I’m in a candle-lit church in London’s trendy borough of Hackney, surrounded by a wonderful array of unique individuals some in yoga-wear, some straight from the office, some in bright hippie print materials. We lie scattered on our mats surrounding the 4 huge circular metal gongs and various metal bowls, awaiting our sound-healer to begin weaving her magical sound-scape.
A light-footed young woman with fair hair introduces herself (Kat Bumble) with a soft accented voice. We close our eyes, as the sounds begin. First a single high-pitched ting of Tibetan bells, followed by the etherial hollow echo of the himalyan siging bowls… and then a slow, soft rumble, as the gongs begin to shimmer their vibrations over every person, swallowing us in a tsunami of cascading weightless waterfalls. The sounds come in waves… the gentle cresendo lifting and dissolving me, clearing space within me.
Every few minutes, my body takes a long deep cleansing breath, releasing and opening further each time. The slow rhythmic breath of the man lying next to me reminds me that I am sharing this space with many others and that each of us will be having our own very unique and individual experience.
Since first feeling the vibrations of the gong lifting me almost a year ago at a yoga retreat (SoulClarityMovement) I have become a huge fan of listening to online sound meditations. It’s one thing listening to a recording on my own, but being in the presence of the live music, in a location with great acoustics and being surrounded by beautiful, like-minded people takes things to the next level.
The harmonious tones continues on for another half an hour or so… Then as the sounds of the gongs begin to wane, I get up into a seated mediation. Kat is playing some sort of bellowes. Then to my surprise, her voice, exquisitely shrill and precise, makes sounds I have only heard on documentaries. It’s called overtone singing and originated in Mongolia.
The sound of her voice has me hypnotized and entranced. It is like the call of the wilderness, mountains and desert.
For more info on gong baths: