Sheila Whittaker
Category: Gong Work

GONG ETHICS

The Gong Ethics are a set of guidelines set up within the College of Sound Healing Gong Practitioner Course, as a recommendation of how we should treat others we come into contact with in a professional capacity. The College has a similar set of behavioural standards for Sound Healers training on the College’s Sound Healing Practitioner Course, and these were taken as a basis for the gong ethics. Basically, gong ethics require and expect that we treat each other with respect and consideration. Especially if we are regarded as “gongmasters”, although I rarely use that term to describe myself. We never master the gong – it masters us if we allow a deep connection to develop, so my feeling is that the term is really somewhat erroneous. I consider myself a musician and Sound Healer who has specialised in working with gongs.



The gong ethics are as follows, and I am quoting them here so that gong newcomers and others outside the College’s gong community can see where we are coming from and know that when they go to a teacher or Practitioner trained within the College’s Gong Course, they will be treated according to the standards laid out in the Gong Ethics. Here they are :-



Gong Practitioners/Sound Healers should :-

1 Seek to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities on an ongoing basis (CPD)

2 Be respectful & courteous to others

3 Ensure that professional and appropriate conduct is exercised in all areas of interaction with clients, students and colleagues

4 Know that criticising and undermining professional colleagues is

unacceptable and unprofessional

5 Take responsibility for the relationship they have with clients and students, and ensure that the trust placed in them is upheld

6 Practise at all times in a professional and ethical manner

7 Maintain adequate and suitable working conditions

8 Be able to produce professional details when asked for by a client or student

9  Have full insurance cover where appropriate

10 Take responsibility for their own personal development



Obviously we need some rules in place to ensure everyone’s comfort and peace of mind when we are teaching and treating others, and I think most reasonable people would agree with the guidelines stated above, and make them a yardstick for professional conduct. In an ideal world, they shouldn’t be necessary, as I think most of us intuitively know the difference between right and wrong and how we should treat others, but unfortunately we are not (yet) living in an ideal world, so some guidelines are necessary at present. Let’s look at them individually :-



1 Seek to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities on an ongoing basis (CPD)

I think we have a duty to keep abreast of current research and progress in our particular field of skill by taking new workshops, attending lectures and concerts etc. Extending our knowledge base and improving our skills through regular CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is a good way of achieving this on a regular basis. College of Sound Healing Gong Practitioners are required to do a minimum of 20 hours CPD each year.

2 Be respectful & courteous to others

This is just about being a decent human being, surely!

3 Ensure that professional and appropriate conduct is exercised in all areas of interaction with clients, students and colleagues

As with no. 2, this is simply about treating everyone we come into contact with respectfully and courteously within every situation that arises.

4 Know that criticising and undermining professional colleagues is unacceptable and unprofessional

Sometimes we may disagree with the way someone else works, but it is not ethical to criticize them in public or to groups or individuals. The best way is to be silent or non-committal. Some of us agree to differ in our approach to teaching, or playing the gong for example. But we don’t broadcast our opinion – it’s simply unprofessional. It’s also not acceptable to slander other people within the gong community, which is something that has been happening to me for some years, perpetrated by one very jealous person. I’m not worried about his lies, because I have nothing to hide, I know where I am in my own integrity, and my life and work are a testament to that. Plus, he is simply setting up a lot of negative karma for himself – best of luck with that! Clearly this is not the proper way to behave, and the vast majority of us in the Gong community know this and do indeed respect and honour each other.

5 Take responsibility for the relationship they have with clients and students, and ensure that the trust placed in them is upheld

Again this is about treating others in a way that is appropriate to the relationship. Clear boundaries need to be in place between e.g. clients/practitioners, teachers/students, which are fully understood by all parties, so that we all know where we are with each other. For example, I don’t agree with intimate relationships between a teacher and student, or a practitioner and a client. Maybe I am old fashioned, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

6 Practise at all times in a professional and ethical manner

Our clients and students have a right to expect this of us, and to demand a certain standard of behaviour from us, and know that they can trust us to behave in an honest and ethical way in our dealings with them.

7 Maintain adequate and suitable working conditions

Obviously we want to make our working space as inviting as possible, and this means ensuring it is clean, tidy, clutter-free, quiet, and fit for the purpose, whether it be teaching, running retreats, giving group gongbaths, or treating clients one-to-one. Then we give people an enjoyable experience and they will want to return to our space for more!

8 Be able to produce professional details when asked for by a client or student

I think our clients and students have a right to know a bit about our background before they put themselves in our hands. Would you go to a doctor who you weren’t sure had been properly trained? Or call in an electrician who hadn’t done his apprenticeship?  Proper training is a must these days, and our clients and students have a right to know that we are professionals in our field of work.

9 Have full insurance cover where appropriate

This is becoming more important now that there are so many more Sound Healers and Gong Practitioners appearing, and I think it’s a good idea to have insurance, to protect all parties. Most holistic centres, for example, now insist on insurance cover, and ask for their practitioners to be properly trained by a recognised body so that they can obtain said insurance cover. I don’t know of an insurance claim having been made in the Sound Healing field as yet, and it shouldn’t even arise if the Practitioner or teacher has been properly trained, and is working with due diligence and sensitivity.  

10 Take responsibility for their own personal development

Last but certainly not least – our own personal development is very important. Basically it means looking at ourselves and our patterns of behaviour, recognising our issues and learning the lessons that life gives us so that we can move on, a better person for them. Personal development is about taking complete responsibility for our state of awareness/consciousness, and striving to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, given the limitations of our life situation. When we identify and heal our own emotional stuff, we become clearer and lighter, our energy vibration rises, and we are able to be far better practitioners to help others.



I hope this brief discussion of the Gong Ethics has shed light on what you can expect if you consult a College of Sound Healing-trained Gong Practitioner or teacher. As you can see they are in place for the benefit of everyone. As an eternal optimist I do look forward to a time in the future when we will not need them because everyone will be of a sufficiently high energy vibration to know instinctively how to behave towards others.



Sheila Whittaker 3.9.17

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