For millennia, people of different cultures have used gongs to access and reconnect with their essence and higher consciousness through sound. The vibrations of sound strengthen the connection of our mind, body, and soul, thus benefiting our overall health. When someone has anxiety, the rest of the elements will dramatically decline. In this episode, Gabriela De la mora and Marian Kraus provide the vehicle for a guided meditative and transformational sound journey through a harmoniously layered, multi-dimensional tapestry of sounds designed to relax and invigorate participants deeply. They explain that using sound tools will help balance the mind-body-soul connection through the ripple effect of positive resonance. Tune in to this episode as Marian and Gabriela share an opportunity for you to experience the harmonic journey to healing.
For the De la mora Transformational Experiences website:
Please visit https://www.delamora.life/members and use the code JOURNEYSDREAMSOUND on checkout to receive the free month access.
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Sound Healing: The Harmonic Journey To Wellness With Gabriela De la mora And Marian Kraus
My next guests are Gabriela de la Mora and Marian Kraus. For millennia, people of different cultures have used gongs to access and reconnect with their essence and higher consciousness through sound. Gabriela and Marian provide the vehicle for a guided meditative and transformational journey through a harmoniously layered multi-dimensional tapestry of sounds designed to deeply relax and invigorate participants simultaneously. The couple creates a soothing and healing environment of ambient sounds created by five large gongs, a didgeridoo, a flute, handpan, singing bowls, drums, rattles, and other sound tools, which positively rebalances the mind-body-spirit connection.
Participants are presented with an opportunity to lift their awareness about limiting beliefs and how to transform them. As a life coach with Master’s degrees in Psychology, Art and Religions, enriched by many years as conductor and anchor on national TV programs related to health and well-being, and as the author of the book Un Minuto Para Ti, Gabriela’s goal is to share specific ways of integrating a wholesome and balanced life with her audiences.
Completing a twenty-year international corporate career and transitioning into the adventure of entrepreneurial endeavors as a visual artist, Marian’s extensive studies and metaphysics contribute to his heightened, intuitive perceptions and interpretations. Both Marian and Gabriela have studied gongs and sound therapy with renowned master teachers. Their European and Latin American origins and inherent artistic and musical abilities possess a colorful life history, thus working seamlessly together to facilitate a truly unique consciousness-expanding experience. Please visit DelaMora.life or GabyDelaMora.com for more information.
In order to support the ripple effect of positive resonance and expand the community of kindred spirits, Gabriela and Marian want to offer our readers and this community free one-month access to their online groups for each of their websites. These free memberships provide convenient opportunities for reinforcement to maintain the momentum of stress and anxiety reduction, introspection, personal transformation, healing, and more. For the De la Mora transformational experiences website, please visit DelaMora.life/Members and use the code JOURNEYSDREAMSOUND on checkout to receive the free month access.
Thank you so much, both of you, for joining us. It’s delightful to see you again.
It is an honor to be back with you and your readers. Thank you.
I’m excited because we ran out of time the last time we were talking. I was hoping you could let us know about what are some of the most frequent questions you get about either the benefits of the gong or the dynamics that make it useful in the healing process for someone.
The first question when we provide these experiences in a group is, “How did you do that?” It’s always a surprise because this is different than music. This is something that in the first session, they may feel a little confused, even nervous perhaps, because this is something they have not registered before. The genuine questions intrigued me, “What is this? How did you do what you did and was it recorded?”
“Which part of it was recorded?”
Some of them begin to notice changes, like pain subsiding and all of that. They begin to bring things that they are concerned about. “Do you work with children? Could this help somebody with different conditions?”
Such as depression and anxiety.
