Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Story of the Gong Bath

Without rereading it, this is what I wrote Monday night at 10:46 p.m. right when I got home from the Gong Bath:

Fear, chaos, joy, cheer, immense love, splashes of white light on a dark canvas only my eyes can view. I very desperately want to put to words the experience I just had with a Gong Bath, and I might have ruined part of the ‘being in the moment’ by my desire to want to catalog the experience. Sometimes I think I am like a camera, wanting to click and remember every image, my words the film; and I can’t get them developed quickly enough.

So, I try here. It’s my own personal experience; no one can take that from me; no one can share it with me. It was only me. I sit here and move my mind into my ears, trying to recapture the beautiful sounds of the gong; there were sounds that evoked images in my life. I was watching my past flash through my conscience. I watched those dear to me, who are with me now, and those who have passed before me, seeing their images in black and white float over my conscience like a cloud and then move away. I accepted that.

Upon arrival, you’re told to remove jewelry with stones, and if you wanted to, you could put your necklace or bracelet, rings, whatever underneath the gong so it can pass along some energy, or vibrations. I don’t know. I really don’t know what happened. The Gong Master (for lack of a better word; oh wait, I do know his name: Richard), Richard, said if we had anyone we wanted to offer our intentions to (maybe this is like channeling the good of our experience to a person who needs it), then we could either plant them in our minds, acknowledge it, and then let it go. Or if we had a picture, we could present that and place it under the gong, or write the person’s name on a sheet of paper.

I took it upon myself to write down several names of people I know and love: a friend dealing with infertility, my friend with brain cancer, my high school friend who has undergone so much all from the start of breast cancer, some special family members.

Right now, there is nothing I think in my life I need healing for, so I accepted that, and put it forth to those who I want to be better. If there were some subconscious intentions of mine, I’m sure they were addressed.

With eyes closed and an eye pillow over them, a blanket over me, head comfy and a bolster under my knees (I like my knees raised during shivasana so I figured I would want to be comfortably relaxed for two hours of gong), I relaxed and let myself be open to the experience ahead of me. I did have my hands clasped above my stomach, at the rib cage. All through this, I’m wondering, “Do I subconsciously have my hands placed here for a reason?” Is my head itching right now because of something important that I do not know yet?” I lay still for probably three-quarters of the time. At one point, I felt the sensation of a pin prick right in the spot where I had a flu shot last week, and that made me wonder if maybe I was not supposed to get the flu shot and toxins were being released. Another time, I had the urge to touch my neck, so I did, feeling like if I didn’t, I would jinx the whole experience. Same thing when I needed to touch my scalp, and my belly. At some points, my knee would twitch, or my stomach would gurgle, and the whole time, my mind worked.

I don’t know if that was how it was supposed to go though? I just opened up to experience whatever it was going to be that I was supposed to experience. The gong music is beautiful, at times calming, reflective, personal. When it gets really loud, and Richard prepared us for this – he said it will get very loud, but it is not the type of decibels that cause hearing damage – when it got so loud, I did feel scared. I felt fear. I felt as if the room was crowded, and everyone was in a panic, trying to escape, and how would we all get out of there is something bad was happening. And at the beginning of the loud noise, I felt joy, like an audience clapping, honoring me for some success, and then as it got louder is when I got scared and I remember telling myself, “It’s okay; don’t forget to breathe; breathing is important.” And I remember thinking, “OK, this can be done for now.”

This was just a small part of it though, and it was a quick passing, and I think maybe that loud noise is something meant to be there, to let the fear evacuate from your body, because as I write this now, I feel very calm and very relaxed, and … not happy, but, here’s the word I’m looking for: Fulfilled.

You can sometimes hear voices too, and during the chaotic loud gong noises, I did hear the clamoring of people, and screaming, and fighting, as if there was a riot going on right in my head, yet I was stuck there and drowning in the noise and the crowd, unable to do anything but wait for it to pass.

And it did.

I remember seeing fleeting bits of my children, wishing I could get Diva to eat more healthily, there were so many other things I had wanted to track into my mind, to keep it there so I could come home, write it all down, and share it with you. To tell you it was a surreal, unique, experience. It, by no means, has changed me for life; that would be absurd. It was just something to try, and I put myself out there to a new experience, and I felt all the emotions that belonged to that experience, and I think that’s why I am feeling fulfilled at the moment.

And I think my mind is quiet right now. It’s calm. I am warm. I can inhale deeply, and exhale, and everything works. And I am thankful.

And if that’s all I took away from this experience, then I would have to say it was a blessing, a wonderful thing to try, to learn about, to discover. I don’t know if it helped me to heal, or if it offered me an awakening of some sort (I think it did), but I do know I am thankful I am a brave enough person, a unique enough person, a daring enough person to go out and try something I’ve never done before, practically never heard about, and come away from the experience with some new thoughts, and quite possibly some new perspectives on what life is, and how grateful I am to be living it.

I’m going to bed now; it’s currently 10:46 p.m. on Monday night. I think I will see what feelings resonate within me tonight and maybe I’ll have more to add tomorrow.

So, good night.


Anonymous said...

Sounds very interesting Manic, Glad you enjoyed....

Trish Ryan said...

Wow - reading this was like reading my journal after a similar event I took part in a few years ago (it used some sort of bell instead of a gong)!

You know how you can see things in other people's experiences you don't see in your own? As I read your diary, it struck me how trained we are to assume any fear response is wrong, and that only "good" can come out of this type of experience if that's what we're seeking. So we brush off the sense of "I should get out of here/something is wrong/everyone is in a panic" and only believe the comforting thoughts. It makes me wonder why/when/how spiritual practice got so tied up in squelching our instincts? There are negative spiritual forces out there, too, and I think God wants us to identify them and flee, but yet we're trained to pretend they're not real?!? YIKES!

Okay, I'll stop rambling now :) THANK YOU for posting this - gives me much to ponder!!!

acaligurl said...

hmmm i am intrigued! perhaps i will add this to my 101 things in 1000 days list i'm working on! glad you had a positive experience. it really sounds like you get a calming result.

oh and i read your comment to dummy about the bluey box I LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh this is rather a coincidence! i was reading stephanie klein's blog and saw your comment and so came and read a few of your posts when all of a sudden I found this! just yesterday I took part in a sound bath where the guy played singing bowls and crystals and gongs.
isn't it immense! I so want to do it again it was so insightful.
tamsin x