Nanak Dev Singh began his Gong training in 1973 studying with the last living Gong master Yogi Bhajan. He lived with and served his teacher for five years before he was given permission to play a Gong meditation. It was the first lesson from his very traditional guru: the Gong must be given the greatest respect because of the immense power it possesses. For the last 40 years Nanak has continued to be a student of the Gong.
Nanak moved to India in 1980 to study firsthand the great arts associated with mastery of the Gong, yoga, meditation, martial arts, traditional dance and vedic medicine. Today there is very little accurate information available about the origins and science of the Gong. This is because so much of India’s original wisdom was destroyed by the introduction of Islamic fundamentalism and the British Raj. What is clear about the Gong`s history is that it was first developed in India in the Indus Valley during the bronze age. The civilization of the Indus valley was very advanced and a world leader in metallurgy at this time. The earliest mention of a Gong comes in an ancient poem describing a battle fought by one of the great warrior goddesses Chandi. In the poem she is depicted battling a horrible demon with her war drum and Gong. There are other references suggesting that the Gong was used as both a weapon and a shamanic instrument It was only when the Gong was introduced in to European orchestra that it became known as a musical instrument. With the destruction of so much knowledge during the invasion and occupation of India the great teachers of the time keep their arts alive with in their families passing the knowledge on from one generation to the next. This practice can still be found today with famous family lineages teaching dance, music and art; this is how the knowledge of the power of the Gong arrived here today!
Today Nanak teaches
- Five different styles of yoga and meditation
- Two different styles of Indian martial arts
- The art of the Japanese war drum: the Taiko
- How to play a Gong meditation according to Yogi Bhajan
- He is a student of Indian dance Khatak
- How to shoot Intuitive Archery
The lifestyle and philosophy of the Indian warrior “Kshatriya Dharma”
Currently he and his students are preparing a scientific study about the power of the Gong. In 2015 they will conduct a randomized controlled study with the Gong and PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) in trauma patients. The healing power of the Gong is almost unlimited if the science of the Gong is respected.
Since receiving permission from his beloved master to play Gong meditations, Nanak has traveled extensively worldwide giving hundreds of deep Gong meditations to thousands of delighted fans. He and his students regularly give group Gong meditations at festivals and concerts.
Using the Gong as a shamanic tool requires an extremely high quality instrument. It must be responsive yet resist the stress from playing. The tone and pitch must be absolutely true and have a full range. The PAISTE Sun Gong produces the largest range of tones and pitches of any Gong in the world, when played with the PAISTE Chank 9 mallet!
From Nanak’s tradition a person plays the same gong their entire life. He has found it takes about twenty years after production for the Gong to mature in its sound, and it simply takes that long to develop an intimate connection between the Shaman and their instrument.
A favorite quote of Nanaks from Miyamoto Musashi a sword master from Japan “ For any great art itt takes about 1000 days to learn a great art and 10,000 days to master, if you practice day and night.”
How to play the Meditation Gong
As taught by Nanak Dev Singh
I learnt how to play the meditation gong from my beloved teacher Yogi Bhajan. Yogi ji was the last living master of the meditation gong in the Kundalini yoga tradition. Over the 38 years that I was his student he taught this great art. After his death and practicing this technique for 35 years I now teach it to my students.
“Tune in to be in Tune”
The greatest responsibility when playing the meditation Gong is to be in tune with the group you are playing to. Why? Because a gong meditation is a guided meditation. That means there is a guide and there are the guided. The only way to guide this type of meditation is to be at one with those you are guiding. It is only then that you can be sensitive to the progress of the mediation as it unfolds. Establishing and holding the connection between the guide and the group is the most important aspect of the entire meditation gong process and the most misunderstood element.
Success in a gong meditation comes when the guide is able to harmonize the morphogenetic field of the group to the point that they can reach Gama frequency brain wave. In this state the brain loses it polarities for a split second allowing a profound morph in consciousness. When this occurs successfully there will be a permanent change in the consciousness and personality of people in the group who are ready for such a major step.
