My Gong Journey...
how it began!

This is my temple.
This is my church.
This is my communion.
This is what and who I am.
Michael Bettine

My Gong Journey began long before I was aware of it. It began over ten years ago when my daughter Jennifer first introduced me to yoga. When Jennifer tried to teach me Pigeon Pose, I thought she was trying to torture me.

I started taking yoga lessons taught by Shelly Niebuhr’s “Spiritual Yoga & Meditation” at Arapaho United Methodist Church. 

I enjoyed yoga so much  in 2016 I became a Hatha Yoga instructor.  Shelly was instrumental in my becoming a yoga instructor. 

Part of my yoga practice included singing bowls for the meditation Savasana. 

I evolved from Yoga Journeys Meditation to
Gong Journeys Meditation.
It has always been a Journey....

One day at class Patti King brought me a copy (March 2017) of Dallas Yoga Magazine. There was a interview with Gong Master Kenny Kolter. I found Kenny’s interview intriguing and informative. ***I could also relate to how he got started.

***Ten years ago a good friend invited me to a ‘gong bath‘ and I had no idea on earth what that was. That experience changed my life. The experience for me was profound, I felt relaxed and energized all at once. When the session was over I shared with my wife ‘That’s what I want to do! ‘Not thinking much about it because at the time I had a regular corporate job.

Shortly afterwards I purchased a gong simply to experiment and have fun exploring a new instrument, thinking I would play for friends & family. My wife suggested I try to develop and explore the possibility of playing the gong for a living. With her support and blessing I started to seriously dig into the instrument further, made my first meditation CD and began what now is my career. - Full Kenny Kolter Interview

Then there was an outdoor market celebration in old downtown Garland. My wife wanted to go; I didn’t. In & Out Burger was giving away free burger meals; I didn’t want to go. My wife prevailed, and we went.

To my surprise there was a Grand Opening for Shakti Yoga Center in the square with balloons to celebrate the event; couldn’t miss it! We walked by and there was live music playing, my wife coaxed me to go in. This was a beautiful yoga center. Old brick walls, saris were draped from the ceiling, salt lamps, small Tibetan lamps all added to the warmth and relaxing ambiance of the studio. We sat down on mats and listened to live music, chants, dance and drum circle. 

Barbara Cole (Gong Master)
The Science of Stress Relief

Shakti advertised a Gong Bath for that evening performed by Gong Master Barbara Cole, the Science of Stress Relief. I decided to go.... Barbara performed with gongs, singing bowls, chimes, drums and more! I was hooked! My first thought was how this would help my yoga students during Savasana/Meditation. I also realized that this was what I wanted to do! Very similar to Kenny’s first reaction. Later Barbra announced that she would be giving gong lessons. I signed up immediately!

Osten at my first gong lesson with Barbara Cole and class students!

21" wind gong my very first purchased gong. 

Later after group lessons, I became an Apprentice to Barbara and helped her setup at studios and later I even performed with her at yoga studios. This was a great learning experience.  Barbara even helped me to get my first performances as a solo artist.

I will always be a gong journeyman, a student, for there is always more to learn. I learn from my students and each gong bath performance. I will always be grateful to all of my teachers; Barbara got me started.

Ven. Tashi Nyima
The Great Middle Way

I have also been deeply influenced by my teacher Ven. Tashi Nyima. Trul Khor a traditional Tibetan movement followed by Buddhist hand mudras. His teachings are always with me throughout every yoga class and gong bath.

The Great Middle Way

Kenny Kolter, Gong Master at the Dallas Yoga Center.

My Gong Journey continues as I am also taking lessons from Gong Master, Kenny Kolter! I first met Kenny at the Dallas Yoga Center; he was AMAZING! AWESOME! Just watching him makes you a better player. I hope to gleam knowledge from his lifetime experience in percussion and his 10+ years of gong experience!

I am forever grateful to have been blessed by so many teachers and students.

It is my passion now to share the Gong Meditation with others. 



 I have evolved to include gongs, chimes, bells, drums….