I’ve been thinking how nice it would be to have the Breathing Striking Being Meditations in the evening too so that they’re available to those who are busy on Wednesday and Friday mornings. I know, it’s been a long time coming…. but I’m going to make it happen. 🙂 I’ll set up some dates and post them on the website asap.
Hope you can come. 🙂
Deep Bliss Day Retreat with gongs, bowls, meditation and yoga
This is an opportunity for deep bliss…. relaxation and self-acceptance….. going deep and rediscovering yourself as you are…. being inspired by your own inner nature…. and sharing in the experience of awesome sound, silence, movement and meditation with others.
The players/instructors for the day are Martyn Cawthorne, Jane Blackburn and Szilvia Bajada-Gardian (links below for further information).
The venue is the gorgeous Blissland, run very lovingly by the amazing Dawn and Lionel Cox. It’s such a beautiful venue, high up on the hills near Congleton. It has lovely features such as the magical gardens, the love pond, the amazing pods (gorgeous intimate spaces), and the barn, from whose windows you can see out across the hills as you relax into your yoga stretches).
The schedule of events is planned as follows:
10:00-10:30 Greeting and introductions – a little hello time 🙂
10:30-11:30 Guided meditation (by Jane) with deep, slow tones on the gongs (by Martyn), creating an environment of inner and outer acceptance, stillness and purity of intention for the day.
11:00-11:15 Short break
11:15-12:30 Himalayan singing bowls and gentle yoga (by Szilvia), creating clarity, space and opening the mind, body, emotions and spirit
12:30-13:15 Lunch (please can everyone bring a little vegetarian food to be shared with the group – no need to bring more than one person’s worth)
13:15-15:15 Super-long, super-deep gong bath immersion (by Martyn and Jane) – a fantastic opportunity to travel inward to great depths and experience profound openings, shifts, releases, joy and peace and the majestic sounds of these wonderful instruments
15:15-15:30 Short break
15:30-16:00 Walking mindfully in the garden (indoors if raining) with the beautiful, clarifying sounds of the crystal bowls (by Jane)
16:00-16:30 Guided gong/bowl playing opportunity – everyone will have the opportunity to take a mallet and (with guidance and instruction) use a simple technique to gently bring forth some wonderful sounds and vibrations from these gorgeous instruments.
16:30-17:00 Drinking tea and sharing – a relaxed and pleasant moment, coming together, offering up our experiences of the day.
17:00 Home time 🙂
Please note: we are asking that everyone bring a little vegetarian food (only enough to feed one person) so that, without being wasteful, we can share in and enjoy lots of different offerings.
Also, there is plenty of parking at Blissland. If coming by train, please communicate with us well in advance and we should be able to come and pick you up from the station:-)
Early bird price is £60. To reserve a place, please contact Martyn Cawthorne directly for payment details on 07850 955810 or email@example.com.
Directions to Blissland/Heather Bank Farm.
The full address is:
Heather Bank Farm. Congleton Edge, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 3NA.
Sat Navs don’t work well for the postcode so if you need to use one put in Congleton Train station first, then when you get there put in the postcode for the farm or you’ll end up in a muddy field.
Without a sat nav try this:
Heading out of Congleton towards Biddulph, past the train station and past the golf club on your left hand side.
Carry straight on through the crossroads with the church on your left and you should see a small white sign saying Mossley CP School.
Turn at this sign and then immediately left into Congleton Edge Road, carry on up the hill for a good half mile until you see a green bear.
Yes a green bear, this is the entrance to the farm, it’s a sharp left turn in, go straight past the house through the open gate into Blissland. Drive right through and there is a car park at the end.
Here are some photos of Blissland 🙂
Hi folks. Big thanks to everyone who came to the mines at Alderley Edge on Sunday for either the first or the second group of gong baths. It was great to see you all (well, to be dazzled by your headlights!) and to play for you! Also, big thanks to Bill, Tina and all the volunteers who made things run so smoothly (by doing a lot of lifting and problem-solving!). And thanks to Sadie and everyone at The Yard for all the support and the tea and everything you do 🙂
It was such a great fun event… I just love playing in those mines 🙂
I hope you were all comfy enough on the mats and that you brought enough sleeping bag type nesting to keep yourselves snuggly buggy 🙂 We’ll be running more of the same at some point soon so keep your eyes peeled for that 🙂
In the mean time here are a couple of photos I took and lots taken by Andrew Twambley (thanks Andrew).
