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When I was at the Southeastern Spiritual Conference in June, I was taken with cosmic musician Laraaji’s Chinese gong-playing. I first experienced it in an evening program he did, and I asked him to please share it in our class, The Paradise Process, which I was teaching, and that he was a participant in. He had us close our eyes as he went around the circle with the gong, striking it softly and repeatedly, while moving it around each person’s head. It was like an instant meditation! What I experienced was the remarkable sensation of traversing dimensions upon the sound waves of the gong.

I had never heard a gong played this way before—my only familiarity with gongs were as the method by which important people were announced in Chinese movies, as fancy dinner bells, and as accents in symphonies. And, of course, as the tool for getting lousy acts off the stage in The Gong Show. Instead of one pronounced strike, the way Laraaji played it was a sort of tapping that created long, sustained crescendos that gave me goosebumps. There is so much more to a gong than I had ever realized!

So, of course, I immediately decided I needed a gong. When I asked Laraaji about gong procurement—what size, what kind, etc., he kindly said that he’d be happy to help me in August, when he was back in NYC for awhile, and had some time to go to the store he knew would have the kind I wanted. (He has spent most of the summer teaching at spiritual conferences all over the country and even in Paris and is currently in Toronto ). So, when the time came, we set up an arrangement whereby he would go to the store, choose a gong and I would pay over the phone and they would ship it to me.

My beautiful 16” brass Chinese wind gong arrived day-before-yesterday, and I’m in love with it! I felt an immediate affinity with it and surprised myself by being able to get the effect I wanted out of it after only a few minutes of experimentation and I’m getting more proficient at it all the time. Of course one of the reasons I was drawn to having one is because it is such a simple instrument! It has a wonderful tone, and I’m finding all the various places on it that create interesting effects—the “sweet spots”—and figuring out the striking techniques that make it really sing. I am going to need to get a stand for it as I’ll be able to meditate with it myself that way—as it is, holding it to strike it is a bit distracting as it’s not exactly light as a feather! But I’m playing it several times a day. Just call me the Gong Queen.

To thank Laraaji for his service, I surprised him by designing cool new business cards for him which he liked so much he decided to get them printed. [smile] I’m supervising that and printingforless.com is doing the work. Of course, the cards had to be orange! (This low res jpeg doesn't do it justice, but you get the idea)

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Where To From Here?

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on August 26, 2006 4:15 PM.

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