Gong Song

Blog, Guidance, relaxation

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:

www.psychedelicsociety.org.uk

Soulclaritymovement.com 

Can’t Sleep?

Guidance, relaxation

Have you ever had one of those nights where you wake up and can’t get back to sleep? How come we can fall asleep on a packed commuter train with our mouths wide open catching flies, yet not in the comfort of our own beds? I think a little of it comes down to the rocking motion of the train, but maybe a bit it comes down to expectations. When we lie in our beds expecting and trying to fall asleep, we end up annoyed that we are awake. This state of annoyance is what keeps you awake. So start by enjoying being awake for a moment. Enjoy the feel of the covers on your skin, bring your awareness to the various parts of your body, feel the tingling in your toes and the pulsing in your palms, lay your hand on your heart for a moment, and listen to it gently beating in your chest. Then enjoy just breathing, as soon as you begin to relax, you will notice your body breathe a sigh of relief and your lungs and belly will naturally expand to take a wider breath. As you breathe in, take the breath deep into your belly… you can now try a visualization! I’ve listed a few below:

  • As you breathe in, imagine yourself absorbing energy from the earth below you, this comes in through the soles of your feet and travels up your body and into your lungs to be circulated around your body. As you breathe out, then release any tension or negative thoughts.
  • Imagine yourself looking deep into the night sky. See all the glittering, sparkling stars and as you breathe in, imagine that you are breathing in the energy from these stars, in the form of a pure white light. This light feels warm and tingly as the energy enters your lungs and spreads down into your belly – you might even hear your belly give a little grumble – this is great, it means your visualization has caused an energetic movement and a shift of energy.
  • Imagine yourself to be an ice cube melting – not so much in the sense of being cold, but in the sense of going from solid to liquid. As each drop of water trickles away, you release any tension in your muscles… you gently and slowly melt down into a liquid pool of water, holding no tension at all.