisies type of experience. 

Anyway it doesn't end there a really curious but perhaps completely unrelated thing happened afterwards. Like I said it is very hard to describe the experience but it felt like an external source that was extremely negative was somehow coming through the sound that's why obviously I was feeling so uncomfortable. I found Sound Participant's comments on here really interesting also regarding her singing and the effect of doing it with intent on other people. I'm a massive animal lover to the extent that I'm a welfare advocate and on my way driving home after the session I hit a possum and it was so awful - I tried to help it but I couldn't and then I tried calling animal rescue and couldn't get through and was balling my eyes out at the same time. The night was so awful that it completely put me off and I somehow thought that session was related silly I know but it was just all up a really weird and awful night. This was a while ago and it just popped into my mind again I never really sought clarification on the issue - so I was lead to this forum after looking up what it could mean. Anyway I just wanted to share my experience perhaps to help you as teachers see how it can be from someone who didn't enjoy it and also seeking some clarification too.

Cheers,
From an Aussie girl
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RichG

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Reply with quote  #24 

Dear Confused Novice,

Thank you for your post and sharing your experience. We seem to go in waves here in terms of activity, hopefully others will tune in and offer some insightful responses. There could have been a variety of reasons why the gongs were not good for you, and those reasons may or may not have been somehow "just you", or "your fault". As Steve mentioned above I too have little to no desire to sit through a whole evening of gonging, or particularly gong and crystal bowls - though I'm sure there are master level performers who can make it a great experience (no doubt some here whose work I've yet to experience). I use far more variety of instruments, sounds, voice in my own practice. I am also not a fan of the whole "take it lying down" sound "bath" approach. Sitting upright, in a comfortable, relaxed and supported manner is far better for receiving the sonic medicine, in my experience - yet many practitioners don't even give that option.

You said "I guess I went into it not really understanding the full extent of its healing power".
Well, yes, there is a great potential for the healing power of sound, sometimes even in spite of an unconscious or poorly developed practitioner. And yes, true healing often comes with experiences of discomfort of varying degress and types - you're right, it isn't all sunshine and daisies - however, your discomfort with the experience by no means implies you had a "healing experience". If a therapy is healing, it ultimately leaves the client afterward feeling peaceful, calm, clear and centered, awakened, pain-reduced if not pain-free etc, after moving through the challenge - not confused, irritated, uncomfortable as a continuous and final state. A good and conscious practitioner should always address this possibility at the end. They should clearly check in with the room and specifically address any such experiences as yours if they occurred. It is not responsible to blindly or naively throw these sound experiences at people and then send them off in their cars into the night without any 'debriefing' or extra grounding if they need it.

Finally, you said "I somehow thought that session was related silly I know...", to hitting the opposum.
Why is that silly? Obviously you felt it a possibility or you wouldn't have mentioned it. Further, the events and experiences of our lives often are directly connected, particularly when they are directly connected in time - i.e., something that happens now just might be directly influenced by what happened immediately before. An extended experience (I'm guessing it was at least an hour) of confusion and discomfort could well have an effect on your concentration and attention to the complex task of driving your car home afterward. That might have led to your hitting the opposum, and it might not have, you would be the best judge of that but it's certainly a possibility based on what you've described. I know people who have had what they would describe as amazing, wonderful and transcendent experiences at my Sound Medicine events and then they leave and they are so 'high' they drive the wrong way home, or they stand in the parking lot for ten minutes not sure what planet they are on. I always offer a "come down" and grounding/return at the end. I don't think it is always properly listened too or maybe not given the attention it deserves - and it's a nice feeling to be 'high' and want to stay there. The ideal is to experience this work with sound at a retreat where you just have to navigate a walk back to you
r room for the night, not get in your car and drive. 

Thank you for joining the forum and sharing your experience!


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Throatsinger

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Reply with quote  #25 

Confused Novice: Keep in mind that there are crappy sounding gongs, bad players, and worst case both. Some people will just love it anyway due to suggestibility, expectations, etc. You might just be more sensitive, more caring about what you actually feel than what you're "supposed to feel." Don't assume that discomfort has anything to do with "full healing power." Being crammed in can wreck it, too.

Ignore anyone who tells you that what makes you uncomfortable indicates that more of that is what you need.

Also, nothing is for everybody, and that's ok.


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HimalayanBowls

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Reply with quote  #26 
Very good feedback and suggestions here. The description of the participants sounds to me like fatigue. I suggest a more gentle sound and shorter session. See if people have a different kind of response. As others suggested, check your own motivations, preparation and mindset. People always leave my sessions relaxed, refreshed, happy, peaceful, light on their feet, etc. I completely disagree that healing requires discomfort or that there is some quanta of emotion to release. Try a lighter approach and clear intention and see how it develops.
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mommy

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Reply with quote  #27 
I also had this problem but found a way of dealing with it. I think it has to do with the general energy level during a normal day, wich was always pretty low. The sessions are kind of exhausting and this often results in fatigue - or at least, this is my personal experience with fatigue after sessions. My solution is a healthier lifestyle in general: I eat better food, I go to bed early and I started to use some supplements, for example this one. I also do some body exercises from time to time. For me, this works just fine - no more fatigue.
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Sandira Michael

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Reply with quote  #28 
The most startling unpleasant sound bath event i ever ran was giving a group sound healing in a building I now think was either haunted or had some sort of very bad energy. Mid way through the Gong bath a really negative dark energy passed through myself and everyone in the room. I stopped using the venue after that. 
I do think that session leaders have to be very focused on the intent of the sound bath. not wondering off with their own thoughts as everything we feel or think is carried on the vibrations. 
I do think everyone experiences a sound bath differently and it can be different every time. I've had clients experience pain in joints and limbs from old sports injuries through the session that passed by the end. Some tingling, hot, cold, dead weight and floating. I always tell people that things like this can happen during a gong bath and to breath though any unpleasantness. 
I try to remember to show everyone how to shield up before leaving the room and how to ground.  
Sometimes too much gong is just too much. If we are not ready for it, it can be overwhelming. Like we are being battered into submission.
I was in a shop when someone started playing a big 22" bass crystal bowl. it was so unpleasant i had to leave the shop. 

It does sound a little like it forced you into a healing crisis. Played out by the possum experience. (everything is linked- accidents are not accidents sort of thing) your crying could have been what was needed. The cathartic release for the gong bath experience but this is a very personal experience and only you can know the answer in the end.

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RichG

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Reply with quote  #29 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandira Michael

Sometimes too much gong is just too much.

There's a quote worthy of repeating! [wink]

Quote:

Like we are being battered into submission.
Sometimes that is exactly what the gong player seems to be doing (unconsciously probably).


Quote:

I was in a shop when someone started playing a big 22" bass crystal bowl. it was so unpleasant i had to leave the shop. 

Insensitively played crystal bowls can be the worst....


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RichG

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Reply with quote  #30 

Can anyone explain how this thread has received 3823 views, when the next closest is the 'Reading List' thread with 1144, and the 432 Article/discussion with 1105?? I get the large numbers for the 432 Article since it has been posted and linked in a number of other places on the web - don't understand how this topic has received more than triple the views!

All other threads have less than 1000 views and the vast majority less than 500.

EDIT:
PS - My mistake, "Singing Bowls - Separating Myth from Truth" has 2251 views. I think that one was also posted and linked by Mitch at various Facebook pages. Still it's over 1500 less than this thread.



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