Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day at a Relaxation and rejuvenation retreat. The day was filled with yoga nidra, yoga, gong therapy, chef-prepared, fresh vegan meals, zeta therapy, Tibetan toning and wonderful fellowship in a beautiful home overlooking Honolulu.
My first gong bath was interesting. The gongs were played beautifully, I felt my energy rising immediately, almost unnaturally. I was expecting to be in a meditative state and surprised by my body wanting to move. I had a nervous twitch in my legs and I actually felt like I wanted to dance, not rest and certainly not meditate. As the gongs echoed through the room, I felt their energy weave itself through the cells in my body but my mind continued to race, rather than rest. I heard the birds outside responding to the gongs. Again, I tried to refocus my attention on the sounds, or my breathing but the harder I tried to concentrate, or not concentrate, the harder it was to focus.
Towards the end of the first session, they started walking around the room with what appeared to be and sounded similar to wind chimes, but different. I knew this meant the gong bath was almost over and I felt disappointed because it had not worked for me. I felt as though I had resisted meditation the entire time, missed out on the potential to heal somehow.
After the session, I journaled about my perceived resistance as well as the thoughts that had been racing through my mind, realizing these were likely unresolved issues I need to address.
Later, at dusk, we had another gong bath. I made sure to be nice and comfortable this time, I didn’t want any comfort distractions keeping me from the deep meditative state I was looking for. For this session, I was in a different space in the room. This enabled me to actually feel the gong vibrations above me, below me, within me. I focused on the multi-dimensional, beautiful sounds. The melancholy vibrations filled the room. I felt them vibrate within me. Again, my legs began moving, wanting to dance. (a sensation similar to several times, when my antidepressant dosing was too high, but not as irritating, it was more like wanting to dance.) Again, I tried to quiet my mind, find the spaces in between the chatter. Again, as the gong vibrations made my mind and body dance, silence eluded me. Again, as the wind chime sounds began, I felt disappointed, as though I had failed.
This time, however, I noticed something different, something that actually happened both times but I did not notice right away. When the chimes began, signalling what I thought to be the end of the gong bath, I floated away… The chimes, for me actually signaled the beginning of the journey. My awareness drifted away until the voice of our guide signaled the end of the session. I am not yet sure how long that part lasted, I will ask the guides.
What I can tell you is that I literally felt the gongs vibrating the cells of my being. I did not meditate, my mind was brutally active during the gong session, however, the chimes at the end somehow sent me deep into a meditative space. When our gong players gentle voice called us back to reality, that is when I realized that I felt profoundly different. Somehow, the chimes primed me to receive the meditation that was to come at the end of the session. Somehow, I feel profoundly different and I am peeling layers of unbridled pain from my cellular level. My mental state, 24 hours later is different. I am feeling things I have not felt in a very long time. I am looking at myself with honesty, seeing issues that have been buried, that need to be addressed.
I do not know if the gongs are the reason for my shift in awareness, or the entire days experience just cleansed me, it is difficult to tell which part of the day had this impact on me. It could be the cumulative synergy of the days events combined to provide a cathartic cocoon, enabling me to move through some old crap.
Either way, I can’t shake the feeling, that just 24 hours later, something is shifting and I have the feeling, it’s only just begun.
A special thanks to language of gong for putting on such an amazing day