A gong is a gong is a gong, you might think. Visitors to The Chiron Institute Sound Centre see an array of gongs and sound instruments, quite an array as we have 39 gongs now. To most people, a gong is simply a piece of metal that makes a nice sound when you strike it. Or is it?
Today I played a gong and stood on Pluto.
During a group session, I was drawn to play the Pluto planetary gong. Very quickly I began to experience a feeling of intense and overwhelming loneliness. This feeling intensified as I was transported to one of the most isolated places in this solar system: the surface of Pluto. In an incredible journey I found myself playing on a featureless plain of blue-white methane ice. The light from a distant sun, hardly any larger in the sky than any other star, gave just enough light to see the gong.
I could feel the crunchy ice under my space boot. I could sense the immense distance to any other celestial body. My helmet misted slightly on the inside with my breath.
I felt the loneliness of the planet like I was a part of it. Cold, dark and friendless.
I was also aware of hope. It was hope born from the knowledge that everything has potential for change. Under my feet, under the ice, was the potential for an explosion of life. It came to me to imagine what would happen if the planet came closer to the sun, if it was bathed in the same warmth and light that we are. In my mind I saw the methane and nitrogen burning off, water forming oceans, life rapidly expanding in an explosion of colour and sound across the surface.
This was the lesson I was being taught by a higher source. However barren of hope something can seem there is potential for change. Just as the fire of the sun can burn away an icy shell and promote growth, giving something or someone warmth and love can give hope to the most desperate situation. This became my personal intention for the people at the session (as well as my first experience of interplanetary travel!).
I played a gong on Pluto today and felt the power of the Sun to change us all.
John and June Shapter, Healing Sound Practitioners and founders of The Chiron Institute UK