We live in times of accelerating change, and the demands placed on us require a concerted effort to keep up. Today’s information age presents a complex set of new challenges and problems that simply must be addressed in order to maintain balance and harmony in our lives.
In our MORE NOW culture, the messages are clear and pervasive: You need to have more, do more and be more, NOW!
"Go big or go home" is the mantra. Multitasking to the point of mental and physical exhaustion is the norm.
With 24/7/365 global news coverage and the prevalence of social media, we are instantly made aware of the latest tragedy, calamity or misfortune. The constant reporting on violence, hatred and strife contributes to a sense of general unease and impending doom.
For many of us, life has become a fear-driven emotional rollercoaster, careening out of control. Sometimes, we get so trapped in the drama of our lives that we just can't seem to see any possible relief from the mental anguish.
And what is the end result? We suffer. We suffer from chronic tension, deteriorating relationships and poor physical and emotional health. We see our brothers and sisters pushed to the edge and cracking under the pressures of the day.
But what if...
What if there was a simple and effortless way for you to turn off your mind - no worries, anxieties, pain or frustration?
What if you could replace your fears and frustrations with feelings of contentment and well-being?
Imagine your mind and body in a state of complete harmony, your emotional batteries recharged so that you could face the challenges of the day with passion, vitality and conviction.
How valuable would that be to you?
Allow me to introduce Beneficial Sound gong bath meditations.
My name is Wayne Marto, and I'm an artist, musician and sound healer.
After hearing the gong for the first time some five years ago, I was deeply moved by the resonating, vibrational healing qualities of the sound. I was swept away by a reflective sense of renewal, a releasing of unwanted emotions and a powerful awareness of strong new beginnings.
The gong has forever changed me, leading me on a journey of awakening, and uncovering a life's passion: to share the powerful healing attributes of the gong with all those willing to listen (click here for full bio).
When we want to clean our bodies, we use soap and water. A gong bath uses sound and vibration to cleanse us on the inside - emotionally and physiologically. There is no water involved, nor clothes removed.
Beneficial Sound gong bath events start with a brief explanation on the benefits of the gong, followed by a short demonstration, showing how the beneficial sounds that we covet are created.
We then do a quick breath exercise to promote the flow of energy and to create a receptive mind-body state for deep relaxation and meditation.
Participants then get comfortable either lying down (preferred) or a similar comfortable position.
I then begin playing the gong to cleanse the subconscious and awaken the practitioner to a transcendent state of awareness. The listener only has to let go and let the sound of the gong do the work as it bathes the body, mind and soul. The experience is effortless and the results profound.
My intention while playing the gong is always for the highest good of all who are present, that the sounds promote healing, release stress, and that the listener emerges from the experience having a clear mind and a wholeness of being.
I play several different Paiste gongs during the gong bath - a 36" Pluto gong, a 34" Symphonic gong, a 30" Earth gong as well as a 24" Moon gong. Pluto gongs are known for their grounding and calming effect, while helping us remove energies and beliefs systems that no longer serve us. Symphonic gongs offer a full envelope of sound, having a calming, relaxing effect on the listener. The Zodiac Earth gong is a 7th chakra gong that is very mysterious in sound and connects us with something higher and beyond the physical. Moon gongs are very light and bright and broadcast a tremendous amount of positive energy, promoting strong new beginnings built on creativity, vitality and pleasure.
During a session, I use multiple mallets to bring out the full spectrum of beneficial vibrations and frequencies, and play the gong using two alternating techniques.
The first is a "build and release" cycle of rising and falling sound waves, gradually building its volume to a point of intensity and then breaking the pattern with a single or combination strike. This style of playing promotes deep relaxation and therapeutic healing.
The second technique used is an "extended pulsing" style that promotes a spontaneous meditative state. This style locks and engages the mind, creating a deep immersion between the sound the meditative mind, merging them together until you literally become one with the sound. This deep immersion, alters your brainwave activity, allowing you to access a deep theta state, transporting you to the vastness beyond the finite self.
Once the gong playing is complete, there will be a few minutes of silence. This is a time of deep relaxation and expansion, where transformation and healing occur. This quiet time allows the listeners to receive the information that is most beneficial to them.