Those are most of the people that we receive. They want to feel deep relaxation. In consultation, working with the sound, is this going to work? Mostly, they feel trapped and desperate because of the anxiety. Those are the most frequent. People say, “I have everything. I have resources. I could be traveling and doing this and that. I cannot do it because the anxiety is paralyzing.”When you are deeply relaxed, that’s where the whole healing element kicks in. Click To Tweet
We also sometimes hear, “Is it normal that I had a feeling of floating? Is it normal that I had a sense of not being able to move? I felt grounded. Is it out of the norm that I connected with my loved ones who had gone before me, who had passed?” There is a broad spectrum of questions that come up. Is it normal that, yes, I felt scared because, for those who have not experienced it before, when you think about it, some of the lower tones that we introduce for many people create a bridge or an association to scary movies? The foley artists used the gongs to create those sounds. There’s the association.
However, once you experience the pathway into higher realms with the gongs and with the sounds, the second time is different and probably a richer experience. Richer in the sense that you have an entry point. You can dive into much faster, but that’s a different topic. Those are some of the most common questions.
Some people also say, “Is it okay that I fell asleep?” They get so deeply relaxed that they zonk out. The thing is, we always prefix that by saying, “Yes, if you happen to doze off, that means that you are deeply relaxed. That’s where we want you to get to because that’s where homeostasis or curse, the whole healing element kicks in that state again.” There are many different questions. Is it normal that my back does not hurt anymore? I don’t know what happened to my knee and shoulder.
I have a client with a concussion because she has been doing a lot of work with a neurologist. She says that through the different treatments that she has gone through, no treatment makes her feel how she feels after the sound. The pens of sides and clarity because there’s a lot of confusion at times. She could feel super overwhelmed with different stimuli. Not simply people are loud sounds, but the sound of the gong releases her from all of that, and she feels great. The Neurologist continues to do this because it’s a long treatment.
Tim, there is no cookie-cutter approach to this. This is not a magic bullet or anything like that. We are all at different stages in our paths. We all are facing different challenges or opportunities on our paths. The sound envelope that we create provides an opportunity for many different entry points into a healing deeper laxation, introspection in a reflection, expansion, and transformation.
You’re listing all of those different things. My mind wants to ask, “Do you use different sounds for each of those different relaxations, one set of sounds elevation to higher around a different set of sounds, healing, and pain, a different set of sounds? If I come to you and I say, “I’m going to attend one of your seminars where you have a session in the afternoon or evening. I come in, and I’ve got depression. Do I need to tell you that so you do different sounds than somebody if I come and I have anxiety?”
It would be helpful to know where you are and what you are wanting to “address.” Based upon that, number one, we can set our intention. You can set your intention as to what you want to get out of the session and what we want to provide for you or what Gaby wants to provide for you for the session. We together would formulate or create that space.
To your question, lower frequency sounds, generally speaking, relax you. Higher frequency tones stimulate your nervous system. They get you more going. When we do a group session with a number of different people in the room of who we do not know what their individual conditions may be, other than maybe wanting to relax and detach, we typically provide a colorful bouquet of sounds. Meaning that we provide all of it, the whole spectrum. As we had said last time, each of the different tones of frequency ranges of the instruments that we play touches down upon different elements of your body. We try to provide an all-around aspect or envelope of sounds that touch it all.
Depending on the purpose or the goal of each one of the participants, this is a journey through sound. We are aware of that. For example, in the beginning, it’s subtle sounds such as the singing bowls for them to begin smoothly to enter into our relaxation mode. We use the shakers and that gives you that sensation that you’re letting go. It’s washing all our way as if you were going through a river because there are some sounds like the ocean drum that we use. They have a clear association, like they’re in the ocean. They can feel the water.
The shakers, sometimes, give them the sensation of being in a river and the pebbles in a river. Those are good for the beginning to loosen everything, whatever they need to let go. After that, we begin by going deep into the journey through the didgeridoo. We begin with some mallets, which give you the sensation or the association with the sound of whales. You’re safe.
You feel like you are in that realm of wisdom, but being safe with a great mother is something like that, and we continue with the gong. That is the complete expansion of the journey. They’re unconscious or whatever they’re going through because each individual, their story, and the moment in their path are unique. They are already feeling safe. Before this journey begins in the different soundscapes, there is this prefix or guided meditation for them to know that they are safe. This is a space with no time in which you are completely safe to feel, let go, and connect now with infinite love. That is already opening.
