What Is Gong Meditation?
“The gong is the spirit song. It is the primal whisper for the soul. Its sound is the echo of the original word that created the universe, the SOUND within all sounds.”
- Yogi Bhajan
Healing with sound is one of the oldest & most natural forms of healing known to man. For centuries & in all countries & traditions, harmonious sound (chanting, drumming, etc) has been used as a way of soothing the mind & emotions & in some Eastern cultures it has long been realized that the beneficial effects go much deeper than just a sense of emotional well-being; harmonious sounds also have a healing effect on the body at a cellular level.
Gongs date back to the Bronze Age, about 3500 BC and were found primarily in Mesopotamia, Burma, China, Java and Annam. Since the time of Buddha in 600BC all sacred Chinese gongs have been inscribed with ‘Tai Loi’ meaning ‘happiness has arrived’. Rumor has it that ancient sacred gongs included pieces of meteorites that fell from the heavens, ‘sweeping the darkness by bringing in the light’.
Some of the ancient uses for the gong include meditation, healing, initiation, communication and ceremonies including the exorcism of negative spirits. In 1790 gongs were used in European orchestras for the first time where they remain today.
The gong is an idiophone, ie. It resonates with the whole of its’ being, producing many harmonics from its’ fundamental tuned note. When played it produces the primordial and original sound ‘Om’, which is an extremely powerful and healing to the human ear. Essentially it ‘is’ what ‘it does’
All Gongs Are Not Alike
The gongs here are meditation gongs made by Paiste, a company founded over 100 years ago and is considered to be the pre-eminent gong manufacturers in the world. Their team of eight gong masters is based in Germany.
Paiste has taken traditional gong designs of the East and have made a number of changes with regard to design, construction and tuning.
Firstly they begin with a smooth metal disk made of Nickel Silver or German Silver consisting of 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. The metal has been highly condensed through a process of heating and rolling under pressure which brings the metal to a consistency carrying minimal internal resistance and eliminating the possibility of any cracks or fissures when used correctly.
Then they hand forge and tune the gongs to achieve a state of sustained resonance one by one, producing gongs ranging in size from 20-80” diameter.
Paiste manufacturers a number of different types of gongs: planet gongs are tuned to the specific frequencies of each planet as calculated by Hans Cousto. In this case their sound color is described as extremely mysterious and conveying an unusual, unfathomable atmosphere.
Symphonic gongs on the other hand offer harmonic and universal sound structure. The fundamental note of the gong is balanced with the instrument's complex overtones. To the average listener, it sounds like many instruments being played at once.
To find out more about Paiste, please check www.paistegongs.com.
Gong Bath Explained
The sound of a master quality gong induces a state of spontaneous meditation and relaxation that facilitates the movement of chi or prana (positive life force) throughout the body. The movement of which on a physical level, eliminates tension, stimulates the circulation and glandular systems, and regenerates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Not only do you hear the Gong sound but you also feel its vibrations on and inside your body. Listeners experience a sense of connectedness and peace. They are lulled into a Theta or REM sleep state where one is neither asleep nor awake. This is the state of dreams and at which time our bodies begin to heal and rejuvenate.
Other benefits include:
- calming the mind and stopping internal dialogue
- rebalancing the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies
- awakening higher states of consciousness conducive to healing and transformation
This in turn leaves you feeling content, clear headed, energetic and optimistic.
All the listener need do is to relax, preferably prone, and allow the sound to bathe the body and carry the mind. Sessions are held for one or many participants at a time.
Gong baths are an excellent remedy for stress related issues, depression, fatigue, addictions, anger and hostility, feelings of fear, separation and loneliness along with many other conditions related to the lack of balance and harmony in the body. In conclusion, a gong bath allows your entire body to relax, renew and rejuvenate.