Wear comfortable clothes and bring whatever you need to be relaxed for the meditation (yoga mat, blanket, pillow, water, etc.).
A gong bath is a unique and highly personal experience. The gong speaks to each one of us individually, meeting us wherever we are on our life journey. The variety of sounds and tones produced during a gong bath session are the optimal set of frequencies for that specific listening audience. In fact, even when striking the gong with the same mallet, tempo and firmness, the gong often produces varied and unpredictable sounds.
Just as a body massage works out tight and knotted muscles, the "sonic massage" of a gong bath works out emotional issues that we need to release in order to move on.
Because the gong works as an emotional cleanse, the sound of the gong often brings about various emotional releases, especially when heard for the first time. Crying, laughing, or transient feelings of anxiety, fear, love or bliss are not uncommon as emotional reorganization takes place.
Occasionally, the sound of the gong produces what some listeners describe as tingling sensations or movement of energy in the body. These sensations occur as sound clears energy blockages that may have existed since birth or have resulted from life traumas.
For most people, a gong bath is a deeply relaxing and peaceful experience. Many come away feeling energized and more alert, being able to apply themselves to challenging mental tasks for longer periods of time with less fatigue. The world becomes a more vital and sensuous place.
Others go more deeply and may have profound healing experiences. Still others simply sleep through the entire gong bath - there is no right or wrong.
During a gong bath, all levels of your Being - physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual - will benefit deeply from the resonance of the healing gong.
One of the great aspects of sound healing is that you do not have to believe in it, or even understand it, to benefit from its use. However, lets explore how it works and how it can heal.
To understand the concept of sound healing, we first need to accept some fundamental theories. The first is that the universe is composed of constantly changing particles of energy. From Einstein to Tesla, the greatest scientists of our time have accepted this as fact.
String theory proposes that all matter is made up of tiny vibrating strings infinitely smaller than the atom. Every element of the universe is in a constant state of vibration manifested to us as light, sound and energy. We perceive only a fraction of this infinite range of vibration.
The human being is an enclosed pulsating energy system, swimming in a sea of vibrating energy. All energy vibrates at an optimum frequency, including all the cells of the body, from bone structures to organs, and strives for homeostasis, the attempt to maintain balance.
When your energy system is vibrating at an optimal frequency, you are at the peak of physical health, happiness, contentment and well-being.
When your system is out of vibrational balance, you are in a state of disharmony and experience dis-ease until your system regains balance within a normal range.
Sound healing is the practice of "re-tuning" the human system back to ideal frequencies via a universal physical and biological principle known as Sonic Entrainment, where rhythmic vibrations of similar frequencies resonate in unison. The human system knows what feels harmonious and almost automatically tunes into what is needed at any give time.
The gong is arguably the ultimate sound healing tool, as it has the broadest range of tones and frequencies of any instrument. When played sensitively and well, this vast range of sound deeply bathes every cell of the body - muscles, bones, organs, nervous system, etc. - and via sonic entrainment brings it back into harmonic balance.
Additionally, the sound waves of the gong stimulate dermatomes on the surface of the skin.
Dermatomes extend from the spine and are - through a complex integrated network of nerves - related to specific organs of the body, including the five main organs: the heart, stomach, lugs, kidneys and liver.
Medical science theorizes that stimulation of dermatomes can have a positive effect on their related organs. These benefits include the releasing of toxins.
It is important to drink plenty of water after a gong bath to flush these toxins from your system.
Sound healing has been shown to have myriad additional benefits to the human body.
These include: improving flexibility and coordination, increasing endorphin levels, boosting immune function and even improving digestion.
In order to understand how the gong can help heal us emotionally, it is important to understand the intimate relationship between yoga and the gong.
The enlightened yogic masters of all ages have taught us that we are much more than just our physical body and that our Being is composed of multiple layers. Ancient Indian wisdom handed down to us from the Upanishads and the Vedas from well over 2,000 years ago spells out a much forgotten system for understanding the various layers of our Being. This system, without equal in the spiritual and religious lexicon, is known as The Five Yogic Koshas.
A kosha is a Sanskrit word that means, "layer" or "sheath". The five Koshas are layers that collectively comprise the human being. Like individual lampshades on the light of our souls, filtering and obscuring our True Light.