They’re not in contraction, like, “What is this?” They begin to feel, “I can trust.” That is where they reach all kinds of connections. After the gangs, we do a lot of combinations with different mallets and frequencies. As Marian was saying, it’s a combination between the higher and lower pitch for them to have that relaxation and a little bit more stimulation.
It’s like a wave. It needs to have this rhythm, which is, for us, like the yin and the yang. My intention is to do more precautions. I tend to do more expansive sounds. After all these different places, sensations and frequencies, we tend to finish with the beautiful sound of the chimes, which is incredibly sweet. What we notice and what they share with us is this feeling of a sweet sound.
You see the smiles. You see people with tears and smiles because they feel like angels, fairies, or something beautiful. That is to welcome them back to consciousness. With a voice, I guide them out of the trends or the journey that deep relaxation for them to know, “Let’s come back. Begin to take a deep breath, continue with your eyes closed, and give yourself that time.” It’s to meet some beautiful sequence that guides people into a deep and expansive journey.Knowing where you are and what you want to “address” to set what you want to get out of the session would be helpful. Click To Tweet
There are a million ways to play the gong, didgeridoo, or any instrument. We feel that because of our backgrounds, our individual journeys together, and the fact that we represent yin and yang, at least that’s what we are being told, we provide a melodic and harmonic journey like Gaby was saying. We also have heard of people that, I didn’t want to say bang the gongs, but you can bang the gongs and create sound with that.
There are a number of different ways how to approach this. We had said last time already, “The intention is important in this.” To dovetail on what Gaby was sharing, the sound part and the meditation part of the session are about an hour long. If we have an opportunity at this gathering here, we would love to give you a sample of maybe 15 to 20 minutes for you and your readers to experience it. It comes close to the real thing, even though it is through these technological channels, because the intention behind it is what counts to a large degree.
You mentioned that you’d get these monthly things you offer through an online experience. When you’re doing that, do you recommend that people listen with headphones so that it’s coming in both ears?
Ideally, that would be the ideal case scenario, and we prefix it with that. We have a little Q&A on our website. With headphones, it would be cool. Close your eyes deeply, relax and enjoy the ride.
The difference with the headphones is that there is no sound from the environment that could distract you. It’s easy without being trained. Let’s say you’re familiar with the experience with this meditation to get distracted with whatever. When we are live, this is something that I mentioned, any sound from outside or inside of the room allows that sound to become part of the experience, as it happens in life. That the things that you don’t plan, that are part of the experience. It’s okay. With the headphones, it’s like you emerged.
Do you have specific experience with people who are highly sensitive? I have a number of people I work with and they pick up energies. They’re sensitive to sounds, temperatures, and clothes. Their entire life experience is of being aware of a lot of the subtle things the average person walks through and doesn’t even notice its sights, sounds, smells, textures, and energies.
It depends upon the individual and how they ingest, perceive, and receive what we are sending their way. If it was a group of individuals of that nature, we would adjust it accordingly. We would tone it down a little bit in terms of the volume. There are different ways how to approach this, but elements or aspects of that nature are important or helpful to be aware of as one dives into it.
As we are playing, we need to be aware of the group and the different reactions the body speaks of. When it’s an individual work, which is more like my experience, there are cases in which people, from their first session, could not close their eyes. There are all these backgrounds, experiences, or trauma. At some point, they would feel helpless and threatened because of whatever story in their lives. Anything that they cannot control can become stress. It’s gentle and slow to give the experience a little more. All of a sudden, they feel as safe as never before. It spiraled the other healing to transfer.
One thing would be for them to be aware of where this anxiety, fear, or uncomfort coming from. Once there is that insight, that is not enough. You’re helping them to train or retrain that body. Integrating the knowledge or the sensation that they are safe, life is good, and all is well. All of that, you need to feel it in your body, which for that, the sound is beautiful. You don’t need much explanation.
