I watched him. He’d been playing with his gong for over ten minutes, building up to the moment of power when he’d give it a little whack.
A little whack of almost-forever.
The bell would sound and keep sounding, resound and sound on, and reach all four corners of his virtuous circle.
A call back to the circle. A call to stop talking, to stop doing, and to come back.
The room would fall into silence and an obedient circle would form and wait expectantly.
He watched it work. It always worked. This was powerful magic. And he was more than a facilitator at this moment – he was a wizard or, better, a shaman.
He knew the effect of this incredible piece of kit. You see…
.. he’d gonged it many times before.
Then the moment came. And he gonged, a twinkle of benevolent godliness in his eyes.
The circle reformed. So easily!
The room fell to silence, even as the sounding still sounded and sounded and sounded some more, never falling to complete silence, but simply travelling on its way to further corners of the ever-expanding universe.
It was beautiful (he thought) – almost as beautiful as his soul in that moment.
But it was his moment. And in stealing that moment, and combining it with such an age-old bell from Tibet; he stole the power of the group.
He felt stronger. They were silent and powerless. They waited, not on potential. They waited for him.
They waited for him to speak.
Self-organisation had expressed itself, not in the community, but in the organisation of his self.
And I sat there, imagining, following that healing tone on its journey out through the double doors.
I imagined that bell, just for a moment, resting on a chair, at the side of the room; a gift to us all.
I imagined that quiet person over there, who hadn’t yet spoken, three hours into the event.
I imagined her walking across the room, in golden silence, picking up that bell, finding the right moment floating above the circle, and simply giving it a ting.
I imagined her letting it sound not to the group, but out of it.
And then I imagined the silence of self-organisation, and the expectation of a powerful community.
A community ready…