What is your idea of relaxation? What do you choose to do at the end of a stressful day? Do you choose to turn on the TV for a few hours? While this may help in the short run, what long term benefits do you receive from your TV experience? Do you know that much deeper levels of relaxation can be achieved through yoga and meditation?
There are many meditation techniques that can be employed to achieve deep states of relaxation. Popular techniques are repeating a mantra, watching one’s breath, or observing one’s passing thoughts. Vibration techniques are not as well known, but are very powerful for the novice, as they do not require months of practice to yield results. Vibration meditation instruments include singing bowls, bells, tuning forks, and gongs. The main advantage of gong is the speed at which deep meditation can be achieved.
Bowls, bells, and tuning forks all present a single note that is sustained for a short period, then the process is repeated. In contrast, gongs present a wall of sound, a million notes all at once. However, each gong has a dominant frequency, called a fundamental note. Gongs produce a great multitude of “overtones.” These overtones are repeating patterns of notes, called octaves, extending both above and below the fundamental note. The depth of beauty found within these overtones is the first thing you will discover about gong vibration. The more you listen, the more intoxicating it becomes, and your mind and body will naturally relax and let go.
When a tuning fork is struck it produces a note of a given frequency and amplitude. As the note rings out, the frequency will remain the same, but the amplitude, or volume, will decrease over time. This is called decay. When a gong is stroked, a multitude of notes are produced simultaneously. Each note will have a different frequency and amplitude. These notes mix within the gong, producing new notes with new frequencies and amplitudes. This mixing effect allows the overall amplitude to decay and then grow again. A repeating cycle of decay and growth is created. It’s like an echo over a canyon, but with gong it sounds like “WAwaWawaWawa.” This effect is known as resound.
Resound stands in stark contrast to our everyday experience of sound. The mind is attracted to resound because of this contrast. Allowing your awareness to follow or float on the currents of gong vibration will allow you to become ever more focused and relaxed. Your body will follow the mind and become more and more relaxed as well. As you immerse yourself within the gong vibration, you may experience a state of consciousness that is similar to sleeping, yet the mind is awake and aware. This is the state of mind where the magic happens. This is where the healing occurs. This is deep relaxation.
This is Gong.