In the several years that we’ve been doing it together, I honestly have not had one person come to me afterward and say, “This was horrible.” One lady in the theosophical society was angry. She was writing her own story and book.
In that diverse stories and the diverse people that they can participate and be part of a group that is something important when we are giving the explanation, it is for them to know, we try to describe it as accurately as we can. It is something like this. If anybody has or to it get how was because there was one experience where a lady started to have a reaction after the session. She was releasing. We’re trying to assist. She was well. She had the most wonderful experience, but, for us, to see the different ways in which people can express a release, that was one of those or the lady. That is part of the healing. At times, they need to do that.
If you can take it to the next step and the guidance, you can. It’s helpful.
It is important to share with us the exceptions that have happened. From there, I was like, Let’s let them know that this is for their deep relaxation.” If they want to go deeper into something specific trauma or whatever, this is not the place. This is a place for them to relax, receive, feel safe, and all that. We always suffer in the end. If you want to go deeper, you have your individual consultation.
That’s where Gaby comes in. She does that on a one-on-one basis. All small groups, depending upon what is needed.Sound healing provides a very melodic and harmonic kind of journey. Click To Tweet
It’s a good place to let you take us on a little journey of sound.
What we typically do and say is that all that will be coming your way is of a loving, healing, and benevolent nature. We are going to place our intention upon love.
Sense of freedom.
Abundance. We invite you to add your own to that, and collectively, the sound is going to amplify those. We will dim the light, and we recommend you to deeply relax, take some deep cleansing breaths, close your eyes, makes yourself comfortable and allow the waves of sound to take away from you what no longer serves you and bring to you what you are meant to connect with next. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to deeply relax. Focus on your breath and the sensations in your body as you breathe in deeply. Relax your feet and your legs, your abdomen, and your chest. Relaxing your shoulders as you begin to let go of what no longer serves. That is not yours. Let it go as you continue to relax yourself. Relaxing your neck, your face, and your eyelets. Breath in deeply. Visualize yourself going down into different levels of relaxation.
From 5, you go down to 4, and then to 3. You are feeling more relaxed from 3 to 2 and 1. Now you are there in the silence within yourself, in the peace of your essence. Feel the expansion of your being as you flow with the sound of the gongs. Continue with your eyes closed for a moment allowing you to bring your awareness back to this moment harmoniously. Breathing deeply. Begin to move your fingers and toes. Whenever you feel ready, open your eyes, welcoming yourself to a new life.
Welcome back to planet Earth.
This was a little sample.With the headphones, no sound from the environment could distract you from immersing yourself in the journey. Click To Tweet
Tim, how do you feel?
There were parts of that when I was finding myself fading in and out of awakeness into sleep. That little nagging part of my mind saying, “You’re the interviewer here. You can’t go to sleep.” It was wonderful. For the variety of different gong, bats, and sound experiences I’ve had, what you did there with the two of you were able to do with this variety of sounds was a broader spectrum than I had experienced before. It was delightful.
We have those experiences that are one hour when we took it all groups, but we also offer eight hours of sound. Imagine that journey like one of those that you don’t want to come back and see.
We do an overnight one. There is one coming up and for the fall of 2022. We do those in a Himalayan crystal salt room. The whole room is paneled with Himalayan crystal salt. Gaby and I play the gongs for eight consecutive hours. It’s a stream of sound. If you consider the combination of salt and sound, it’s a profound experience.
It feels like being in the center of the Earth.
We provide a number of different things, as you can surmise by now.
How many will you have at that eight hours?
There are thirteen spots available because it’s a relatively compact room.
It is ideal for a small group for those longer sessions.
We do those typically four times a year. Each time the season changes, we go along with that. It’s a theme that we have been pursuing for several years now. The sky is the limit. We can create whatever somebody wants to create with us. We have wonderful things going on, and there’s more to come. These virtual sessions that we are offering for your readers are similar to what you experienced. They are an hour long. Gaby always provides a beautiful meditation that is tied to a topic. Topics range from gratitude, flow, life connection, and relaxation. There are a number of different topics that we have a little dialogue on, similar to what you experienced with us.
