Vibrational healers/musicians/Kundalini yoga teachers Gallina Tamburo (Harnek Kaur) and Mike Tamburo (Harnek Singh) of Crown of Eternity join Ramdesh on this podcast. You’ll learn about gong therapy and what makes this unique instrument so compelling. If you haven’t heard the work of Crown of Eternity before, tune in for a sampling and get ready for a powerful gong experience.
What is the role that gong plays in Kundalini yoga? Many first connect to the gong during savasana; the gong allows the student to experience the integration of the exercises. Soon after being introduced to the gong, Mike realized that the instrument would actually move energy in the body that had been blocked. He also noticed that it brought him to a specific mental state, opening up the subconscious and allowing the mind to clear.
Gallina adds that the gong brings her to a space that is energizing, clearing and activating but at the same time extremely relaxing. She found it helped her to co-exist with these polarities, knowing she could be very present but also at the same time be completely still and aware. Over time the gong trained her bioenergetic system to be simultaneously present and in a deep, meditative space.
What are some of the right ways to start playing the gong as a Kundalini yoga practitioner/teacher? First and foremost, Mike notes, regard the gong as a sacred instrument (no whacking!). Although he is not a Sikh, Mike says that the way that Sikhs feel about the Guru is similar to the way he feels about the gong: “There is a wisdom that comes through the gong that I’ve never experienced from any other consciousness.” Respect the gong, and don’t touch the front of it with your hands, smash it, or play loudly just for the sake of playing loudly, Mike advises.
The player’s relationship with the gong, Mike observes, develops through listening, breathing while you’re playing, and from holding a mantra while you’re playing; it’s really about being in a respectful relationship with the gong and being conscious that there are people listening. It’s important to be respectful of your students’ transformations. It’s also essential to know when to step out of the way and allow the gong to sound; give the gong some space to speak, breathe, and do its thing! Each gong is unique and uniquely crafted. “Every gong has a story to teach and a story to tell,” Mike points out.
Gallina says it’s very important as a teacher to spend some time with the gong; build a relationship by playing it, not just in class. By meditating and playing the gong just for yourself you’ll begin to develop that relationship. “The gong will bring teaching for you and through you; it becomes a co-creative relationship,” Gallina asserts. You can only develop that by playing, and being open to receive and explore, and feel with your whole energetic system. You’ll also build muscle memory and learn what it feels like to enter a meditative state at the same time that you are actively playing the gong.
How did this couple get involved in the world of gongs and the path of sound healing and vibration? For Mike, the journey began as a child playing the organ; he also suffered some hearing problems and was always connected to vibration and very interested “in how sound felt just as much as what it actually sounded like.” He has always leaned toward vibrational music, continuous sound, and music that is “more about journeying or experimenting.” When listeners shared with Mike how healing his hammer dulcimer music was he began to focus on the healing aspects of sound. Realizing the gong’s amazing power; he started collecting them. “It’s amazing what one gong can do but when you get into the sounds that multiple gongs create I don’t even have words for it. It was like a guidance for me; something changed in me….”
Gallina always had an interest in music and spent many years as a child playing piano in her native country of Bulgaria. Her training was very rigid and technical and at one point she realized that her emotional connection to the music was missing. Later, she found Kundalini yoga and connected with sound, music, and movement. When she started to play the gong she found that she could open to the awe and fun of music, and to a “ kind of dance with the Infinite.” As a university student in the U.S, she also was able to tap into her creativity, which had been discouraged in the past.
Crown of Eternity has a number of wonderful albums, including those that are inspired by Yogi Bhajan’s sutras for the Aquarian Age. The first piece you’ll hear is “Chattr Chakkr Vartee” from The Cosmos Shall Clear the Path. “This is a powerful mantra about victory and our “inner warrior spirit.” Prepare to be astounded by the strength and intensity of this piece! You’ll also hear “Humee Hum, Brahm Hum” which means, “We are we, we are God” from Vibrate the Cosmos.
Remember, each gong has a story to tell and a story to teach! Check out Crown of Eternity’s CDs to learn and experience more, and if you’re attending Sat Nam Fest be sure to attend their workshop and/or all night gong bath. Their full touring schedule can be found at CrownofEternity.com.