Gongs to the Rescue
Perhaps the most common symptoms of spiritual malaise today are substance abuse and addictive behavior. Many researchers and therapists have recognized this connection between abusive addictions and spiritual disconnection, including psychiatrist Dr. Ray Matthew, director of the Duke University Addictions Program. His research has shown that the same pleasure centers in the brain stimulated by drugs like marijuana are also activated by spiritual experiences.
Matthew observed that the key to breaking the destructive addictive response is to first “detach yourself from the pressure and content of your mind for a minute or two and you become freer from committing compulsive, automatic actions.”
The gong is a singularly effective instrument to help the listener detach from the pressure and content of the mind through an induced meditative state in order to get free of habitual patterns. The spiritual healing of the gong occurs through the connection it makes between the listener and the world beyond the body and mind. It provides that experience of a non-ordinary and elevating reality that the addict often seeks through drugs.
For a number of years, the gong has been used in programs for recovering drug addicts to rebuild the nervous system and to open a spiritual connection. As early as 1973, Yogi Bhajan and his students began a program in Tucson, Arizona called SuperHealth that incorporated Kundalini yoga technology, including extended gong sessions, to treat thousands of recovering drug addicts.
The program was accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization and received its highest commendation. In its first year of operation, it distinguished itself as being in the top 10% of all treatment programs throughout the U.S, with an astounding recovery rate of 91%.
This healing power of the gong is perhaps best understood by its ability to create a non-ordinary state of transcendent reality and a connection with a vastness beyond the finite self. In this space, even for the briefest of moments, the gong is a portal to what has always existed and what can always be.
Using the gong in healing is an emerging field with many new approaches in music therapy, psychotherapy, spiritual counseling and even chiropractic care. How the gong will eventually be integrated into these disciplines hold great possibilities.
Yet there is already an ancient use of the gong for healing through the science of yoga. Working with existing yoga practices in a systematic way, we can use an approach for healing and transformation called Gong Yoga Therapy.
Want to learn more about Gong Therapy?