How it feels for me when I am giving a gong bath.


Two hours before the gong bath I am already having a sense of excitement and this most often feels a bit uncomfortable, I take a shower and drink lots of water before I set off. During the drive to the venue I have a lot of feelings going on, this can be anything from a headache or feeling very anxious. I allow these feeling to pass as I listen to some music. I reach the venue and I get set up; often I have help with this and I am ready before people start to arrive. I can then have a bit of a gong session just to check that the stands and gongs are not going to rattle during the gong bath. People start to arrive now and I tend to be quietly tucked away behind the gongs drinking plenty of water and awaiting the clock to reach 7.00 o’clock. This seems to be a time for me to observe my feeling and get a bit of an understanding of how my group of people are feeling, how their week has been and what aches and pains they have and what is likely to come to the surface for them during the gong bath. I feel the excitement coming on as the clock almost reaches the seven o’clock. I am really itching to sound the gongs at this stage and I have made the mistake of doing this in the past and this has resulted in complete silence in the room and I have then felt really uncomfortable about having this control over people (something I don’t like doing). Well the clock is almost at the 7.00 o’clock so the doors are shut and lights turned out. I usually ask people if their mobile phones are switched off.


I make a start and it’s a gentle heart beat to begin with (a boom boom). To me this feels like the child in the mother’s womb comforted by the mother’s heartbeat, with the feeling of calmness and a sense of peace and safeness in its environment. The boom boom heart beat lasts for less than five minutes, I then pick up two light mallets, and these are the mallets I will use for most of the gong bath. I now play two gongs together and merge the sounds keeping a constant sound going; people look settled and very relaxed no movement from anyone. I keep the volume low at this stage and keep it really calm; there is often a beautiful feeling in my heart at this point in time, a sense of love like an awakening, moving from everyday life to a moment of no worries no commitments just being in that moment, a state of bliss. I like to believe that this is what most of the people in the room are also feeling in this moment. I hold this till its run its course, the feelings naturally fades and I move on. I hear snoring so I increase the volume slightly, beating both gongs in the same place at the same time and creating a constant drone, I change the playing techniques frequently so nothing stays the same, making it so difficult for the human brain to follow these sounds. I am trying to create sounds that are just impossible to follow, every new sound different than the last. I want people to be entrained by this, I want people to experience being in a theta brainwave state, a time of being partly conscious and partly in a dream world so far away, a place where daily worries and stresses are taken away, a place to heal, a place of love and contentment. This can also be a place to let go of things - issues and aches and pains can come to the surface for some in this moment. I often sense when someone is struggling and at times I have abandon playing the constant drone and resort to a gentle and easy to follow constant sounding of the gongs in the same place. I often find this is the moment my excitement comes out to play, I find the volume has increased considerably (but not unbearable) the room is vibrating; sounds are bouncing off the walls. I have backache, headache, neck ache, a sore knee… I feel tearful (in a happy way), I am dancing the gongs and there is a rush of energy going through me almost controlling my every movement. I am on a high and shedding tears, just the sheer delight of being alive and experiencing such an experience, this is very overwhelming for me (in a nice way) - a real sense of knowing I am helping people get through their worries and reach a place of bliss and creating feelings they would not normally feel in their everyday lives. My aches and pains have ceased.  I look around, everyone seems well and contented.  I see the odd movement from people moving from their back to their side or maybe lifting their legs to support their back. I find the dancing the gongs has reached its best and done its work. I move back to the drone but keeping the volume the same. I look at the clock I have covered forty five minutes, fifteen minutes left. I feel its time to reduce the volume and start a gentle slow down. I feel like I have been on the spin cycle of a washing machine, the excitement has passed and I am ready to draw it to a close. The ending is a gentle decrease of volume and slowing down of the playing and over a ten minute period I have faded to nothing but with the odd occasional up the volume and decrease the volume. I finish with picking up the heavy mallet and doing the gentle heart beat again fading this away to nothing and before the gongs have completely faded I bring in the sounds of small tinkling bells. These are a really gentle way of bringing people back to normal awake state. To bring the session to an end I pick up my heart sounding bowl and play it gently for three or four minutes. The sound from the bowl is beautiful; I seem to go into a really relaxed state when I play my sounding bowl as if the bowl is really drawing me in. I could play it for a lot longer than I do but it has done its work in that short time and people are starting to move about. I hold back for a few minutes then I hand out bottles of water to everyone. I consider the silence and the bottles of water at the end to be really beneficial to everyone. I join everyone on the mats in front of the gongs. I stay silent, I drink loads of water, I feel like I have just got off a rollercoaster ride and I need the time to get myself together. I look around and everyone else looks like they have just got off a rollercoaster too.  There is a big awkward silence in the room and I feel that I must talk now, I ask people as a group “is everyone ok?” This is usually responded with nods of heads. People are now talking amongst themselves and starting to get up to leave. I watch as people leave and chat with anyone who wants to chat, I see people smiling in a really blissed out way, and I get lots of thank yous as people are leaving.


I pack up my equipment into my van and leave the venue. I have found that the journey home needs a bit of rock music played reasonably loud and I tend to rock myself home. I think this is a technique I use for getting myself grounded. When I am home I feel tired and hungry and I sleep really well after a gong bath.

I feel that gong bath therapy is what I should be doing; the gong is a powerful instrument for therapeutic work and I won’t keep it to myself. The gongs need to be brought out into the community for all to benefit. I have such passion for the gongs and this passion gets stronger as the years pass. I felt this passion the very first time I played a gong back in January 2010 when I was doing my sound therapy training and it has been a wonderful journey for me since.    

written on the 19th May 2013.