Some specific ideas on mindfulness practices can also be used to reinforce if they’re interested in developing that specific thing. Another thing that sound creates is the clear feeling that you are in the origins, like in the most essential part of yourself. You can begin to create from there. By doing that, people who were educated or trained under a lot of control and can get beyond that and explore the vastness of their being begin to create and feel who they are, which is precious.
To connect with essence, that’s what it comes down to. To come briefly back to what you said a little earlier, that you were starting to doze off, that’s beautiful because of our brainwave range, which is again where deep relaxation occurs and where the reboot, reset, or recharge occurs. We sometimes have people come to us after the session telling us, “I can’t believe it. I slept through the whole thing.” We always say, “No worries. Your body is being received what it was meant to receive because vibration and sound go through you. Whether you hear it or perceive it with your skin or your bones, the intention that we set with that, coupled with your intention, is going to bring you the desired effect one way or another, whether you are awake or not.”
Mostly, in the beginning, you need to be guided.Allow the sounds from the environment to become part of the experience as it happens in life. Click To Tweet
That’s why we always prefix it with an introduction to give the paradigm of what is about to happen, which is helpful for people. Somebody was telling us, “I went to one of these, and I didn’t know what to do. That’s so good.” You need to set the stage for the participants to know what they are going to receive and what it is all about. With the dialogue that we’ve had with you, for which we again are grateful, we paved the path for people to understand what this is about.
The goal and intention are important because of where you focus your attention. The energy goes there. Imagine somebody that heard the news or something horrible, and he comes to our gong session. It’s amplifying those thoughts. That’s a reason why it is important for the initial guidance.
One of the things that are a real challenge in my work is to help people get out of their head, heart, and gut. There are a number of different therapy techniques that I’ve been drawn to over the years specifically for that. How do I put the conscious logical mind aside for now? It’s a useful tool. I’ll need it to figure out how to drive home, but for now, as I’m working on the source of the depression or the anxiety, it’s a complicating factor. When people come in and say they fell asleep, their energy, heart, and intuitive system are getting through the sound vibration. It’s getting shifts and balancing that it needs.
I wanted to mention this because, in the first talk we did, you made the offer to give a free month of access to this online experience that you have. To get that, we decided that people would go to DelaMora.life/Members, and then use the code JOURNEYSDREAMSOUND, all in one word. If they went to Gaby’s website, GabyDelaMora.com/Membership, they would use JOURNEYSDREAMTHERAPY at checkout to get free month access.
The second one, in Gaby De la Mora, the membership area, they have access to a complete online course, which guides them step by step into different practices of mindfulness for them to apply, learn, and integrate. Plus, they also receive guided meditations or sessions with sound with specific guided meditations with a specific purpose for them to be able to reconnect with the inner child, integrate the mind better, and create a balance in their everyday life and so on.
There are six steps, and it’s useful because you have a perfect sequence to follow and simple practices. All of that is available in that, plus the sound and some visualizations in nature, because when you think about a metaphor, it sometimes tells you even more if you were describing the situation. Visualizing or using nature as a beautiful and perfect metaphor for their own lives to integrate that as part of their experience is a beautiful way to install new symbols that are going to be present in their experience. The way they feel life in this new training of yourself to be yourself. Those are precious l tools.
Check out both. They have free for one whole month. We have an archive of these on the DelaMora.life site that you can touch down on different topics. Peruse it. You have nothing to lose. You can only gain. I would like to mention that we are in the process. If anybody’s interested to have a gong, either in their office or home, and if we have practitioners here with us, chiropractors, or therapists to have a gong in their home office, it’s an incredible tool to reset, expand, and all of that. We are working on that to have gongs available for sale on our site. We have singing bowls. They are already available for sale. We have the Koshi chimes and some of the tools for sale.
The first thing that comes to my mind when you say that is, as you sell the gong, do you include a training session?
