Put On Your Gong Ears:
How to Listen to the Gong
How do you listen to the sound of the Gong?
Most people simply relax on the back, with their feet pointing toward to the gong player, and let the sound pour over and through them.
And that’s nice. But it may not be the best way to get the most benefit from your gong relaxation.
There are three major things to consider if you want to get the best gong listening experience.
Where in the room are you?
Experienced gong listeners love to get as close to the gong as they can. And this can be very good if you want the complete body trip a gong session can give you. When you are within three feet (a meter) of the gong itself, there is a physical sensation that is very healing and sound therapy sessions are often positioned so that the client is in close proximity to the gong.
On the other hand, the sound of the gong has a chance to build and swell as it moves toward the back of the room, and while the physical sensation is not as strong, there is an experience of the sound surrounding you, especially if you are near a back corner of the room.
Is the middle of the room the best? Sometimes the sound gets a little diffused in the middle if you are surrounded by many warm bodies, but it is cozy.
So they are advantages and disadvantages to most areas of the room.
Where you should not be, however, is directly off to the side of where the gong(s) are played. This tends to be the least powerful placement.
How is your body positioned?
Most people tend to relax on their backs with their feet facing the gong player.
This position allows the energy of the gong to move upward through the chakras from the base to the crown. It is helpful if you are easily disconnected from your body, have difficulty focusing or being present, as well as working with any psychological and physical conditions connected to the lower three chakras. Feet toward the gong is grounding and usually the least challenging way to experience a gong that may be played powerfully.
You can also relax on your back with your head facing toward the gong player.
This position can create a deep opening of the self to the infinite. It can serve as a bridge to take you out of your limited sense of identity and connect you to a deeper understanding of their place in the cosmos. It may prove useful for working with addictions and eating disorders, as well schizophrenia, bipolar episodes, depression and conditions connected to the upper three chakras. It may, however, be intense for those not familiar or experienced with the gong and it is quite “spacey.”
How about relaxing on your side? This actually creates a different experience of listening to the gong because of the effect it has on which ear is the dominant hearing ear.
And that brings us to the third consideration:
On which side of your body are you primarily listening to the gong?
If you are to the far right side or far left side of the gong when it is played, on if you are laying on your right side or your left side, or if you cover one ear and leave the other ear open, you will affect how the sound of the gong affects you.
When the sound of the gong predominantly is heard by the right ear, there is an activation of the left hemisphere of the brain, which can be helpful in elevating the mood, activating energy, enhancing the analytic function of the mind, increasing the projective nature of the individual, relieving depression, and healing conditions connected to the male polarity of the individual.
When the sound of the gong predominantly is heard by the left ear, there is an activation of the right hemisphere of the brain, which can be helpful in cooling the emotions, calming energy, enhancing the creative function of the mind, increasing the receptive nature of the individual, relieving anxiety, and healing conditions connected to the female polarity of the individual.
These results are similar to when the breath is primarily flowing through either the right or the left nostril.
If you are fortunate to have multiple gongs played alternately on both the right and left side of where you are, there can be a balancing of polarities and integration of brain function. Blocks are removed so there is a better flow of energy through the meridians and organs of the body.
You can also achieve the same effect when one gong is played by resting on one side and then the other, or alternatively covering one ear with a blanket and then the other.
Does any of this make a difference? Yes, but how large a difference depends on your sensitivity and ability to discern the sound of the gong. It is certainly fun to experiment with and see how these three factors may affect your experience of hearing the gong.
And when you get bored with all of this, you may want to try listening the gong sitting up instead of relaxing on your back.
Now that is a difference!
Try it out!
Put on your gong ears with a special Full Moon Water meditation and special eclipse Gong relaxation with Mehtab on August 6th at Yoga Yoga Westgate in Austin.