Gong: Weapon of Peace

A personal correspondence of Renata Kopka & Gongmaster Don Conreaux

It's own cosmic force, an emanating sound that resonates with a very powerful spiritual energy, and the cultivation of the yoga of the gong allows one to return to health, mental balance and at the same time reveal our true inner self. This unusual instrument has existed over 4000 years, in other words since the Bronze Age- oldest gong discovered in Asia Minor and over 5000 years ago.

Its sound helps battle stress, and is a factor in reawakening our creative potential, as well as, adapting talents to inevitable changes in today's world. Unusual energy arises during the emissions of the sound. It transports one into the Alpha State and facilitates meditation.

A gong concert is a spontaneous form of healing and transformational exorcisms, cleansing the mind and emotions. The scope of tones calls forth visible, physical feelings. The sound of OM links the acoustical tone to Life Force that overflows the boundaries of all life in the universe, and ONG is the sound vibrating on the physical level of the universe. The gong is its own form of cosmic energy that sends out sound that has similar spiritual resonance and has, as well, the resounding strength of spiritual energies deeper than the atom.

Through cultivating the Yoga of the Gong we return to health and mental balance, as well as, discover our real inner selves. Unfortunately, in western cultural tradition, the gong was never really popular. It shows up only in concert halls where its sound forms a secondary effect in a symphony orchestra.

The person who has dedicated his life to this astounding instrument is a New Yorker, Don Conreaux, who is above all a teacher of the history, philosophy and technique of the gong, also teaches the playing of other instruments. This unusual and humble person is considered an expert on the ancient archaic and polyphonic songs and music.

Don Conreaux gives concerts all over the world. I met him for the first time at the Festival of Mind Body and Spirit in Britain. I was immediately enchanted by his charismatic personality, with Randee Ragin and Aidan McIntyre, Conreaux at the London Festival offered his services in the field of holistic massage, using the method he developed and calls the Gong Bath. We must clarify immediately it isn't about a massage or bath in the strict meaning, since that description symbolizes rather a healing tonic character to this unusual experience. Music therapy in today's times is usually used in psychiatry. Gillian Stevens, Association of Music Therapists, UK, claims that there is no doubt as to the positive influence of sound vibration to the human psyche.

Don Conreaux, many times, helped children with special needs through his therapy. For instance, for the hearing impaired, the resonance of the gong and the vibration of the instrument massages the hairs in the ears and acupuncture points of the inner ear of the person. On the basis of many years experience he believes that thanks to the healing properties of the instrument, certain loss of hearing could possibly be partially re-built.

Working together with many charitable organizations, for instance Children at Risk, for which Don and Randee calm the habits and feelings of street children of New York City, have provided Gong Bath for deep relaxation to those in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, participated with Oval Window Audio in experiential multi-media learning environment for deaf children, offered ongoing programs of meditations for people living with life threatening illness at Marrianne Williamson's Manhattan Center for Living. His colleague Aidan McIntyre offers the healing sound to autistic children in San Francisco, as well.

In these cases the results were amazing. Conreaux has also recently been invited to be on Faculty of the Hummingbirds School for children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Down's syndrome and autism to experience the harmony of yoga, the joy of music and the power of art. The strength of the sound shows that it is also possible to stimulate in a positive direction, lovers of heavy metal music, and at the same time the instrument is capable of leading one into a deep regenerative sleep.

One can consider it as an instrument of unification and peace. The bronze which at one time were cannons and weapons, now arise as the gong. This time however, it is the weapon of peace. Don Conreaux also became the author of the thought of organizing a worldwide network of peace bell gardens. About the idea of forming a network of geomantically aligned gardens in the whole world, in which, thanks to the harmonious composition of the space, there appears in the full inspiration a quiet and deep sound.

He proposed the idea for the first time in 1987 at the occasion of the World Union of Cities of Peace in Spain. Currently these gardens may be found in Dorset, England; Brisbane, Australia; and plans are developing for Ostrow, Poland.