I’m glad you brought it up because I had that thought also. We’re in the process of creating a sound therapy course or sound bathing course. How do I work with sound? It’s a piece of work that is in progress, and it will be available, and hopefully, in the future. I’m saying that because there are many things that we are developing and working on. Check back with us, and put your name on our mailing list. That way, we’ll keep you informed as to what is happening, but you can find it on our websites.
We were focused on being the providers of the experience, but you realize that this is growing so much that each one needs to be their own specialist to play their gongs, know the techniques, and learn how to connect and interact with their own gongs. You mentioned, Tim, that sometimes it is challenging for people to overcome their minds to go beyond the mind, story, trauma, and all of that. Sound is the perfect vehicle for that.
They are safe as if they were in the mother’s womb. They are safe in this environment, enveloped by sound. You can go with ease to those parts that you need to attend. Since they begin to feel it, you begin to guide them in their breathing and all the techniques that you already use. The sound is precious for therapists.
The easiest and simplest way to experience sound and vibration is to cover your ears and hum. Nothing else, just hum and experience what the vibration and the sound does in the cavities of your skull and throughout your entire body. Last time, we talked about the vagus nerve and how it affects each organ of your body. If nothing else, cover yours and hum.
That’s why chanting has been such a big part of many spiritual traditions. The book Echoes of an Ancient Dream by Dale Allen Hoffman introduces people to that and very much like what you’re saying. You must learn to do toning and chanting. It gets amplified if you put the fingers and the ears first. We have to wrap this up in a minute or two. I’d like to hear from both of you.
The only thought I wanted to say on that humming is if you want to then amp it up, just om, but that’s what you were saying a few months ago.
Use the sound of your voice, listen to the rhythm of your heart, and create the space for you to feel that connection with this space with your own being, which provides your own healing, calmness, love, freedom, and all that. Sometimes, we’re trying to find somewhere or in people to feel that love or feel loved. You can find it within yourself, and using the sound is a beautiful way for you to feel it.
Wisdom, love, and eternal and universal energy reside within each and every one of us. We are all part of it, and it is all part of us. The key is to allow oneself to connect with it or to reconnect with it. Sound has many different forms. It is a wonderful, wonderful, and effective tool to accomplish that if it is skillfully applied.
Thank you so much to both of you. It’s been a delight, and I look forward to my first attempt to connect with you on the in-person experience.
- Gabriela de la Mora and Marian Kraus
- Un Minuto Para Ti
- Echoes of an Ancient Dream
About Gabriela De la mora
Gaby grew up in Mexico City, as the 7th child of a beautiful couple who was eager to develop a happy family in which everyone would receive the necessary tools and support for life. Her dad always instilled a very special love for Mexico, its culture, history, traditions, gastronomy, music, art, and ancestral philosophy in his children. But as she grew up, Gabriela witnessed culturally embedded traits of abuse at different social levels, specifically aimed towards vulnerable populations such as women and children.
Finding herself with many of these traits later in her marriage, she wanted to discover ways to counteract these same traits for the sake of herself and her children. Through her own firsthand experiences she heightened her awareness and sensitivity for other women and children who were victims of psychological and physical abuse. For years to follow, Gabriela sought to understand and find effective ways to provide solutions to this starkly prevailing problem in society…
Since a deeply embedded cultural trait such as abuse cannot simply be wiped off the table, it took 10 years of marriage for her to discover that the only real solution was to consciously decide to choose a different path. She separated and her divorce proceedings stretched over three years. During these it became clear to her that even the judiciary system cannot correct the deeply engrained patterns of an abuser.
Reinforced by this experience her resolution to generate a change in society was set. Thus, her very first step in helping these vulnerable groups and creating societal changes was to acquire a deep understanding from the very root of the problem. Which includes the impacts that history, and institutions such as family, religions, and school have on people’s mentality, and how they traditionally reinforce and fuel abusive as well as fear driven behaviors.
