The sound and vibrational energy of Gongs
Gong meditation is a unique type of sound practice that involves using all the benefits therapeutic gong sounds and vibrations to bring about healing. This practice is also sometimes referred to as a “gong bath” because participants are “bathed” in meditation gong sound waves. The goal of “gong meditation” is usually awareness and non-judgmental appreciation of the present moment.
Sound therapy has long been used to manage a broad range of health conditions. The treatments are based on the understanding that all forms of matter – including our body’s cells – vibrate at different frequencies. Factors such as stress, depression and disease cause cells and organs within our bodies to vibrate at non-optimal frequencies.
Benefits of sound healing include:
decreases mood swings.
lowers blood pressure.
lowers cholesterol levels.
teaches pain management.
lowers risk for artery and stroke.
Why do we use the gong in Kundalini Yoga?
Most people who participate in gong baths are lying down on meditation mats. Add a pillow and a blanket and all you’ll need to do is rest in a comfortable position, relax and close your eyes. Your instructor will guide you through the session. Initially, the gong is played very softly; as the meditation session progresses, the volume is gradually increased. Since the purpose of the meditation gong sound is healing, the volume is never upped to uncomfortable levels.
The gong sound is changed frequently to avoid producing a fixed, monotonous rhythm. The auditory stimuli of the gong bath process lead to entrainment, a form of beneficially modified brainwave frequencies. The first brainwave state to be reached is alpha, which is defined by frequencies between 8 and 12 Hz. Alpha brainwaves are associated with creativity and feelings of relaxation. In this state, people experience daydreams, associative thinking and an animated imagination. This state is quickly followed by an influx of theta brainwaves, which fall between 4 and 7 Hz. Normally, the theta brainwave state is associated with deep meditation, hypnosis and REM sleep.