Imagine a world without television, without phone applications, without radio, without game consoles, without cars and without the endless stream ...
Bathing in Sound
Imagine a world without television, without phone applications, without radio, without game consoles, without cars and without the endless stream of health promoting DVDS/CD’s and meditation groups which charge several pounds entrance fee a head. A world where nature could be heard, where communities had a purpose and where modern communications may well be viewed with fear and mistrust. Within this world there existed something ancient, something which is still valued and utilised in the world today in its many different forms and is said by some to encompass creation itself. Sound is an energy which is so basic and so present has been utilised since the beginnings of life for our own purposes whether these be entertainment, control, communication, effect or the topic of this article, healing.
The Gong is an instrument of this healing which originated within Eastern Cultures thousands of years ago as much more than a percussion instrument. As illustrated above sound as a healing modality was important and the Gong has been used to focus meditation and promote healing evolving over time to be adapted by many modern cultures as a sacred meditation/healing tool.
"The sound of the gong is the channel of Pure Truth, and whenever Truth isexperienced, healing occurs. When the gong is played, the sound vibrations immediately quiets the mind, allowing healing to occur. The gong's resonance is the very music of the spheres; the heavenly bodies of the universe. Each planet, moon and star is a gong emanating the divine sound of AUM in its variety of vibrational patterns." (Grand Gong master Don Conreaux).
The above quote begins to demonstrate how the gong is used for healing. Based on the ancient wisdom that the gong vibrates at the same frequency of the body the sound energy is said to move through the whole of the nervous system dissolving all blockages and clearing the whole mind, body and spirit so the systems are recharged and the person emerges energised, refreshed and uplifted. The gong is said to convey ‘the sound of creation itself’ emitting the primordial and original Om/Aum sound which is utilised in meditations and chants and considered to be powerful and healing to the human ear.
The gong will often be accompanied by the playing of the singing bowls. The singing bowls are also of Eastern origin and produce a continuous ‘singing sound’ which contains multiple harmonic overtones which can be heard at the same time. The bowls are played by rubbing a wooden, plastic or leather wrapped mallet around the rim, the friction producing the singing sound which is heard. They can also be struck to produce a warm, bell tone often used to signal the start or end of a meditation.
The gong bath is so called as it produces waves of sound which wash over you and leave you feeling cleansed and vitalised. Sound is used to create a scared place in which transformation and healing can take place. Deep relaxation is the aim and to achieve a state of meditation where healing can more readily occur as we detach from the material world and relinquish the responsibilities of the mind. Unlike some therapies/treatments where a specific ailment is addressed the sound healing works through vibration and transferring this to the area’s where it is needed the most. Illness is regarded as an imbalance in the body, within cells and organs and the vibrations allow for balanced alignment to resume. The gongs can be alternated from gentle whispering sounds to higher levels of sound and intensity all of which serve to work on a deep, cellular level whilst the singing bowls enable focus to be clear and contained. Silence is also used as the effects often last after the playing has stopped but the vibrations continue often transforming atmosphere’s as well as individuals.
The experience of a gong bath and its effects vary between individuals ranging from a state of relaxation and peace to people experiencing colours, images or soul journeys. Some may experience insights once the mind is detached from clutter and some people report unpleasant emotions rising to the surface or lying heavily until they are dissolved by the sound and the nurturing way in which the sounds may comfort and cradle the listener.
My own experience of the gong bath has varied on each separate occasion. The sounds have never failed to pulse within me indeed bringing to mind waves which may gently lap before building to a crescendo. I have always experienced warmth and relaxation and enjoyed rather than interpreted the images which have come to mind. I have yet to experience any journeys which may well be due to my anticipated reluctance to return! At the very least this is a process which aids relaxation and one which I recommend everyone should experience at least once for as Yogi Bhajan says "The mind has no power to resist a gong that is well played".
Website for further information regarding Gong baths in Plymouth - http://gongvibes.webs.com/