If you have any photos, I’d love it if you sent them to me on FB or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh and I should add…. if you’d like a professionally recorded album on CD of me playing the gongs in the mines at Alderley Edge, please contact me. We made an album in there early in 2016 and it sounds wonderful, especially on headphones while meditating, or when slipping off to sleep 🙂
The new Gong Spa EP, ‘Edge’ is now available! Recorded in the amazing copper mines at Alderley Edge, the ambience is completely unique and the energy is sublime (note: a gong bath in the mines is scheduled for Saturday 14th May (now most likely postponed for a later date) – more details as soon as I can…).
The EP is being sold for £7 – please contact Martyn on 07850 955810 or email@example.com for a copy.
The gongs, made in part of copper themselves, seem to be picking up and expressing the immense history of the mines (they’ve been mined for copper since the Bronze Age). Alderley Edge is well known for its high energy levels, the ley lines, and its association with magic (see the stories of the White Wizard and the white mare and the work of Alan Garner). There is a transcendental stillness in the air that can surely only be possible in these dark depths.
Listening to the tracks, I feel as though the gongs are speaking of the slumber of the great giant spirit who is eternally present in the very rock, the minerals and the water of the mines (if you listen closely you can hear the occasional droplet falling from the rock face to the floor of the cavern), and they seem to be singing about a gathering of sorcerers, a unity, a movement.
I was so lucky to record in the mines and owe a debt of gratitude to Dave from the National Trust and to Bill from Derbyshire Caving Club and to Tina for all her support and special energies. As per the first album, this CD was recorded with Biff from WR Audio. Big thanks to Biff.
The Edge EP has 49 minutes of original material, in the following format:
Track 1: A Giant’s Slumber (in 3 movements)
Track 2: Spirits, Spells and Shadows
Track 3: Elements and Eons
For those who prefer shorter meditations, the end of the CD repeats the first track but split into 3 individual tracks which can be listened to as per the listener’s preference (as such, the CD is 78 minutes long, but appropriately sold at the price of a 49 minute EP).
To read a full length article on the adventure we had recording in the mines, click here
Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming gong bath in the mines, scheduled for 14th May. More details as soon as I can….
To listen to a track for free, use this free player
Hey…. I’ll be playing gongs for about four hours at this years Chorlton and Whalley Range Big Green Happening on 23rd April (I’ll be in St. Clement’s Church) 🙂 It’s a day to gather and celebrate Green Groups and Businesses who try to make a positive difference to the planet and community. There’ll also be food, yoga, politics, art, youth, transport, fashion, sustainability and more 🙂
Recording gongs in the mines at Alderley Edge. Such a cool thing to do! 🙂 So lucky to have met the people to make it possible! 🙂
The mines are absolutely fantastic. They’re just a five minute walk from the Wizard Inn in an area that inspired Alan Garner when writing The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.
Carrying the gongs through the gorgeous woods to the mines’ entrance was nothing short of exhausting, but even in those few minutes, you started to feel connected to the area, inhaling the essence of the countryside as you went.
