So, the seasons have finally turned.
Lying tucked up in the van overlooking the Yorkshire Dales at dawn all is cold, autumnal and damp. A lazy moorland wind whistles softly around the open van door, grouse chatter away in comical voices and a nearby waterfall chants it's slow, soothing rhythm to man and beast alike.
The moors are bronze with bracken and black with burned heather, mushrooms of all conceivable varieties abound. To the east, bands of shocking crimson and soft tangerine weave through dense layers of heavy, grey rain cloud. Occasionally a damp, low, straw yellow sun blazes through, bringing life to all.
We have just passed through Halloween; a time when the space between 'this world and that' is at its finest and essences of the unknown mingle most freely with the everyday. Evenings are dark and there is a turning inward.
Like other animals, most of us are stocking up and slowing down in preparation for the winter.
Since the last newsletter things have been ticking along calmly in our gong world: Beech Hill sessions have generally had good attendance and are warmly received; with a constant flow of newcomers, which is always rewarding.
At short notice, we also went along to do another 'fundraiser' for 'The Base' youth centre in Hook. The session was packed again, and as mentioned in the last newsletter this venue seems to appeal to a slightly different audience than others; it takes us into the heart of 'outreach work', our 'chosen space' and feels very worthwhile.
In October Paul spent time around the Pewsey Downs and Stonehenge, this is the heart of Crop Circle and UFO country. Vibrant, alternative and travelling communities pass this way regularly and many new friendships were birthed showing great interest in ceremonial, outdoor gong work when milder weather returns. Watch this space...
On the mobile training front, things have also started to gain momentum, with mentoring, foundation and practitioner courses all being held/scheduled since we last posted to you. This is encouraging as we weren't sure how comfortable people would be with Paul visiting their homes to tutor them. In practice however the approach seems to work very well, with people feeling safe in their own environment and some delightful training venues being offered up.
In terms of new ideas, as you'll see below, we now have our own little App to help you keep in touch with what is happening here in the GongSpace and we have come up with a cool incentive for you to win a couple of free places on one of our public Gongbaths.
Last but not least, over the past couple of months we have been trying to see more clearly how to fit our gong work in with an increasingly unstructured, mobile lifestyle, resulting in a 2020 vision that we have shared below for anyone who is interested...
Our 2020 vision is to continue 'de-structuring' the business, unshackling it and enabling it to grow increasingly organically and spontaneously.
So, as far as Beech Hill is concerned we are pulling back from our regular schedule of monthly sessions and for 2020 have booked just 4 dates around the principle astrological markers - Solstices and Equinoxes, these dates are always very popular so you can book well in advance and will find links below.
In addition, we will be doing both paid and free public events when circumstances align, these will be shared on our Facebook / Insta pages, our What's App group, our NEW APP and, where time allows, on our website and in our newsletters.
2020's other public sessions will be increasingly spontaneous and organised 'ad-hoc' - so if you do want us to do a session in your area and think you can drum up an audience of a dozen or so people to make it viable please contact us and we'll see what we can set up for you...
We are also becoming increasingly interested in doing some London sessions and are looking to find a London based sponsor/agent who would enjoy setting up the venues and promoting the events in return for a percentage of the takings. If you know anyone who might be interested in doing this kind of work with us maybe you could let us know? They don't need experience, just a bit of enthusiasm and a positive feeling about our gong work. It could be a lot of fun and would fit easily around a 'proper' day job.
As some of you will know, Paul spends a lot of his time travelling around in Claude the van and we though it would be a great idea to use the van to help promote our work.
So, as you'll see in the pictures below Claude now proudly sports some vinyl lettering with our web address and 'Get Gonged!' strap line...
We thought it might be fun to set up an incentive by offering two free places at a public Gongbath of your choice to anyone who sees Claude sporting his new lettering and sends a picture to us telling us where and when you spotted him. Better still post it on Facebook or Instagram as well!!
And no, before you ask, pictures of Claude parked up outside Andreas home, your home or at a scheduled gong event don't count! ;)