Gong with the wind: an effortless way to quiet the mind by meditating with sound

A quick summary:

Talking about gong does not do it much justice - it is one of those things that you have to experience. Besides, most people find gong baths to be very different from their initial expectations. But let's give it a try.

For an average city-dweller, the mind can be a very noisy place. Thoughts… and so many of them.

In fact most of these thoughts are repetitive, useless and sometimes harmful. However, just becoming aware of the thoughts does not always bring about a lasting quiet - too often we get carried away with that nasty next thought.

But in the moments when we manage to escape from that constant stream of repetitive thought patterns - we sometimes find ourselves in that blissful state of calm.

There are so many techniques out there helping us to achieve just that. Or at least claiming to do so. TM (Transcendental Meditation) is really helpful in unwinding the mind and giving it deep nourishing rest. Some people also like to practice various mindfulness techniques. There are even apps now that walk you through a simple meditation session step-by-step.

When they are practiced correctly, the common thread between these techniques is the state of wakeful alertness - that gap in between what we call being awake and being asleep.

In that state one experiences true relaxation - the kind that even sleep does not provide - and all that while your consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness. Coming back from such state one feels a sense of fulfilment - and for some time thereafter the chatter quiets down, allowing you to stay grounded in the present moment.

The only issue is that "when practiced correctly” bit. What does that even mean? How do you learn to "practice correctly” and, most importantly, who has time for that?  

One of the things I like the most about gong is how effortless and simple it is.

Compared to the other meditation techniques, where you have to get your head around the paradox of “trying to relax”, in a gong class (at least the way it is practiced at the GONG studio) you only have to wrap yourself in a blanket, place a lavender-scented eye pillow on your face and just listen.

As the vibrations of the gong slowly and rhythmically begin to intensify - you find yourself immersed in a mystical outer space-like sound waves of this seemingly simple metal plate. This pleasant sound creates a space in which you become dissociated from your thoughts. It is really as simple as that.

As far as meditation goes, gong bathing is the most effortless method for inducing physical, mental and emotional relaxation I have encountered so far.

What is more, you can actually feel the sound travel through your body and as the cells in your body start vibrating at this frequency. If you pay enough attention, you can sense how your body starts to loosen up.