My sore shoulders and hips (two days later) are testament to how much of a struggle it was to carry a 38″ symphonic gong for five minutes through winding passages that had no intention of letting me stand up straight. I can only thank the others for helping carry all the other stuff! One of the other items we took along was my Sound Creation Earth gong (made by the fabulous Broder Oetken)… perfect for the mines. Looking back in time a little…. when I first received the earth gong (which I named Serafina, after the witch from Philip Pullman’s ‘Northern Lights Trilogy’) its power struck me head on, and it reminded me of witches casting spells, of snakes rearing up, hissing wildly, of sensuous, slippery beauty of a rather tricky nature, and of shocks of precious minerals coarsing through deep rock as if put there by lightning…… so where better to be playing her than down in the mines 🙂
The mines are so atmospheric, added to by all the tales of expeditions from long ago. The ambience is incredible….. a stillness, simultaneously ancient and present…. a near silence, broken only by the occasional drops of water that fall and collect to form tiny streams through the tunnels (I hope to be able to hear the water on the recordings…). The darkness so complete. Once we reached the intended cavern, we shared a little mini-picnic (Cadbury’s heroes I believe Tina?), trying not to blind each other with the lights from our hard hats. Tina decorated the space with fairy lights and then before we knew it Biff and I were left to do our thing, which began with scoping the place out, deciding where to put the gongs and the mics. There were loads of really cool nooks and crannies, little hidey-holes to climb into and tunnels to explore… (I’m pleased to say that plans are in place to put on some gong baths in the mines and I can only imagine that people will love climbing into these super-special spots). So, as you might expect, before doing anything else I put on my super-funky gong socks (as made for me by Jaz, my sock-knitting partner of gloriousness) and they let in just enough of the cave dirt to give me what I needed while keeping my footsteps quiet and my toes cosy 🙂
Once we’d got ourselves sorted we got straight into it. We’d planned to do a couple of 45 minute takes, but the second I started playing, any such plans were lost in the depths, replaced with an acute sense of my own heart, inspiration prickling my skin, and a silent mind wide open for the experience to go deep beyond measure. Time was a memory and playing was all. Every strike felt like a new idea was born within its momentum, and every pause gave rise to a song of beauty forged in my heart and set free in my outstretched arms, in the tunnels of the mines, in the deep, deep underground. A moment came when the gongs began to quieten and I hadn’t the heart to change their direction, though I knew I’d not been playing long. There was a sense of wonder so strong and a big smile inside that let my plans dissolve, replaced with this creative moment, alive and so sweet as the gong’s tones slipped away into the expanse of everlasting silence. The 45 minute take turned out to be only 12 minutes long, but sometimes 12 minutes is just right 🙂 And the other wonderful thing was that it left time for lots more recording…. and the day continued that way…. lots of recordings, none of them reached 13 minutes…. and we couldn’t have been happier. Biff said that as he listened to the gongs, he wondered what curious creatures might be heading our way, attracted by the sounds. I think we may have been the curious creatures 🙂
Thanks so much to Bill and Tina (from the Caving Club and Pixieland respectively) and to Biff (WR Audio) for making it happen.
If you’re interested in my previous Gong Spa Experiences CD, you can buy one at one of my gong baths or you can digitally download it from Band Camp at this link…. https://gongspa.bandcamp.com/releases
As for the Alderley Edge recordings, they’ll hopefully be available soon 🙂
Ooh, I just got an email from Biff with the recordings ….. I think I’ll have a listen 🙂
Bye for now….. x
Gonging, and being gonged, reminds us to just ‘be’. We often put such energy into ‘becoming’, which is a curious, chase-your-own-tale kind of folly if you ask me.
A very lovely friend of mine said to me the other day that she would like to become more simple……. that is, less complicated. We decided to dedicate the gong session I was about to give her to ‘just being’ which is even more simple than becoming simple! 🙂
After all, isn’t there already quite enough to absorb in this moment? The sun, the clouds, the sounds, the dirt, the flowers, the noisy cars, the breathing, the body, the breeze, the pots that we’re washing right now….. and all of that is changing every single moment! Isn’t it enough to just watch all of that happening, changing, and to watch ourselves in response to it? To see who we are in the face of exhaust fumes, snowdrops, crying babies and someone giving us a cuddle?
And in honestly seeing who we are in this way, do we need to try to become something else? Doesn’t our honesty with ourselves do what needs to be done without us needing to impose some further idea of who we should become on top of it?
ehh, who knows?? …. It was a beautiful moment, and the way I see it, if there’s beauty in it, it’s all good 🙂
Anyway, she suggested that I should put something about just being on my gong website…. so that’s what this was….. something about being, in blog form 🙂
Have a lovely day and kiss an alpaca if you see one ;-x