Bring the Gong Master to your door
Not content with ordering pizza, we’re now bringing massages, blow dries, even yoga teachers to our door. But a bearded 64 year old named Malcolm is something else altogether. See how our editor got on when she ordered a gong master to her door…
He’s waiting patiently for me on the doorstop, brandishing an enormous case, after travelling here from Dalston on the W3. Dazed he takes a couple of seconds before registering my questions, looking at me with a mixture of curiosity and amusement, as only the most enlightened people do. Does he know something I don’t?
Of course today just so happens to be the day the electrician shows up early. The trials and tribulations of a lady of leisure. I start panicking about what the neighbours will think as Malcolm starts unpacking his thunder and rain making instruments, along with his almighty gong, all while the electrician starts busily drilling upstairs. “Only a few more minutes” he calls down.
As I express my apologies, Malcolm reassures me that this is nothing like what he had to endure at Balance Festival, where the meditation dome was sandwiched somewhere between a cocktail bar and a noisy HIIT class. He looks pained just thinking about it.
Dressed strikingly in white, in respect of his Kundalini faith, a system he has trained in for the last 14 years, he seems irked by my need to capture any of this on camera. I do get his point. Nothing drains the soul quite like an Instagram story but I explain that it comes with the job.
First he insists on clearing my energy with some Oms. But this isn’t your average Om, something a little more complicated. Before I’ve had a chance to get my head around it, he launches loudly into the second verse. I make out ‘Ong So Hung’ and follow as best I can, before he goes up another octave and loses me again. According to Yogapedia (I had to look it up afterwards), it’s a heart opening mantra where you acknowledge and honour your own creative power, as well as your divinity and your connection to all conscious beings.
Malcolm asks me to lie down, pop my head on a cushion and place a mask over my eyes. For the next 30 minutes he bathes me in a cascade of beautiful sounds, gongs and rattling of rain, that sounds so dramatic, I start worrying about the neighbours again. But after ten minutes (the electrician has vacated by this point), I completely lose all sense of space and time and surrender happily to the moment.
After some gentle spine twists I am roused from my reverie in a seriously zen state. I praise Malcolm for his magical playing ability. “I don’t play the gong, it plays me”, he says rather modestly. As he packs up his things, he talks lovingly of his allotment, “my tomatoes need tending to”, and almost forgets his sheepskin rug in his blissed out state – that makes two of us. Then off he goes to catch his bus. I check with the neighbours who seem oblivious to the whole thing, almost like it never happened.
The experience leaves me feeling like I’ve smoked a joint in the middle of the day but without the paranoia and munchies. Sleepy, relaxed and deeply at peace. It’s not something I advise if you need to get back to pounding your inbox anytime soon, but for a Sunday wind down it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. As Malcolm says, yoga always wins.