There are a number of key factors in determining how well a player is able to make the connection to the group and hold that connection.
Most gong players are ignorant to the deep responsibility that comes when playing the meditation gong. Gongs can be so powerful and it is easy to overwhelm weaker people in the group. It is very important that before playing the meditation gong the guide bows to that power.
Focus, Focus, Focus
If there is one quality or talent that a meditation gong player must have it is silence. The ability to focus the mind to thoughtlessness and then hold that thoughtlessness for the entire duration of the meditation is essential when playing the meditation gong. For sure, unless someone practices a sophisticated martial art or Raj yoga or Bhundi yoga they will be unable to control their thoughts because this must be trained and practiced. It is critical that during gong meditation that the guide is in control of their thoughts and not their random thought controlling them.
Here is a simple test to see how much of your thoughts you control:
Sit with the eyes closed, create the image of the tip of your nose in the mind`s eye. Now for one minute hold hat image without allowing any thoughts from interfering with the image.
“Most people are able to control about 20 % of their thoughts. My question is who is controlling the other 80 %?” (Nanak Dev Khalsa)
can destroy very quickly concentration and the subtle connection between the guide and the group. There are two kinds of stress in playing the meditation gong. The first is physical stress this is created by playing in a posture which is prone to stress.
Below some photos show commonly used posture which cannot support the player for the entire meditation. The stress from the posture and the resulting need to constantly move breaks concentration and in turn breaks the important connection to the group
In these first photos you see that the player is seated in Vir Asan, a stress free position which can support them for the entire meditation cycle without stress and need to constantly move. This allows a stable connection to the group which will always guarantee a higher level success in the meditation
Also see in this photo that the gong stands we developed have a folding leg which allows the player to get very close without exposing themselves to the gong main ray.
The second type of stress which can easily work against the player of a gong meditation is physical stress. Below you see that the player sitting directly in front of the gong with the back to the group.
The sound of the gong always has the same basic effect on the human physic which is to produce a trance state based on a 70Hz frequency. One of the qualities of this type of frequency and trance is that it is an individual experience. Very rarely do people have a group experience with a gong meditation. Rather people have an individual experience on an infinite scale.
The gong produces three basic energy structures during a gong meditation. The first is the “Main ray” which is produced from the main playing field of the gong and which travels directly out from the field to the group and is the most powerful. Over a distance the ray widens and eventually dissipates. The second ray is produced from the “Rim “of the gong. This ray radiates out from the rim and slightly forward to mix with the main ray and slightly back and mixes with the dark ray in the back. The third ray is the Dark ray which is produces in the back of the gong. Because of the gongs concave shape in the back it produced a different tone, projection and sound quality then the front
When a player sits directly in front of the gong they are absorbing the main ray which means they are being put into trance by what they are playing. And because of the nature of the trance (it is an individual consciousness and not group consciousness) the deeper the player goes into the trance they are creating for themselves the more disconnected they are from being one with the group. There is no way that playing in the position will the group ever reach Gamma Frequency.
Secondly, the body language is all wrong. You should be able to easily observe the group during a deep meditation . There is a long list of possible problems that a player must be ready to deal with during intense segments of the gong meditation and being able to observe the group is critical
Finally please see the picture below. The player is sitting and the back of the gong facing the group! Also the player is not hearing what the group is hearing because the tone created from the concave shade is a half a note flat flatter then the front of the gong. So the player is in a stress position, he is not hearing what the group is hearing and he is facing the main ray from the gong. What are the chances that the player is able to be at one with group ? or reach Gama wave?
Miyamoto Musashi one of Japan´s greatest sword master once said: "A great art will take 1000 days to learn and 10 000 days to master if you practice day and night”. I know this to be a truth when in comes to playing the meditation gong. Truly it is one of the greatest shamanic arts of the world .