GONGS and meditation

“The gong is very simple. It is an inter-vibratory system. It is the sound of Creativity itself. The gong is nothing more, nothing less. One who plays the gong plays the universe. The gong is not an ordinary thing to play. Out of it came all music, all sounds, and all words. The sound of the gong is the nucleus of the Word”.

By Yogi Bhajan

The gong has been used for thousands of years as an important a tool for healing and meditation. When you experience a Gong Meditation, you can expect to do a few relaxing breathing exercises to open the body’s chakras (energy centers), and then comfortably recline to your mat or a chair or sit in a meditative posture. The Gong playing begins. At first you hear the soft throaty Gong sounds and as you listen carefully, you become aware of the many tones within one sound. The sounds develop and wash over and around you to vibrate all of the body’s cells. The waves of sound carry your body and mind to a feeling of peace and connectedness.

But how is this possible?

Let’s first look at the gong itself. Typically, a gong is a hammered round metal disk. The surface is usually flat and slightly rounded at the edge. The surface of the gong has 3 areas and each area produces a different sound when played. The gong is played with a mallet and struck at various percussion points with a variety of rhythms to create specific effects.

One of the significant features of the gong is the sound it produces. Playing the gong is an art because the gong is not like playing a drum or any other musical instrument. The gong is a vibration. It is like playing hundreds of notes at the same time. As the gong is played it produces a note against a background of other notes. Each note interacts with the next note and they change each other. This creates a complex pattern of sounds that you feel in your body when you listen to the gong.

The entire body vibrates and changes as the gong is played. In our body there are 72,000 nerves that send energy throughout our bodies to shape us physically, emotionally and mentally. Specific areas of the body and mind are stimulated by the vibration waves of the gong. For example, the sound waves can stimulate the glandular system to a higher level of functioning because the vibration causes all of the cells of the body to move and to release blockages.

The gong also has an effect on the mind. The sound waves help to open the subconscious mind to a meditative state. The mind naturally releases with the gong. It takes only 3 to 90 seconds for the gong to have an affect on the mind. Then we have the opportunity to expand our own psyche to new aspects of our selves and the world around us.

The sound of the gong also projects to all of the chakras (energy centres) and can be used as a powerful instrument to open and balance them. Certain areas of the gong relate to different chakras. When these areas are played the chakras become more responsive and therefore opened and balanced. The gong helps the chakras to coordinate and move more freely. With sensitivity you can feel this in your body when you listen to the gong.

The sound of the gong creates deep relaxation; it releases you from your thoughts. Nothing compares to the gong’s ability to create sound that brings us to a state of harmony.

The sound of the gong creates deep relaxation, freeing us from the flood of thoughts our mind releases, and stimulates the glandular system to a higher level of functioning.

During the gong meditation emotional transformation is produced as it reduces tension, releases blocks and stimulates circulation. The result is a reorganization of the emotional energy and feelings that are tied into the body structure. The gong changes feelings that are blocked by cutting the thoughts that sustain and recreate the feelings.

The gong meditation clears the nerve endings and regenerates the parasympathetic system which is ruled by sound. The parasympathetic system sends “relax” messages to all the organs. It regulates the rebuilding functions of the body and it is vital for handling stress since it coordinates the recovery period from stress. To regenerate the parasympathetic system, nothing is more powerful than the gong.

On gongs, Yogi Bhajan said, “The gong is very simple.  It is an inter-vibratory system.  It is the sound of Creativity itself.  One who plays the gong plays the Universe.  The gong is not an ordinary thing to play.  Out of it came all music, all sounds, and all words.   The sound of the gong is the nucleus of the Word.  The gong is not a musical instrument, nor a drum.  The gong is a beautiful reinforced vibration.  It is like a multitude of strings, as if you played a million strings.  The gong is the only tool with which you can produce this combination of space vibrations.”

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