Natural Gong – Playing Outside
Many of us experience the Gong during relaxation, yoga, or therapy while being inside.
Playing and hearing the Gong outside in nature creates a completely different appreciation for its sound – so what’s so good about the Gong outside?
Gongs were originally played primarily outside. They were positioned in temple gardens or outside the entryways into sacred spaces. They were played in festivals and seasonal celebrations and parades, and they were even used to signal boats at sea or communicate between mountaintop monasteries.
Because of their size and ability to make a significantly loud sound, gongs were the ideal instruments to play outside and in nature.
The sound of the gong can be an amazing complement to the sounds of nature. One of my favorite places to play the Gong is near water — a river, waterfall, or ocean.
The gong is especially powerful when played by the sea, as its sound fades into silence and is replaced by the sound of the waves breaking on the shore. One of my most profound experiences of how the Gong sensitizes us to sound was at our retreat in Mexico when we stopped playing the gongs and heard the distant ocean waves return in the resulting silence.
Other natural sounds that complement the gong are the sound of birds. When we played the gongs at our yoga retreats and vacations in Costa Rica, birds gathered in trees around us, lured by the brilliant tones. And then when the gongs stopped, the birds began to sing.
There is also the tactile sensation of playing and hearing the gong outside. The wind passing over the skin when hearing the gong is an extra plus to the sonic massage a gong can create. And the feel of the ground beneath you as you play and relax gives you the support and grounding so you can more easily disassociate from the limitations of the physical body.
Finally, the sound of the Gong when played outside travels freely and dissipates naturally, freed from the reverberations of walls and ceilings. As a result, the Gong sounds differently than when we hear it inside.
So next time — take a gong outside!