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Sheila Whittaker
Category: Gong Work

The Many Types of People who Attend Gong Workshops

Manyreaders will know of the gong workshops which I run at regular intervalsthroughout the year, as well as the Gong Practitioner Course which I teach forthe College of Sound Healing. I’d just like to talk a little about the types ofpeople who come to participate in those workshops, and what they gain from them.


Generallywe get a pretty broad spectrum of people coming to the Gong Intensive weekendsand Introductory workshops. They may be from many different backgrounds and walks of life, but they are united by their desire to know and learn more about the gong - one of the most powerful instruments for healing and wellbeing. They are from all walks of life : doctors, nurses, peoplewho work in the corporate sector and the city, teachers, university lecturers,counsellors, lawyers, artists, woodworkers, IT experts etc  – a very varied bunch. Some have done someSound Healing and/or other holistic training and have decided to come to aworkshop so that they can add the gong to their “toolkit” of healing therapieswhich they can offer to clients. Others may have done no Sound Healing oralternative therapy training at all, and are complete novices. Very often theyhave been drawn to come because they had an amazing group gongbath experiencewith a Gong Practitioner, and consequently decided they wanted to learn aboutthe gongs and get their own gong – I have taught several people in thiscategory recently. And that’s a very good basis from which to start, because wehave, in effect, a blank sheet on which they can start to create their own journeywith the gongs.


Afew of the participants who come are musically trained; most are not. Priormusical training is neither essential nor even desirable for this work, as we aimto play the gongs spontaneously and intuitively, without music, and guided byour own inner knowing, after we have learned the basic playing techniques.Indeed, when I started playing the gongs years ago, I had to put aside myformal musical training and approach gong playing in an entirely different way.I am a classically trained violinist and was used to playing music in a certainpre-defined way. Formal musical training tends to focus more on left-brainthinking, utilising specific rhythms and notes in recognisable sequences tomake up a piece of music. Whereas gong playing, after we have learned the basicplaying techniques, is mainly a right brain activity which happensspontaneously guided by our intuition or connection with Source.


TheGong Intensive weekends give a good grounding in the gong work and give theparticipants enough information and knowledge to start their own gong journey,whether this means adding the gong to the therapies they already offer clients,or giving gongbaths to family and friends, or just playing for their ownpleasure and self development. The gong sound has the ability to take us into astate of meditation automatically, as it alters the brainwaves. It is thus anexcellent tool for aiding meditation and spiritual growth.


Manyof my workshop participants have life changing experiences during their weekendGong Intensive. It is really wonderful to see the difference in people fromwhen they arrive at the beginning of the weekend, to when we finish up atteatime on the second afternoon. It’s as though a cloud has lifted off them andthey are visibly brighter, lighter, calmer, happier and more relaxed. This isuniversal – I can’t recall anyone who hasn’t been profoundly affected by theirGong Intensive weekend experience. Some are so bowled over by the gong weekendthat they go on to do the Gong Practitioner course so that they can broadentheir knowledge further.

Ialways encourage my students to keep in touch and let me know how they get on,even if they’re not coming back. Once they’ve been to a workshop they are partof our ever growing global gong family. It’s a joy to know that they areworking with the gongs and spreading the healing vibes out to even more people,of all different types. In this way our work continues to grow and blossom, andwe are gradually making a better world for all.

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