What's All That Noise About?
The “gong bath” has become a popular wellness practice. People come to shed their stress and take a psycho-acoustic getaway to heightened states of consciousness. The gong induces a holistic resonance in the body and a spontaneous meditative state in the mind, resulting in an expanded sense of awareness and wholeness. A gong bath can look like a big slumber party; everyone lays down on thick pads around the gong and is “bathed” in waves of resonance from these ancient instruments for an hour or two. Using a variety of mallets, the gong-master can create complex combinations of tones and sounds that often mimick singing dolphins, spaceships, freight trains, blowing wind, and thundering waterfalls. In most gong concerts, there is a long, loud crescendo toward the end, which helps the nervous system liberate fears or emotional obstacles and allow pure presence to emerge. A blanket of silence ends the session and then participants are verbally guided back to the present moment.
Gong meditation is an ancient form of sound therapy to bring about release, healing, deep relaxation, and transformation. The “sonic massage” of a gong bath uses strong vibrations to relax muscles, awaken the organs, penetrate the bones and potentially ease pain. Scientific studies prove that sound therapy from gongs can detoxify the blood and activate the parasympathetic nervous system so the body’s self-healing abilities can be deployed. As incessant mind-chatter ceases, the subconscious mind finds a deep peaceful place where connection with True Self is possible. Energetically, gong work is the “fast-track” to clearing, unblocking and aligning the meridians and chakras. Most people leave a gong immersion feeling refreshed and renewed because of the gong’s ability to raise an individuals’ vibratory frequency and restore their intrinsic state of balance.
To get the most out of a gong sound bath, try being an active listener, using the sound and vibration to remain present in the experience. Encourage the mind to be creative and apply colors or textures to the soundscape. Experiment with breathing in the sound or following the vibration as it resonates in the body. Most importantly, receive the performance with the whole self (not just the ears) as a listening presence; allowing all the sound and vibration to wash over you, without resistance. Pay attention to dreams, or new thoughts that emerge post gong bath, as these could be clear communications from a higher source.
Gong healing events can be found at local yoga studios, and wellness venues. In preparation, bring along a thick pad and pillow for comfort, some water, and most importantly an open mind to receive all of the transformational benefits that a gong bath allows.
Note: The term “gong bath” has been trademarked by gong-master Richard Rudis of Encinitas, CA and can be contacted at www.sacredgongbath.com
Ann Martin, a musician and energy practitioner can be found at www.milehighhealingvibe.com