The goal is to move through the layers of our Being, balancing and relaxing one at a time until we reach the essence of our True Self, the Soul.
The first kosha is the physical layer - governed by yoga (asanas). The second kosha is the energetic layer - governed by breath control (pranayama). The third kosha is the emotional layer - governed by sacred sound. The forth kosha is the wisdom layer - governed by intuitive meditation. The fifth kosha is the bliss layer - experienced through the integration of all five koshas.
In the kosha model, the pure, penetrating sound waves of the gong strengthen and heal the emotional layer. The gong works to have a clearing effect on emotional issues, breaking up limiting and negative thought patterns, and as a result, familiar problems lose some of their significance.
Gong bath healing is an excellent therapy option for stress related issues, such as depression and anxiety, as it helps to reduce tension and regulate stress-related hormones.
Like a "self-excavation" process, the gong helps us uncover who we truly are beyond the physical and egoic layers.
Although particularly effective on the emotional layer, one can see that the sound of the gong in fact affects all 5 layers of Being, from the purely physical (1) sensation of sound, to the movement of pranic energy (2) through the chakras, through the synchronization of emotions (3) with the mind, leading to intuitive insight (4) through deep meditation that allows for the experience of integrated bliss (5).
It is also clear to see that experiencing a gong bath directly after a yoga class can be particularly rewarding.
Since the yoga routine has addressed the physical layer and the energetic layer, the practitioner is now in a optimal mind-body state for emotional cleansing and deep meditation.
Because of the intimate relationship between the chakras and sound frequencies, the gong is a powerful instrument for opening, clearing and balancing the flow of energy through them.
A chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning "wheel of light." Chakras can be thought of as energy conduits located along the spinal pathway at the conjunction of the physical layer and the energetic layer of Being.
They function as life energy distribution centers, working in concert, constantly radiating and pushing the flow of energy throughout the human system.
Over time, the pressures from daily life, the pollution from noise, traffic and overcrowding can all produce negative emotions that can "dirty" our chakras and weigh us down emotionally.
Blocked and dirtied chakras cannot push through sufficient energy, and both the physical and emotional immune systems are gradually compromised.
The complex sounds of the gong overcome the mind that is producing the negative thought patterns clogging the chakras, and the mental imprints that store the negative energy in the chakras can be cleared, restoring harmony and vitality to the body and mind.
Therefore, as we remove blockages, imbalances and stagnant energy from the chakras, we cleanse the energetic layer of Being before the negative energy can accumulate and manifest as a physical ailment.
As you get familiar with gong bath healing, the self-regulating mechanism of the chakras becomes more efficient, and the negativity and pollution from everyday life are easily filtered out.
The gong makes it easy to enjoy the benefits of meditation, even for those who find meditating difficult. The gong acoustically elevates you to a higher state of awareness, creating a spontaneous meditative state that requires you to simply let go and listen.
The complex blend of overtones and frequencies of the gong suspends the thought patterns of the mind, altering brainwave activity from Beta (waking state) to Theta (meditative state), facilitating a deep, effortless meditative experience. The listener rides the sound waves between Theta and Delta (sleep state).
Science teaches that Theta brain frequencies enable us to access our deeper subconscious, creating a shift from the logical left-brain to the creative right-brain. This shift allows us to connect with our intuitive personal power, unleashing a flow of creativity and hidden talents and transporting us to the vastness beyond the finite self.
Additionally, by its coordinating and stimulating effect upon both the pituitary and pineal glands, the gong is particularly influential in opening the 6th and 7th chakras, the gateway to spiritual awakening and transformation.
The use of sound for healing is not a new phenomenon. From the aboriginal people of Australia to Native American Indians, sound has been used therapeutically for thousands of years. The Egyptians and the Greeks often composed and performed music for the purpose of healing.
The gong is an ancient, sacred healing instrument, dating back some 3,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest instruments in the world.
Based on ancient wisdom, it was said that if you were gonged for ten consecutive days, you could be cured of anything.
In modern times, sound healing has begun to enjoy a renaissance, and we are starting to recall the ancient wisdom of our forefathers.
With this renewed sense of self comes a profound feeling of oneness with the creative and sustaining life force and energy of the universe. Life then takes on an unbelievable richness that cannot be described. It has to be experienced.