The first sound of the Universe
It is said that the sacred Gong produces the primordial sound of ‘Aum’, the ancient first sound of the Universe, the sound from which all others come: “The Gong is the sound of creativity itself. One who plays the Gong plays the Universe. Out of it comes all music, all sounds and all words…” – Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga Master.
In what way is the sound of the Gong different?
When a Gong is first struck, it produces an initial sound, which, unlike other musical instruments, swells slightly before fading. This is known as blossoming. Continued slow striking ensures this blossoming is maintained as layers of overtones and intervals build to create what is described as a sound envelope. It is said that this envelope is the key to the healing power of the Gong and it is my own experience, that this fullness of the Gong sound can take us to another dimension, a deeply personal and individual experience.
The Gong and 'brainwaves'
There are four main types of brainwaves (in order of descending frequency): beta, alpha, theta and delta.
In our normal waking state our brainwaves are in beta mode (12 to 30 cycles per second – CPS). Many of us spend most of our waking hours in this mode, finding it difficult, perhaps, to relax.
When we are calm and relaxed our minds are in alpha mode (8 to 12 CPS).
When asleep and dreaming, or in a meditative state, our minds are in theta mode (4 to 8 CPS). It is said that this state is highly desirable when we want to experience heightened states of consciousness, intuition, inspiration, creaivity and spiritual awareness. Activation of theta brainwaves may bring up suppressed memories and emotions from the past, but bringing these into the conscious mind can enable healing to occur.
When we are in our deepest state of sleep our brains produce delta waves (1 to 4 CPS). In this state our physical bodies are usually unconscious and we are benefitting from the true rest of deep sleep, usually waking up afterwards feeling very refreshed.
The sound of the Gong has been described as lowering the frequency of our brainwaves, causing our minds to slow down.
In my experience, one of the most powerful benefits of a Gong Bath is being taken into 'automatic meditation'. Because of the stressful lives we live, it can seem difficult if not impossible, at times, to meditate; even when we really want to. If you allow the sounds of the Gong to embrace you without resistance, you will likely enter a deep state of theta meditation. In addition to deep relaxation, in this state it is possible to experience heightened states of awareness and
This theta state is a very powerful healing state and it is said to attune us to universal knowledge and wisdom: people often receive answers to questions they have been puzzling over when in this theta state.
Alternatively, the sounds of the Gong may take you to an alpha state in which you are likely to have a calm and relaxing experience during your Gong Bath.
Experience an individual Gong Bath
A Gong Bath is an extremely relaxing experience so it's best to arrive unhurried, so you can immediately take advantage of the soothing sound waves of the Gongs.
First you will be offered a glass of natural mineral water, or mineral water infused with organic lemon & mint or organic cucumber (subject to availability), whatever your preference.
After a short discussion (slightly longer if this is your first time), you will lie down, fully clothed, on a faux fur blanket, resting your head on a pillow (layered with an individual, freshly laundered cover) and wrapped in one or more blankets, depending on your preference.
Your Gong Bath is about to begin...
You will be asked if there is any particular intention for this Gong Bath and if so, would you like to share it with me? This allows your practitioner to focus on it with you as he connects with the Gongs. Sometimes people don't have a particular intention for their Gong Bath. Other times they do, but would like to keep it to themselves. Either of these, of course, is absolutely fine.
Now you will hear me say "Your Gong Bath will be over when you hear my voice again." I will start by reciting the Universal Greeting followed by chiming the Tibetan Tingshaw bells, a gentle but bright wave of sound that drifts over you in marked contrast to the richer sound of the sacred Gongs.
As the velvety drone of the Gongs...
...begin to envelope what may feel like every pore of your body, many people soon drift away. For some, on several occasions, this can happen within quite a short period of time. On other occasions they may be conscious of the ebbing sound of the Gongs throughout their entire Bath, but nonetheless still lose sense of time as they are calmed by their soothing presence.
In what may seem like hardly any time at all, many minutes will have passed by and the sacred Gongs quieten back to infinity as they make way for the Koshi chimes to whisper their song. If you hear their song you will soon notice that brighter wave of sound of the Tingshaw bells again, marking the beginning of a short period of absolute silence before your Gong Bath draws to a close.
At this point I will gently let you know that your Gong Bath has concluded, for this occasion, and offer you more water.