Through her studies and research, it became clear to her that the only real and sustained change needs to occur deep within the unconscious mind of the abused and the abuser. These conclusions were the result of analysis and journey through academic degrees in Arts, History, Comparative Religions, and Integral Psychology. While obtaining her initial bachelor’s degree in communication, she acquired certifications as a Life Coach, as well as additional tools for spiritual healing and reconnection through meditation and Human and Universal Energy.
Fueled by her deep interest in helping people free themselves from mental oppression and to live with dignity and respect, gave her the strength and perseverance to seek and generate opportunities in mass media where she openly spoke and addressed social issues that were asking for solutions and support.
Her impassioned perseverance gave birth to “Un Minuto para Ti”, her entire campaign on TV, radio and weekly newspaper column. The positive resonance and response from her audiences encouraged her to continue motivating people to take responsibility for their well-being on national television programs in Mexico moderated by her for nearly two decades in broadcasting corporations such as cultural Channel 11, Televisa, TV Mexiquense, TV Formula, DGTVE, and the art and cultural Channel 22.
The collection of these experiences led to the publication of her book “Un Minuto para Ti” in 2008. Her desire to work directly with communities lead her to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health in 2011 directing the strategy “Health Ambassadors in Social Media”, as well as other projects related to public health and children’s well-being. At the same time, she actively participated with the Carlos Slim Foundation as a provider of conferences and workshops for employees and their families.
Isn’t it remarkable how all of the above would have lead Gabriela to our midnight chance meeting in the Memphis bathroom…?
About Marian Kraus
Meanwhile…in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia on a sunny afternoon in August of 1968, Marian and his 2 year old sister were playing joyfully in a sandbox outside of the high rise they lived in. Called to come upstairs, their mother greeted them with two packed suitcases, only for all three to find themselves on their way to Vienna, Austria on a bus shortly thereafter. Three days later the borders were shut closed behind the Iron Curtain, and after living in a refugee camp for several weeks, they eventually made their way to West Germany.
Having been uprooted from his friends, family and the known environment in an instant, left deep marks which took many years to unravel and integrate. Witnessing the Russian military invasion of his country of birth known as “Prague Spring”, coupled with the oppression and “normality” of lack and scarcity a communist regime instills, formed persistent psychological grooves and distinct belief systems at a very young age.
During the gradual integration into the West German lifestyle and society, a pronounced sense of “not belonging”, grew progressively stronger in him. Living in a society which freely embraces and promotes alcoholic consumption, drinking became a welcome and convenient “crutch” during Marian’s teenage years. Fueled by his curiosity, the progression to explore other soothing “eraser substances” seemed inevitable.
Several years after obtaining an industrial business degree and working for a large German conglomerate, Marian’s sense for adventure prompted him to apply for a transfer to the company’s United States subsidiary in Chicago, IL in 1985.
Developing an undeniable dependency on alcohol over the years in order to function and cope with the multitude of challenges life inevitably presents, it became crystal clear to him that a lifestyle change was necessary. The dictum “If nothing changes, nothing changes” as well as “Straight and narrow is the path….waste no time”, became his mantras, and in 1990 the 12 step recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous proved to be a life saver for him.
Having made this conscious choice, he embarked on a lasting inner journey and pursuit of a metaphysical path to discover “what makes him tick, and what does not make him tick”. Being a hobby photographer, during his soul searching moments, he would repeatedly hear a small inner voice telling him ”you have to do something with your photography…”. Eventually he jumped ship in 1999, left his corporate career of 20 years, and followed his inner voice to embrace the art of visual storytelling as a full time commercial and fine art photographer.
Being a long time hand drummer, he then went on to expand his creative repertoire by expressing images also through the powerful vehicle of gong sounds in 2011. Driven by his own process of inner awakening and ongoing personal transformation, Marian wanted to motivate and assist others to raise their awareness, and recognize their freedom to making positive choices and changes in their lives. This lead him to establish ‘Gong Sound Healing’ in 2012…and also paved his path to the midnight meeting in said Memphis bathroom three years later.
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